This go round, we got the bass player from the iconic punk band the Ramones!!! I happen to be a huge Ramones fan and started checking out CJ’s solo stuff which is AWESOME!!! Then I found out he was into bikes as well so I shot him a few questions and he was kind enough to come back with the following!!!!!
1. You joined the Ramones at a pretty young age. What was it like walking into that audition?
I WAS STILL IN THE MARINES SO I WASN’T NERVOUS. I JUST WENT DOWN TO MEET THE BAND!
2. I really dig your new solo stuff and the Bad Chopper CD as well …what do you have in the pipeline in terms of new music?
MARCH 17TH MY NEW RECORD AMERICAN BEAUTY COMES OUT ON FAT WRECK CHORDS.
3. As kid what did you listen to and who do you consider your biggest influences?
MY DAD AND MOM LISTENED TO EVERYTHING FROM COUNTRY AND 50’S CLASSICS TO CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL AND VAN MORRISON, SO I LISTENED TO EVERYTHING. BUT THE BAND I FOUND ON MY OWN THAT CHANGED IT ALL FOR ME WAS BLACK SABBATH. STILL MY FAVORITE BAND OF ALL TIME.
4. Your live shows are awesome! You have a ton of energy on stage and give 110% . Do you still enjoy playing out? (cause it sure looks like you do!)
I LOVE IT. NOTHING ELSE I’D RATHER BE DOING.
5. Some people may not know, you were also asked to join Metallica to replace Jason Newsted. Can you tell us how that went down?
WE HAD DONE LOLLAPALOOZA IN 96 WHICH METALLICA HEADLINED. JOHNNY AND KIRK HAMMET GOT TO BE FRIENDS DUE TO THEIR LOVE OF RARE MOVIE POSTER COLLECTING. WHEN JASON LEFT, KIRK CALLED JOHNNY TO ASK WHAT I WAS UP TO. JOHNNY CALLED ME, BUT I TURNED IT DOWN. MY SON HAD BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH AUTISM AND THERE WAS NO WAY I WAS GOING TO LEAVE HIM HOME AND GO ON THE ROAD FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME.
6. Not sure if folks know, but you’re into bikes and have been riding for years. The rumor has it you did on of the warped tour following the tour bus on your bike. True story? How was that? What were you riding?
THAT WAS ON LOLLAPALOOZA AND I WAS RIDING A RIGID EVO THAT I HAD BUILT WITH A FRIEND OF MINE. RODE THROUGH EVERY STATE AND A LOT OF CANADA ALSO. ONE OF THE GREATEST EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE.
7. How did you get into motorcycles? How old were you and what was your first bike?
I ALWAYS LOVED BIKES FROM WHEN I WAS A KID. MY DAD HUNG AROUND WITH A COUPLE GUYS WHO HAD BIKES. MY FIRST STREET BIKE WAS A KAWASAKI KLR 650. I’D RIDEN DIRT BIKES AND FIGURED I’D BE COMFORTABLE. RODE THAT FOR A COUPLE YEARS AND BOUGHT A BRAND NEW FATBOY IN 1992. GOT INTO A BAD WRECK ON IT A FEW MONTHS LATER SO I SCAVENGED THE MOTOR AND TRANNY AND STUFFED THEM INTO A PAUGHCO RIGID WISHBONE FRAME, RAN A WIDE SPRINGER, 16” SPOKE UP FRONT WITH A CENTERLINE ON THE BACK. PUT A 3’ SISSY BAR AND UPSWEPT PIPES, 6” RISERS WITH BABY APES, MORRIS MAGNETO (NO BATTERY) KICK ONLY, AND STROKED THE MOTOR TO 96” . GAVE HER A RATTLE CAN, FLAT BLACK PAINT JOB AND HIT THE ROAD.
8. You’re a Long Island guy. What was the music and bike scene like growing up on Long Island?
LONG ISLAND HAD THE GREATEST MUSIC SCENE AND ALWAYS HAD A LOT OF BIKES. THEY ALWAYS GO HAND IN HAND!
9. You’ve shifted away from Harleys. What are you riding these days? Do you get out much on the bike?
HAD TO SELL THAT RIGID WHEN I GOT DIVORCED AND I GUESS IT KIND OF BROKE MY HEART. WENT BACK TO KLR’S AND DID A LOT OF OFF ROAD RIDING. MISSED DOING LONG TRIPS SO I BOUGHT A YAMAHA XT1200Z ADVENTURE TOUR BIKE. I’VE DONE A COUPLE OF NICE LONG DISTANCE RIDES INCLUDING NOVA SCOTIA AND GET TO TAKE IT OFF ROAD TOO. RECENTLY RODE HER OUT TO SEE SOME FRIENDS IN WISCONSIN. NICE RIDE.
10. So, what’s next for CJ Ramone? Where can folks check out and pick up your solo stuff (which I highly recommend!!)
WWW.FATWRECKCHORDS.COM YOU CAN GET MY LAST ON LAST CHANCE TO DANCE AND MY NEW ONE AMERICAN BEAUTY WHICH COMES OUT MARCH 17TH. I’LL BE DOING A RECORD RELEASE/SHOW IN NYC ON ST PATRICS DAY AT BOWERY ELECTRIC. I’LL ALSO BE DOING THE FLOGGING MOLLY CRUISE THIS MARCH FOLLOWED BY A FULL US/CANADA TOUR, EUROPEAN TOUR, SOUTH AMERICAN TOUR, JAPAN AND HOPEFULLY AUSTRALIA. SO, I’LL BE BUSY DOING WHAT YOU’D EXPECT A RAMONE TO DO, MAKE MUSIC AND TOUR. ON MY TIME OFF, MY FAMILY, BUT WHEN I GET FREE, I RIDE.
Thanks a lot, CJ…really appreciate you taking the time!! I highly recommend you check out CJ’s new music and if you have the opportunity to see him play live DO NOT MISS IT!!!!! You guys can check out CJ on IG @theecjramone and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OfficialCjRamone/
#ramones #motorbikes #punkrock #motorbikeshit