The Best Rock Museum In The World
Berlin hosts numerous small museum, among which the Ramones Museum stands out. Apart from exhibits related to the band which turned rock'n'roll upside down, this is a venue for performances by various bands, even the surviving members of the Ramones. Berlin did not host this museum by accident: the last song on their final album is called 'Born To Die In Berlin'.
If the Beatles or the Stones are the best rock bands in the world, then the Ramones are definitely the best roll band. Most positively, one of the most influential bands of all time (according to Spin magazine, the most influential band second to the Beatles), a band which reinvented rock-essence by discovering punk deserves its place in history, music-wise and in a very precise way.
Unfortunately, three band founders, Johnny, Joey and Dee Dee, are late, however the legend about the band does not only live in the hearts of their fans. There is a corner in New York officially called the Joey Ramone Place and a rock club has been opened in Rio De Janeiro with the same name. Nevertheless, the band was honored the most in Berlin where the Ramones Museum was opened.
Established in 2005, it moved to its current location in 2008. As part of the museum packing with band relics (everything from posters and tickets to original photographs and band member clothes), visitors can take a look around with a drink of choice purchased from the lobby bar. A ticket with a drink is 5 euros, while a ticket in the form of a badge is valid for life. This is just one of many reasons why you should always come back to this museum.
A combination of a museum area and a bar has created a new name for the museum – RMCM, which is short for the Ramones Museum & Cafe Mania, while the logo is designed in the style of the famous New York CBGB, which is where the Ramones started their career.
One of the museum walls (the one from the heading photograph of this post) is every kid’s dream – you are invited to write and scribble whatever you want all over it. This is a kind of an impression book and I was the first person from Croatia to have left their signature, a welcome note for everyone, and displayed a multidecade-long craft of hand writing the most famous band logo!
Cafe Mania’s barkeep is also the same person who sells tickets for the Ramones Museum. Of course, there is a Joey Ramone Place in the museum as well, just like large photographs of all the original band members.
The monster which the band dragged to their shows is at the museum entrance. This is a version of monsters featured in the Freaks movie dating back to 1936, which band members enjoyed. This is where their cry ‘Gabba Gabba Hey’ comes from, because this is precisely how the unfortunate monsters communicated.
The pleasant interior of Cafe Mania invites punks and everyone who feels like one to relax and have another beer (they had the first one during the museum tour) after taking an intense tour of the exhibits.
The museum holds the complete photo-shoot for the cover of the band’s debut album, of course , along with the photograph which was selected as the cover. A framed copy of this photograph can be purchased at the museum for 75 euros.
One of the promotional artifacts for their last album Adios Amigos was a tequila set with an accompanying shot glass. Cookies were used for the promotion of the Crummy Stuff single.
Perhaps Marky Ramone’s worn-out All Stars are not an aromatic object, but drum sticks and drum skin signed by the band members definitely represents an exhibit with an honorary place at the museum
Swimming trunks with the Ramones’ emblem are an excellent fan prop that goes with their immortal single Rockaway Beach. They are an outstanding fit on Croatian beaches as well, where there is always a Ramones fan from any corner of the Earth.
Chance had it, the Ramones were fashion trendsetters. Apart from bob haircuts (absolutely atypical for punks), black leather jackets and black All Stars, the Ramones invented torn jeans as an infectious fashion detail.
At my first Ramones concert in Zagreb, I managed to get to the changing room and meet the band members. Unfortunately, nobody recorded this, therefore a visit to the Ramones Museum was a chance to make it up, in a somewhat different way.