The Ramones - NME Cover

The Ramones - New York 1977

In early 1977 Mick Farren and I went to New York to check out the Punk scene, we went to all the usual clubs like Max's Kansas City and CBGB's, and we met up with a number of bands including Blondie and the Talking Heads.

But the main reason we were there was to do a cover story on the Ramones. Mick was old friends with Seymour Stein who owned Sire Records and he set us up with an interview and photo shoot.

We met up at Joey Ramone's apartment on a Sunday afternoon and I proceeded to drag them outside for a shoot, I had found an alley just off the Bowery and to me this summed up the way New York was back then.

The city had just declared itself bankrupt and was very different from the way it is today. The alley was full of garbage, old furniture, and homeless people. We walked to the far end where an old sofa he'd been dumped right there on the street.

The Ramones did what they did best and posed in leather jackets and ripped jeans, the archetypal punk look. I gave little direction as we were accompanied by Arturo Vega, their Art Director. I told them where to stand, and he told them how to stand. It was not my normal way of working but they trusted him and it actually made my job easier. The pictures we did together were good, and that's all that mattered.