It's 1982 and the Ramones are in a gutter-bound spiral. Following a run of inconsistent albums and deep in the throes of internal tensions, the legendary quartet is about to crash and burn.
Enter Richie Ramone.
Then a 26-year-old from New Jersey named Richard Reinhardt, he's snapped up by the group to be their new drummer and instantly goes from the obscurity of the underground club scene to membership in the most famous punk-rock band of all time, revitalizing the pioneering outfit with his powerful, precise, and blindingly fast beats – composing classic cuts like the menacing anthem “Somebody Put Something in My Drink” and becoming the only Ramones percussionist to sing lead vocals for the group. With the Ramones, he performs over five hundred shows at venues all around the world and records three storming studio albums – before abruptly quitting the band and going deep underground. To most fans, this crucial figure in the band's history has remained a mystery, his tale untold.
I Know Better Now: My Life Before, During, and After the Ramones is the firsthand, four-on-the-floor account of a life in rock 'n' roll and in one of its most influential acts – straight from the sticks of the man who kept the beat.
Peter Aaron (Hudson Valley, NY) is the author of If You Like the Ramones and The Band FAQ, the music editor of Chronogram magazine, the front man of influential New York blues-punk band the Chrome Cranks, and a participant in other musical projects. His writing has appeared in the Village Voice, the Boston Herald, and other publications.
Richie Ramone was one of the longstanding drummers in the Ramones. At a critical time, when the fate of the band was in limbo, the New Jersey native he came onboard as a full-time member and helped the band resurrect and thrive, recording several studio albums, writing songs, and playing on some of the biggest stages. Richie Ramone continues to record his own material and carry on a robust touring schedule. For more information, visit: richieramone.com