Ramones To Rule The World Soon

ATN Exclusive: Feast your eyes on the cover

art for Adios Amigos, the upcoming album from the Ramones. Just

in time to celebrate our nation's birth, Adios Amigos should

hit the stores July 4. The album cover features an "altered" painting

by well-known New York artist Mark Kostabi. The painting, from Kostabi's

personal collection, is a rendering of two dinosaurs wearing

party hats. Kostabi substituted sombreros for the party hats, and

voila, we have cover art. When ATN asked Joey Ramone about the symbology

of the painting, he laughed, "We're not a bunch of dinosaurs, but

we're confident enough that we can have a laugh on ourselves." He also

told us that the front, the back, and the inside graphics don't have

anything to do with one another. The back cover features the four

Ramones facing a firing squad, their backs turned toward the

gunmen­­(as in this is the back cover, get it?). It also features a

sleepy, barefoot Mexican wearing a gun belt in the foreground. That

"Mexican" is none other than long-time Ramones road manager, Monty

Melnick. You can't say this band doesn't treat its employees right.

Or as Joey says, they gave Melnick "his big day in the sun." Also, the

Ramones are never ones to mind mixing their metaphors­­the actual CD is

not another sombrero, as you might surmise, but a wire-wheel hubcap

with an R etched on it, much in the style of the barbed wire of

Mondo Bizarro.

The album is a masterpiece, with material like the first single, "I

Don't Want to Grow Up," and "She Talks To Rainbows" that stand with

their classics from the mid-'70s. We keep hearing these rumors about the

group splitting after they tour this summer, but we're hoping that with

punk now the in flavor (exhibit A: Green Day and Offspring selling

millions of albums last year), the group that started it all can

finally get some respect in the form of millions of new fans and a hit

album. Joey tells us that radio and MTV are all smiles; we hope that

translates to air play. Actually, we're sure it will. The group is

heading off to Europe in July, but upon their return we're hoping

they'll begin a major tour of the US. We hear that one of the

extremely popular bands they influenced are considering a double-bill.

We can't emphasize too strongly how important this band has been to the

rock and roll that has come in their wake during the past 20 years. All

true rock 'n' roll fans owe it to themselves to get Adios

Amigos. On July 4, do your duty.