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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Casting the Runaways Movie.... and now as The Ramones...

Dee Dee Ramone
Dee Dee Ramone

I guess everyone who cares knows that there is a motion picture feature about The Runaways in the making... I wondered who would be cast as whom... the one thing I had known for a long while that it was going to be directed and written for the screen by Floria Sigismondi, who is best known for her photography and for directing a ton of high profile music videos (Bowie, Marilyn Manson, White Stripes, The Cure, Raconteurs, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and more). She's a good 5 - 10 years younger than the median age of the 70s punk rock era people, so I have also always wondered how this age gap would work in terms of her being able to translate my particular "coming of age" period (and I'm 8 years older than she is) in a cultural milieu that my generation made safe for hers. It all remains to be seen, of course, but news comes from the PR machine about the casting of The Ramones in this story.

Johnny 2
Johnny Ramone

Here's the actual press release.

New York, NY, July 8 – St. Louis garage rockers Living Things are about to appear as one of their hero bands, the Ramones in the now-filming The Runaways, the biopic about the groundbreaking 70’s all-girl hard rock group led by Joan Jett. Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame plays Jett, with Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie and Academy Award-nominated actor Michael Shannon as the band’s “Svengali” Kim Fowley.

Kim Fowley
Kim Fowley svengali-ing it up in 2004

In the scene, which is shooting this month, the Ramones are playing at Rodney Bingenheimer’s notorious English Disco nightclub in Los Angeles circa 1975. Living Things have already recorded a cover of "We're A Happy Family" for the scene.

rodney pretty baby
Rodney Bingenheimer on Sunset Blvd., not far from the location of his club - which was at 7561 Sunset. Rodney's English Disco closed in 1975

In addition to having a useful resemblance in attitude to the punk progenitors, the band has a direct line into the production – singer Lillian Berlin is the husband of the film’s writer and director Floria Sigismondi.

“I love Joey Ramone,” said Berlin. “He is like the Elvis of punk. It's a mystical, exotic vacation to step into his shoes for a moment.”

Joey 1

If you are curious about this band cast to play The Ramones, the Living Things are currently on the road in support of their latest album Habeas Corpus. They will be appearing at Lollapalooza in Chicago’s Grant Park on August 8th.

The Runaways is scheduled to hit theaters in 2010.

You won't see anything like this (below) however. The movie is based on the few months leading up to the band getting signed.

the whole joan billy party

By the time this photo was taken, in 1978, the 20-year old Joan Jett was already a high-profile musician... Billy Idol was thrilled to meet her and her friends, also seen in this photo: Darby Crash and Lorna Doom of The Germs.


dick said...

this is so f'in cool. thank you

Tinker Ramone said...

I have been following the Runaways movie news. Very curious how it will turn out. I heard yesterday that the Ramones would be in the movie and saw who was playing them. I know nothing about them, so I guess I will wait and see.