Richie Ramone (born Richard Reinhardt,August 11, 1957 ), also sometimes known as Richard Beau, is an American drummer best known for being the drummer for the iconic punk band the Ramones and the only Ramones drummer to be the sole composer and writer of Ramones songs.
Life and career
Richie joined the band around the time of the release of Subterranean Jungle in late 1982 and appears in two music videos from that album, although he did not play on the record itself. He played on the Ramones albums Too Tough to Die, Animal Boy and Halfway To Sanity and appears on their compilation albums Greatest Hits, Loud, Fast Ramones: Their Toughest Hits and Weird Tales of the Ramones, and on the Ramones live DVD It's Alive 1974-1996. He penned the Ramones' hit song "Somebody Put Something in My Drink" which is included on the album Ramones Mania, the only Ramones album to go gold, as well as "Smash You", "Humankind", "I'm Not Jesus", "I Know Better Now" and "(You) Can't Say Anything Nice". Richie's songs "I'm Not Jesus" and "Somebody Put Something in my Drink" have been covered by new generations of bands worldwide, particularly metal bands like Children of Bodom and Behemoth.
Richie was the only drummer to sing lead vocals on Ramones songs, including "Can’t Say Anything Nice" and the unreleased "Elevator Operator", as well a multitude of Ramones demos. Richie's singing ability was greatly appreciated by the Ramones quintessential frontman and punk rock icon Joey Ramone: "Richie's very talented and he's very diverse . . . He really strengthened the band a hundred percent because he sings backing tracks, he sings lead, and he sings with Dee Dee's stuff. In the past, it was always just me singing for the most part." Richie performed over 500 shows with the Ramones all over the world, including South America, where rabid Richie fans held up signs proclaiming "Richie" and "Drink" in homage to their idol Richie Ramone.
The relationship of the Ramones members was often rocky, as documented in 22-year tour manager Monte Melnick’s book, On the Road with the Ramones, and Mickey Leigh’s book, I Slept with Joey Ramone. In the documentary End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones, Richie reveals that he had artistic differences with Johnny Ramone that escalated in the recording studio while Richie was remixing Halfway to Sanity at the late night request of Joey Ramone to fix the album. However, Richie was fortunate to enjoy close bonds with the songwriter and bassist Dee Dee Ramone and Joey Ramone who stated, “(Richie) saved the band as far as I’m concerned. He’s the greatest thing to happen to the Ramones. He put the spirit back in the band.”
Richie left the band abruptly in August 1987, allegedly because of a dispute over money. According to interviews in the film End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones, he quit after Johnny Ramone refused to evenly share the money from t-shirt sales with him. Subsequently, Richie worked on some of Dee Dee's solo recordings. He was briefly replaced by Elvis Ramone (aka Clem Burke of Blondie and Romantics fame). After Elvis played just two gigs, Richie's predecessor Marky Ramone rejoined the band and stayed until the band broke up in 1996.
Richie attended Joey Ramone’s funeral on April 17, 2001, two days after Joey died.
In September 2007, Richie filed a federal lawsuit entitled Reinhardt v. Wal-mart Stores, Inc. et al. in the Southern District of New York. He alleged that the copyright on the six tunes he wrote for the Ramones had been infringed when the band's management licensed the band's recordings for sale as digital downloads. The defendants were Wal-mart Stores, Inc., Apple, Inc., RealNetworks, Inc., Taco Tunes, Inc., Ramones Productions, Inc., Estate of John Cummings, Herzog & Strauss, and Ira Herzog (i.e., he was suing the band, its managers, its publishing company, and three leading sellers of digital downloads.) Judge Shira A. Scheindlin dismissed the case in May 2008, on the grounds that no copyright infringement had occurred, even though she acknowledged that there might be other unsettled issues between Richie Ramone and his former band. Indeed there were, and the resolution resulted in Richie Ramone obtaining full writing and publishing rights to the songs he wrote while in the Ramones.
Richie is still very actively involved with music, as a composer and instrumentalist. In August 2007, he debuted a classical composition entitled "Suite for Drums and Orchestra" (based on themes from West Side Story) with the Pasadena Pops. Richie Ramone was both the featured soloist and the concerto's co-composer, something no other punk rock drummer has done. The work was commissioned by Pops music director Rachael Worby and was met with acclaim by critics who noted that Richie "brought the audience to its feet after his faster-than-the- human-eye-can-follow drumming". Richie continues to play at the annual Joey Ramone Birthday Bashes and is in preparation to go on tour with his new band. In 2011, the Ramones were awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. During Richie Ramone's speech at the awards ceremony, Richie noted that it was the first time in history that all three drummers were under the same roof, and mused that he couldn't "...help thinking that (Joey Ramone) is watching us right now with a little smile on his face behind his rose-colored glasses."
Richie Ramone recorded an album with The Gobshites on November 25–27, 2011. In 2012, Richie Ramone recorded a five song EP with the Canadian punk rock band The Rock n Roll Rats. Richie Ramone is also the only surviving Ramone to be featured on the long anticipated second Joey Ramone solo album Ya Know?, which was released on May 22, 2012.
In 2013, Richie Ramone signed with DC-Jam Records and released his first solo album, "Entitled," on October 8, 2013. Billboard debuted the LP's first single, "Criminal" and noted, "Back to holding the songwriting reins, Ramone's 12 freshest cuts aim to please fans of both rock and metal with its blend of power chord-chugging simplicity and guitar hero virtuosity."
Richie Ramone Drumstick Collection
Current Drumstick Count in Collection: 7.