Johnny Ramone’s main guitar, his Mosrite Ventures II, is going under the hammer on September 25th – bidding is already open!
To be honest the guitar is in a bit of a state! It’s scratched, loads of the paint has worn away, the body is chipped and battered and the strap is attached to the guitar with duct tape! But that really doesn’t matter to serious music memorabilia collectors because this is Johnny Ramone’s main electric guitar – the one he used on stage for nearly 20 years to make some of punk’s most distinctive riffs with the legendary Ramones.
The white Mosrite guitar is now up for auction along with other punk memorabilia including Johnny’s early guitar amp and a set of Joey Ramone’s microphones with Boston-based RR Auction. The items have been collected by a close friend of the band, musician and songwriter Daniel Rey.
Rey produced three of the band’s albums, Halfway to Sanity, Brain Drain and ¡Adios Amigos!. He also co-wrote the popular Ramones single Pet Sematary with Dee Dee Ramone and played guitar on nine of the 11 songs on Joey Ramone’s 2002 solo album Don’t Worry About Me.
Johnny Ramone bought the 1965 Mosrite Ventures II guitar in 1977 and played it in every Ramones performance for the next two decades (about 1,985 shows, according to the auction house, RR Auction.) It was also used on all 15 of the band’s albums from that time period, the auction house says.
The signed amplifier from the auction was used by Johnny in some of the Ramones’ early CBGB shows, in 1974 and 1975, RR Auction says. And while it was only used in those first years (Rey said the band bought new amps as soon as they got a record contract ) the amp would have blared a signature sound.
The Electro-Harmonix Mike Matthews Freedom amp was also signed by Johnny Ramone.”That really introduced the world to the brutality of the Ramones’ guitar sound, which was the beautiful balance of the pop sensibility – the Beach Boys’ (type of) pop – and the brutal guitar sound which made the magic happen,” Rey said.
Rey also recalled how Johnny, who died in 2004, never liked to play minor chords, though he would if he had to. “Joey would write songs that had minor chords in it sometimes,” Rey said, “and Johnny would always refer to them as ‘those funny chords.’ He’d say to me, ‘Daniel, Joey’s song has one of those funny chords in it, doesn’t it?'”
The auction is scheduled for September 25 at RR Auction in Boston, and online bidding is already open.
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