When Danny Fields first saw the Ramones play at CBGBs in New York in 1974, he instantly offered to be their manager and just as quickly scored them their first record deal. For the next three years, he photographed the seminal punk rockers all over Europe and America as they went on tour and quickly became pop culture icons whose influence is still felt today.
Now his images, over 200 of them, only ever released in a rare limited edition have been collected in a new book called My Ramones from Reel Art Press, now available to order on Amazon. From 1975-1977 as the band became world famous, Fields documented magazine shoots, underground gigs, recording sessions, parties and more with unparalleled access.
The images are accompanied by pithy commentary from Fields and memories and recollections from the likes of REM frontman Michael Stipe, music biz legend Seymour Stein (immortalized by Belle & Sebastian) and David Johansen of the New York Dolls.
Among his biggest achievements at the time, Fields brought the Ramones to England where they "inspired the nascent UK punk movement" including the likes of the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned, leading to some of the most important music of our time.
Under Fields' management, the Ramones recorded their seminal first album Ramones with the opening track "Blitzkrieg Bop" as well as "Judy is a Punk" later used by Wes Anderson on The Royal Tenenbaums soundtrack; as well as Leave Home, and Rocket to Russia. The 1980 Ramones album End of the Century includes the track "Danny Says", about Fields, later covered by the Foo Fighters and Tom Waits.
Fields was the first person to play the Ramones to Lou Reed, co-founder of the Velvet Underground; was pals with Andy Warhol, Nico and "It" girl Edie Sedgwick; helped Doors frontman Jim Morrison become a superstar; and introduced Iggy Pop to David Bowie, among other moments of cultural impact.
Joey Ramone died in 2001 at the age of 49; Dee Dee succumbed to a drug overdose in 2002; Johnny fell victim to cancer in 2004, and cancer also killed Tommy in 2014. Yet other musicians, fashion designers including John Varvatos who turned CBGBs into a boutique/rock music shrine, and nearly everyone who's ever worn a motorcycle jacket with Converse continue to pay homage to them to this day.