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I Slept With Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir by Mickey Leigh and Legs McNeil

I Slept With Joey Ramone - Mickey Leigh, Legs McNeil

I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir tells the stories of Joey Ramone and his younger brother. Written by said younger brother Mickey Leigh and acquaintance Legs McNeil, this is described in the publisher's blurb on the back of the book as a memoir. That is partially correct - Leigh's story is intertwined with his more famous brothers and his point of view is interesting. However, the book devolved into an airing of family secrets and sibling resentment, and ultimately felt like a trashy tell-all.
Joey Ramone, lead singer of the seminal New York punk band The Ramones, had a tough but interesting life, and at least parts of that life were shared with his younger brother. The first half of the book was not bad at all - stories of the brothers' childhood was really interesting. After that, however, it devolved into a whining narrative by Leigh about the wrongs done to him by Joey and the rest of his family. I don't doubt that I read his honest perspective, but I'm not sure his family issues are any of my - or any other Ramones fan's - business. Those bitter statements felt especially wrong given that Joey is dead. I think a good third of this book should have been removed, but I realize that wouldn't leave much meat in this book. That said, there were segments of this book that were well written and even heartfelt - I actually cried at the end.
Leigh and McNeil certainly shared some interesting stories about Joey and the other Ramones, but this is more an airing of grievances than a Ramones story. I felt kind of dirty and awkward reading about someone else's family business. Ramones fans might find parts of this memoir interesting, but it's ultimately not worth reading.

Read this review and more on The Library Lass Book Talk Blog.