The widely-hyped documentary, End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones (Magnolia Films) has its New York City premiere today, Aug. 20th at the Angelika Film Center, in downtown Manhattan.
End of the Century, named after the band’s 1980 album produced by Phil Spector, features previously unseen footage tracing the rock-n-roll rise to fame of the band’s founders, pseudo brothers, Joey and DeeDee Ramones. From an unspectacular suburban start in Forest Hills, Queens, the Ramones made punk rock history at CBGBs in the Seventies and an inestimable impact on the London punk craze. Filmmakers Michael Gramaglia and Jim Fields also show the flip side of fame, including the Ramones’ documented struggle with alcohol and drug abuse.
"They [Joey and DeeDee] were big personalities, you know," said Fields in a phone interview about Joey who died in 2001 and DeeDee who died in 2002. "I'm not sure how comfortable they would have been with some of the more personal stuff that comes up in the film."
Culminating with the Ramones’ induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, advance word on the Magnolia Films rock doc is strong, news to Fields ears after the five years of blood, sweat and tears he and Gramaglia have poured into their labor of love.
"To me, it's really been important to show how important the Ramones are to rock and roll history," said Fields, who agrees that the influence of the Ramones was often ironically overshadowed by the British punk scene they so clearly influenced."It's been great to set the record straight and show just how influential the Ramones have been."
End of the Century will also be reaching screens across in the country, including: Wash. D.C., Berkeley, San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA; Denver, CO; Cambridge MA; and Seattle, Washington.
Dont't forget to also check out: Ramones: End of the Century