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Posted by on May 16, 2023 in Music, News, Powerpop, Powerpop Books |

Book Review: Carl Cafarelli’s Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramones

Book Review: Carl Cafarelli’s Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramones

I’m roughly the same age as Carl Cafarelli, author of Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramones. It’s not hyperbole when I say that having seen The Ramones in 1978 changed the way I look at music and the world. In fact, one of my most cherished possessions is my copy of Leave Home with “Carbona Not Glue”, the song that was deleted from future pressings because of a law suit courtesy of the Carbona company.

However, in the 80’s and 90’s I lost track of some of the things I loved most, including music. There were more pressing matters. So when Goldmine Magazine published an interview with the Ramones (Joey, Johnny, Marky and CJ) back in 1994, I completely missed it. I was busy wiping noses and changing diapers. 

Carl Cafarelli to the rescue (with an assist from Rare Bird Books). That particular issue of Goldmine may be long out of print but with Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation with The Ramones, we get the interview as it appeared in 1994 plus some. Thanks to Carl’s research, we get anecdotes about characters like Phil Spector and Seymour Stein. We learn about novelty releases this Ramones fan had not previously known about. The sidebars are sometimes as engaging as the interview itself.

While conducted separately with each member by phone, Cafarelli creates the illusion that they’re all in the same room. By presenting it to us in this fashion, we get a sense of the competing forces within the band as well as the unique qualities each member possessed – what made the whole so much more than simply the sum of its parts.

All these years later, this book represents an opportunity to relive the adventures of a most unlikely band of heroes. One cannot place a price on that. Then again, someone has. Head on over to Rare Bird Books and for the paltry sum of $25, you can read a tale so unbelievable that one would have never thought it possible – unless you believe in miracles.

Note: If you prefer Amazon, you can get it there, too!