WISE WORDS: Richie Ramone On Respecting The Fans Because 'They Drive The Bus'

Drumming with the Ramones taught him one valuable lesson.

For the latest in our WISE WORDS interview series - where stars from a whole range of fields share the important life lessons they’ve learned along the way - we’re posing some of the big questions to RICHIE RAMONE.

Richie an American drummer best known for his work with iconic punk band The Ramones, from 1983 to 1987. He also helped compose six of the band’s songs.

He’s setting off on tour across the globe with dates across the UK and Ireland between 29 November and 15 December. To mark this, and his second solo album ‘Cellophane’, Richie sat down with HuffPostUK to discuss some of the lessons he’s learned along the way and what makes him happy...

<strong>Richie Ramone says his time with the Ramones taught him to respect the fans</strong>
Richie Ramone says his time with the Ramones taught him to respect the fans

What do you do to switch off from the world?

It is impossible to switch off from the world in the entertainment business. The only time you get away from it is when you finally fall asleep.

How do you deal with negativity?
You must have thick skin to deal with everything you read especially when negativity is involved. I think that if 50% of the public likes what you are doing and 50% of the public hates what you are doing, you are on the right track.

When and where are you happiest?
I am most comfortable when I’m on stage performing.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
The Ramones taught me many things, but the most important was how to treat the fans. Give them the respect they deserve because they drive the bus. They buy your records, they pay to come to your shows and they buy your merchandise. Without them you are nothing.

What has been the hardest lesson you’ve learned?
I tend to trust everyone at face value, but have learned that you need to be more aware of your surroundings. There are people out there who just want to be on your team for their own personal gain. You must learn to weed those people out.

What would you tell your 13-year- old self?
Nothing... At that age you must go out and face the world and start to figure out things on your own. If I were given advice at that young age, I probably would not listen anyway, because you will make mistakes and hopefully learn from them. You must do this on your own because it helps build your character and gives you your own personality.

What 3 things are at the top of your to-do list?
That’s a good question, but the only thing I want is to continue leading a healthy happy life. There is really nothing else I need or want to say that my life was complete.

What do you think happens when we die?
There are many theories about this, but really I don’t think anything happens. I don’t believe in after-life, but I do believe in spirits and ghosts. Those are souls who get trapped on earth and usually occur when they have a horrific tragic death. Maybe I watch too much TV.... haha

When do you feel a sense that we live in the presence of something bigger than ourselves?
Again, I don’t think there is anything like that. I don’t believe in karma either.

What do you try to bring to your relationships?
I try to be fair and treat everyone with respect and dignity. Just try and be the best person you can, even when times get tough. Being an asshole never works in the long run.

What keeps you grounded?
My parents have a lot to do with that as they have taught me how to be a gentleman. It is true that being a rock star you can start believing that you are better than everyone, but never go down that path. There is no difference between you and I, only our work is different.

What was the last good deed or act of kindness you received?
Hmm, so you are asking what someone did for me? Everyday is a blessing, and when people support my work and pay money to come see the band, that is an act of kindness. They don’t have to spend their money that they worked so hard to make. I truly thank everyone for this!

Richie Ramone will be coming to the UK and Ireland from 29 November as part of his world tour. Click here for tour tickets and info.