'When the miracle occurred...'

17 Sep 20148
'I woke up at the moment when the miracle occurred/
Heard a song that made some sense out of the world/
Everything I ever lost now has been returned/
The most beautiful sound I ever heard....'

'The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)' opens 'Songs of Innocence' and in the sleeve notes, Bono recalls how the fledgling U2 first saw the band that inspired the song.

'I couldn’t sing with any of the jagged edges of the great rock or punk rock singers,' he writes. 'I sang like a girl....that felt uncomfortable until the Ramones happened to me as they must happen to everyone.'

In 1977 Larry, 14, Edge, 15, Adam and Bono, both 16, went to see the Ramones play in the state cinema  in Dublin.  'We had no tickets and no money... My best friend Guggi had a ticket and he snuck us through a side exit he pried open. The world stopped long enough for us to get on it. Even though we only saw half the show, it became one of the great nights of our life....'

'After the Ramones,' writes Bono,  'I could try and be myself as a singer. I just needed to find out who that was...'

Now Gil Kaufman for MTV News, has spoken to friends and family of Joey Ramone to get their response - here's some highlights.

Mickey Leigh, Joey's Brother:  'I’m not sure grateful is the right word, but awestruck is a better description...
'...it’s so beautiful. I loved it. It’s Bono’s interpretation and his spirit, but it also captures Joey’s spirit. He described my brother’s spirit well. I think he got just what Joey would have wanted out of it.'

Marky Ramone, Longtime Ramones Drummer: 'I’m very grateful U2 wrote a song about my former friend and bandmate Joey Ramone. Joey would have been honored. It is well-deserved.'

Jesse Malin, Friend of Joey: 'The thing I respect about U2 beyond this song is how they’re giving a shout-out to Joey as their inspiration. They’re not on a bandwagon of ‘now we’ll be into the Ramones because they’re dead.’ He [Joey] got to feel the love and respect from them and this song is coming from truly the right place and I totally back it after seeing how they were with him.'

John Holmstrom, founding editor of Punk Magazine: 'It’s wonderful that the song is getting so much attention. I watched football on Sunday and I saw U2 (in the Apple spot) and I see all these images of punk rockers all over the commercial. I think it’s great because this stuff was never on the radio and any attention it gets is good.'

Read the interviews in full at MTV News.

'While the music lives on for new generations to discover, 'I Slept with Joey Ramone' is the enduring portrait of a man who struggled to find his voice and of the brother who loved him....' Mickey has also written a powerful memoir about growing up with a brother who became a rock star. As Bono says on the cover,  'Joey Ramone kick-started my career as a singer...'

See also Bono's Eulogy in Time Magazine, following Joey Ramone's death in 2001.

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awesome song !!!
I love The Miracle Of Joey Ramone, I have to admit that I was late getting into the Ramones but I have been a fan for about 10 years now & that's how I felt when I first heard them so that's why this song is brilliant & means a lot to me !!!!! "The most beautiful sound I ever heard" U2 have done Joey & The Ramones proud on this track, Edge's great punky guitar is brilliant & Adam & Larry are at their finest, you can hear the passion of them all to The Ramones !!!!!
My favorite song!!! Bono's voice sounds AMAZING!!! Makes my heart swell!!! Thank you, U2...again!!! Can't wait until next summer
In 2001 Ramones awarded by U2
I am ecstatic reading these comments from Joey Ramone's friends and family. Apart from U2 showing them some real respect, let's not forget that back in 2001, at the MTV (American) Video Music Awards show in New York, U2 were given a Life-time achievement award that night, and as they were accepting their award, they brought out members of The Ramones onto the stage and they gave away and presented their award to The Ramones instead of accepting it for themselves! Joey had passed away the previous April. I remember being awestruck at the time for them doing this! If my memory serves me well, U2 had given Joey a copy of 'All That You Can't Leave' Behind to listen to while he was in hospital, and this was the last album that he listened to in his final days. But days after, or even hours after U2 giving the Ramones their Life-time achievement award in New York...9/11 happened...and most of the world forgot about this gesture. So they didn't just open up the beers for Joey and his mate in a dressing room, they gestured The Ramones with this incredible act of Respect and Honour. On a different note, if anyone out there is ever feeling down, or are depressed, and you are being sent to Therapy to help you with your troubles, do yourself a favour....go out and buy a copy of "Mondo Bizarro" by The Ramones, turn up the volume and let yourself go, and i promise you that by the end of this album you will have Healed yourself completely!!!! and you will be grinning like a Cheshire Cat. 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - Healed! I can see The Ramones reaching the same status as The Doors for a new generation hopefully, but they have always been up there for me. Mr Scorsese...make that movie! Thanks U2!
Inspiration in everything you do
A fitting tribute to a legend by four legends, Your work has touched my heart and soul since i was a boy, the way in which your music reaches out to all of your fans is indeed something very special, Cheers Gary
The Ramones are for you guys what U2 is
We grew up on U2 as you guys grew up on The Ramones. The warmth you feel for them is the same as the warmth we feel for you guys. Cant wait til you tour... I think Iris will be fabulous in a stadium... amazing for a song with such an intimate core.
The Ramones are for you guys what U2 is
We grew up on U2 as you guys grew up on The Ramones. The warmth you feel for them is the same as the warmth we feel for you guys. Cant wait til you tour... I think Iris will be fabulous in a stadium... amazing for a song with such an intimate core.
Solace Of The Heart We Run To The Future Back To The Start Peering Backward Racing Ahead Tracing Foot Prints We Left In Our Path Tracking Inspiration Down I Smell The Smells That Bring Me Around Back To The Beginning Of My Hometown
In a little while.... Oh Joey. The Mirac
When the night takes a deep breath and the daylight has no end...... the last song Joey heard. Miracle is an awesome tribute to the spark that ignited such an awesome journey that only a few people in the history of this world will experience. Thanks to the boys for making something out of nothing that has been in so many ways, the soundtrack to my life.
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