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RAMONES "ROCKET TO RUSSIA" with guest Ed Stasium

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station description The official Rhino Podcast, featuring deep dives into classic artists and albums, i... read more
The Rhino Podcast
Duration: 26:07
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the Ramones, except for say, I saw her standing there right by the Beatles. Which 1234 The Ramones kept the countdown's in so many of their songs. They did. We do have them. Yeah, we actually, it's funny that you say that on Sheena. All you hear is four, and that's because they were ready to go and the tape machine wasn't rolling. This is true tape Machine wasn't rolling and he's going 1230 hey, had said three, and I hit the button to record the track, and that's why there's only four. That's why there's only the four day right there that that is the story I will be telling again. And that's my party story. You just gave me my party story, all right.
I'm gonna rock. How many of the songs on the record would you say you got? First take? I would say Majority of them, I would say Way probably did the tracking in two days. You know, between the set up the microphones, getting sounds and recording all of how many songs were there. 14 that we did probably did those in two days, maybe three very minimal editing, probably one or two takes. That was a media sound, that we went to Power Station and we did vocals there as well. We did most of the vocals of Power Station, and it was probably a couple weeks. There may be 2.5 weeks with doing vocals and mixing. Did you get together with the band before the initial tracking sessions of doing any pre production? No. Never did that for Road to Ruin. I did, and then for subsequent records that I worked with the boys with. I definitely had pre production, but they did a lot on their own. Tony Bon Jovi, I don't believe, even went to a rehearsal sessions. Three guys just did it. Their joint put it together. They knew what they were doing. They
mix around the room mix and it's there. No guitar overdubs, just the band Johnny, Joey and Tommy just roaring. And there were there were a peak performance at that particular time. The tracking mix is the band live in the studio. You can really hear the room mix in this new mix. Fortunately, we had at least 2 to 3 tracks of Joey because we double tracked him a lot. There was some extra tracks, so I made some compilation vocal for these new mixes as well, and it's very exciting. I think the fans are gonna really love it. It's It's Ramones, all Ramones all the time. Ramones balls to the wall. So Ramones always thought of the fan. So I wanted to keep that in mind, and I have. You know, I I knew the guys intimately. Really. I hear their voices in my head, you know, giving me suggestions as to what to dio for these new mixes. It's raw, it's in your face. So we have the original album, which we re mastered. It just sounds great. I love those mixes. I love this record and always looking for stuff for the fans. It's really great that during looking at the multi tracks, I always had thought that the version of I Don't Care That was on Rocket to Russia was one that we had recorded at Media Sound because I remember recording it there. But when I did a little more research and little more listening into it, the version of I Don't Care That's On Rocket to Russia is actually the B side of Sheena that were recorded Son Dragon that same day the same day. Yeah, which the multi tracks are actually missing. For those, I might add, they have their m i a Can't find them. There was a version of I Don't Care That I used in the tracking mix It Z never been released before. That version of the tracking mix of I Don't Care is brand new, never been heard before its world premiere done the same way as the rest of them. And also there is a version of It's a long Way back to Germany that we cut for a rocket to Russia that was never used. We re recorded that song for road to ruin, and so we have a long way back to Germany we have one version with Joey's vocal. There's also a version with DDS vocal on the second CD. No Way, Get Your Way, the December 1977 show from Scotland. This happened a few days before it's alive was recorded. Were you following the band on tour and capturing multiple recordings? Yes, we recorded five or six shows. I couldn't make this particular show, so I didn't record it. And it shows, Uh, you know, the culmination of it was, of course, at the Rainbow Theater in London, which we we used for its alive. That's what we That's the show that we used. We didn't use any of the other one, so it's great this this has never been released before and it's a kick ass show. It sounds when I pulled it up and listen to was like, Whoa, they were amazing. I might say that they were very consistent with their shows. The sets were consistent, and at this particular juncture in the Ramones career, they were red hot. They were very consistent in this shows, you know, I was at those five or six shows and they knocked him out. They were regiment, you know, they were trained to do this. It was like an army. The Johnny Ramone Army. Yeah, and they used to practice before the gigs. I don't know if you're aware of that, but they used to do about a half hour set in their dressing room, and they would go over like, 20 or 30 minutes of a set before they were right before they would go on stage. December 77 was was the band drawing bigger crowds in the UK and they were in the States huge, huge and rabbit fans. You can tell by the audience tracks. So they were just going crazy for the Ramones. Love them much more loved all over the world in South America as well. Throughout their entire career, they did their gigs in the States, but they were playing clubs pretty much up until the end. You know, they had a couple of big shows like the you Know, the Law Blues of the Tour and Escape from New York Tour with Tom, Tom Club and Blondie, and they played larger venues, but they're they're always doing the club thing. That they weren't appreciated as much in the United States is they were appreciated in Europe and the UK in South America, it's a shame that they didn't see the huge success.
So we have the original album, which we re mastered. It just sounds great. I love those mixes. I love this record and always looking for stuff for the fans. It's really great that during looking at the multi tracks, I always had thought that the version of I Don't Care That was on Rocket to Russia was one that we had recorded at Media Sound because I remember recording it there. But when I did a little more research and did, um, or listening into it, the version of I Don't Care That's on Rocket to Russia is actually the B side of Sheena that were recorded Son Dragon that same day the same day. Yeah, which the multi tracks are actually missing. For those, I might add, they have their M i A. Can't find them. There was a version of I Don't Care that I used in the tracking mix It Z never been released before. That version of the tracking mix of I Don't Care is brand new, never been heard before its world premiere done the same way as the rest of them, and also there is a version of It's a long Way Back to Germany that we cut for a rocket to Russia that was never used. We re recorded that song for road to ruin and so we have a long way back to Germany. We have one version with Joey's vocal. There's also a version with DDS vocal on the second CD.
Did you guys approach the recording of Rocket to Russia differently than the previous album Ramones leave home? Well, yes. Yeah, absolutely. You know, Ramones, leave home. I had been living in Canada. I've been working at the Studio Morin Heights in the Laurentian Mountains, 45 miles above Montreal. We approached it when we did leave home. We did it in a really tiny little studio. We did it in a place called Sun Dragon. And it was a little 16 track. Literally. The controlling was smaller than my room. You know, extra bedroom that I use is a control room. The recording room itself was all carpeted and dead while I was working at the studio Morin Heights. I had the privilege to work with Roy Thomas Baker right after he had worked with when when queen came out with the night at the opera and Bohemian Rhapsody took over and I did a record with him with a band named Pilot. Eso Roy came up Thio Studio Morin Heights. It was a residential studio out in the woods and the wiles of, you know, Quebec. We had a drum booth there and myself and my fellow engineer up there, Nick Begona. We always set the drums in the drum booth. And to that point, uh, in my when I started from 72 until I started this Ramones record in 76. Well, I always put drums in the drum booth and didn't everything up and put padding on the drums and, you know, everything is close miked. And when Nick and I set up the drums for a pilot session, we put the drums in the drum booth, and Roy Baker came in the next day. Oh, what are you doing with the drums in that little room over there? You need to put him out here and get some of that lovely room sound. So this changed my philosophy recording, and I was able to put that into effect. With that, I wasn't able to put it into effect with Leave Home. But when we did rocket to Russia, we did it at Media Sound, which was a was located in Manhattan, 3 11 West 57th Street, and it used to be the Manhattan Baptist Church. It was actually ah, huge, almost cathedral like room. As soon as I knew we were doing it there. I was so excited because I hadn't been able to use the philosophy of using those room mix in a large room at Sun Dragon. There was no room for There's literally no space to even have room microphones. So the first thing we did was set up the band in media sound and basically in a live situation. We had everybody. I think we have DDS cabinets back, bathroom hall in there, but it's still like blood into the main room. And Johnny was in the main room with some baffles around his amps. But the band was basically live in the studio. I can only say, you know, I just had that vision, So we used to probably to you 80 sevens in the room and put him up there really pretty, very high. And it just got the Ramones. There was no editing. We did it, you know, one or two takes maybe more There. There might have been minimal editing on a couple songs, but the band always play live. No click track going right to tape. It was it just sounded great. And when I got the multi tracks back to work on the box set. We wanted to come up with something special that the fans would enjoy. And when I brought those multi tracks up in her those room mix, which I didn't use to the full extent in the actual original mixes, those things sounded amazing. They're just the band is roaring through the room, so I actually based this tracking mix around the room mix. And it's there. No guitar overdubs, just the band Johnny, Joey and Tommy just roaring and there were there were a peak performance at that.
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