If you are a fan of punk rock or rock-n-roll music in any capacity, the name Cj Ramone should ring a bell. Known for playing bass with The Ramones, one of punk’s most accomplished and influential groups, his solo catalog also stands alone as some really authentic and classic American punk rock. I knew he was a talented musician, but was happy to learn he is former USMC and a very dedicated father and family man. It is my pleasure and honor to share this feature with you.
1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?
My name is Cj Ramone, bass player for the world famous Ramones from 1989-96 when we retired. I started a family the year we stopped and left music to raise my kids. I returned part time in 2008, doing a handful of shows a year until 2012 when I went back to touring and recording as a full time musician as Cj Ramone. To keep balance in the family (and to keep my wife from killing me!) I generally don’t tour for more than 4 weeks at a time, with at least two weeks off between tours, I am lucky enough to have REALLY supportive in laws that move in with us for the time I am gone. When I am home, I spend as much time as I can with my 3 kids. My youngest Mia Dove, is 7, Liliana is 16, and my oldest Liam is 19. Liam is in college studying culinary arts and also happens to be autistic, so a big shout out to my brothers and sisters in the AUTISTIC COMMUNITY!!! I am lucky enough to be able to do what I love and have a tight family unit.
2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?
There are no longer traditional roles. I am the cook and house keeper when I am home and my wife is the bread winner. It’s more about getting the job done and keeping things operating smoothly than anything else. When my two oldest were little, I was class parent every year, I went to every school event, parent teacher meeting, I was a Boy Scout and a Girl Scout leader, I was assistant coach for Liliana’s basketball team, made every sporting and orchestra event, etc… Modern day Dad does what it takes to get the job done, any job.
3. How did becoming a father change your life?
It changes everything, including who you are. All my decisions revolved around creating a stable environment for my kids and giving them opportunities to experience and explore anything they showed interest in. Sports, music, art, travel, anything to that would enrich their young lives. In doing that, it motivated me to treat myself better. I quit smoking, started to eat better and drink less. I learned what responsibility and commitment really meant. There was no calling in sick, no such thing as I don’t have time or I’m not in the mood to be daddy, procrastination was not possible, it was on me.
4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?
The unconditional love for and from my kids. Nothing in this world compares and you have to understand where I’m from. I have done a lot in my life. I was in the USMC, toured the world with a Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame band I grew up idolizing. I’ve played on stage with people like Robby Krieger from the Doors and even jumped up on stage at Madison Square Garden with Pearl Jam. I rode through every state in the US on a rigid Harley and travelled to places even people who travel often haven’t been to. So when I say being a dad is the greatest experience in my life, that’s what I am comparing it to.
5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?
When Liam was a boy, his mom and I became friends with the teachers and therapists at his first school. During the summer vacation we invited them all to the small cottage we lived in for a party. During the party I got up to use the bathroom. While I was sitting on the John, Liam threw the bathroom door wide open looking for me, fully exposing me to everyone sitting directly opposite the bathroom. Needless to say we all had a big laugh.
6. What advice can you give any new father out there?
There is nothing more important you will ever do in your life. Love, patience, and understanding are the most important tools you need to be successful. Be a good DAD!!!!
Thank you Cj! I really appreciate you taking the time to do our feature and wish you continued success in all that you do. You truly are a rad dad, talented musician, and I’m humbled you shared your experiences with us.
Make sure to support CJ and check out CJ RAMONE (DOT) COM (http://cjramone.com/)