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Ramones Mural at 'Birthplace of Punk' Damaged by Streaks of Red Paint

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | September 11, 2017 6:06pm
 The mural was painted last year at the Thorneycroft Ramp.
The mural was painted last year at the Thorneycroft Ramp.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

QUEENS — A mural featuring The Ramones hanging out at "the birthplace of punk" was damaged recently by nearly two dozen streaks of red paint.

The black-and-white mural was painted last year by artist Ori Carino at the Thorneycroft Ramp, a path leading to the rooftop of a garage at the Fanwood Estates, formerly known as the Thorneycroft Apartment complex, on 66th Avenue near 99th Street, on the Rego Park-Forest Hills border.

Commissioned by the Queens Museum, the mural was created as part of a series of events organized around an exhibit about the legendary group and its influence called “Hey Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk.”

Carino said that he was told about the damage by the property owner sometime last week and that it most likely occurred after the complex maintenance staff touched up the red wall above the mural, possibly shortly before it rained.

The artist also said that he is currently “in discussion with the property owner to find a solution.”

“It’s definitely repairable,” said Carino, who spent about 10 days painting the mural last year. “But it’s not the easiest thing in the world.”

The process, he said, would require washing off the mural and applying special sealers.

The mural was painted based on a 1975 photo taken by Bob Gruen, depicting the original band members — Jeffrey Hyman (Joey), Douglas Colvin (Dee Dee), Thomas Erdelyi (Tommy), and John Cummings (Johnny) — sitting atop the ramp, where they used to hang out as teenagers in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The ramp has been since been known as "the birthplace of punk.”

DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

Local historian Michael Perlman spotted the damage in early September.

“Damage contributes to more damage, so it is essential … to work collaboratively and precisely restore this unique and meaningful work of art in the shortest timespan possible, with respect to the memory of the Ramones and our great community,” Perlman said in an email.

“Murals are an inspirational and sometimes energizing gift to our community, and they often bear tribute to our history in a creative way," he added.

The property owner and the Queens Museum did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

This is not the first time this year that a Ramones mural in the neighborhood suffered damaged. Another mural depicting the band, painted last year on the wall under the LIRR overpass on 71st Avenue, became stained this spring by water and mud from the train tracks above.

It has since been restored by the Forest Hills Stadium, which had originally commissioned it.