ARTURO VEGA
(1947 - 2013)
A great supporter to us, while and after the Ramones. A great person. Sadly missed.

1. Your date and place of birth:
> OCTOBER 13, BEFORE COLOR TELEVISION

2. What have you done professionally “before” the Ramones and why did
you move to NYC and “entered” the local Artists’ Scene? Was it hard to overlive in the beginning, and what jobs do you had to do for?
>  THE LAST THING I DID IN MEXICO BEFORE I MOVED TO NEW YORK WAS A COLLEGE
PRODUCTION (I WASN'T IN COLLEGE) OF TOMMY, THE WHO'S ROCK OPERA, I PLAYED COUSIN KEVIN, DESIGNED THE COSTUMES AND CO-DIRECTED. ROCK WAS ALWAYS MY GUIDING LIGHT, ALWAYS WENT FOR IT. I HAD BEEN IN SAN FRANCISCO IN THE 60'S
SUMMER OF LOVE AND ALL, AND THE MONTEREY POP FESTIVAL, BUT NEW YORK WAS A MORE IMPORTANT ART CITY SO I DECIDED TO MOVE HERE. MY FIRST JOB WAS AS A MESSENGER, I DID A LOT OF DISH WASHING, I WAS ALWAYS OFFERED TO BE A WAITER BUT I DIDN'T WANT TO DEAL WITH PEOPLE, MY FAVORITE JOB WAS AT AN ORANGE JULIUS, MAKING JUICE AND FLIPPING HAMBURGERS, IT WAS ON 42ND ST. I WORKED THE NIGHT SHIFT, IN THOSE DAYS TIME'S SQUARE WAS ALL ABOUT SEX, DRUGS AND CRIME, WE USED TO KEEP THE DEALERS STASH BEHIND THE COUNTER, IT WAS VERY EXITING.

3. You’ve been a painter “before”, so how did it worked out with different backgrounds in the Scene of the 70’s, Musicians, Artists, Writers?
> IT ALL HAPPENED IN A VERY NATURAL, ORGANIC WAY. I FOUND A LOFT IN 1973 (I
STILL LIVE HERE) AROUND THE CORNER OF CBGB BEFORE ANYTHING WAS HAPPENING THERE. IT WAS A MATTER OF BEING IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME, AND I WASN'T THE ONLY ONE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING EXITING TO DO,   IT BECAME A MOVEMENT BECAUSE THE AREA WAS FULL OF CREATIVE PEOPLE IN ALL AREAS OF THE ARTS, CBGB BECAME THE CENTER OF IT ALL AND MY LOFT WAS RAMONES CENTRAL.

4. Whom, when and why of the Ramones did you met first?
> DEEDEE USED TO COME TO MY BUILDING TO SEE A GIRL THAT LIVED ABOVE ME, THE
YEAR WAS 1973, I WAS ALWAYS PAINTING DURING THE DAY LISTENING TO ARTIST LIKE T-REX, LOU REED, BOWIE, IGGY. MY DOOR WAS ALWAYS OPEN SO ONE DAY HE CAME IN AND SAID HE LIKED THAT KIND OF MUSIC TOO AND STARTED TALKING TO ME ABOUT HIS PLANS TO GET A BAND TOGETHER WITH HIS FRIENDS FROM QUEENS, THEN IN MARCH OF 1974 HE INVITED ME TO THEIR FIRST SHOW AT A PRIVATE PARTY, JOHNNY, JOEY AND DEEDEE WERE A TRIO.

5. How did it came you started working for them, on the Lightboard, that
you did the Shirts from early on and the Eagle-Logo, became their “Muse”?
> BY THE TIME THEY DID THEIR SECOND SHOW I WAS ALREADY WORKING WITH THEM, IT WAS THEIR FIRST CBGB SHOW AND I WAS A "ROADIE" EVEN IF THE ROAD WAS JUST A HALF A BLOCK WALK FROM THE LOFT. I HELPED SET UP TOMMY'S DRUMS, JOHNNY AND DEEDEE JUST CARRIED THEIR OWN LITTLE AMPS THAT THEY PLACED ON CHAIRS. THERE WERE ABOUT 16 PEOPLE IN THE ROOM. I STARTED DOING THE LIGHTS WHEN MORE PEOPLE STARTED TO COME TO THE SHOWS. LATER ON   I STARTED PRINTING THE SHIRTS TO PAY FOR MY TRAVELING EXPENSES, SINCE THE RECORD COMPANY WAS FUNDING ALL TRAVELING AND THEY WOULDN'T PAY FOR MINE. JOEY, DEEDEE AND MY SELF USED TO PRINT THE T-SHIRTS AT THE LOFT, JOEY COULD REACH THE PIPES ON THE CEILING AND HANG THEM TO DRY, THE SHIRTS SOLD REALLY WELL FROM THE BEGINNING AND BECAME THE BAND'S PRINCIPAL SOURCE OF INCOME FOR YEARS.

6. You’ve been with the Ramones for all the 22 years and you missed only 2 shows. Would you tell us which shows and why you missed them?
> ONCE WE WERE GOING TO CANADA AND THEY DIDN'T LET ME CROSS THE BORDER BECAUSE THE OFFICER DIDN'T LIKE THE IDENTIFICATION I WAS CARRYING, THAT WAS IN THE 70'S. THE SECOND TIME I WAS IN A RENTED CAR WITH THE ROAD CREW, WE WERE GOING TO START A TOUR IN BALTIMORE, THE COPS STOPPED US IN THE HIGHWAY AND SEARCH THE CAR, SOME OF THE GUYS HAD SOME POT AND WE ALL WENT TO JAIL, AND I MEAN JAIL, I WAS GIVEN MY ORANGE JUMP SUIT, BED SHITS, TOWEL, PILLOW AND TOILET PAPER AND SPEND THE NIGHT IN A LARGE CELL WITH ABOUT 24 GUYS. WE CAME OUT THE NEXT MORNING AFTER BREAKFAST WHICH WAS AWFUL.

Some more here- Arturo’s Questionnaire from end of 1993, originally released in the Loudmouth!-FanZine:


7.    Q&A:
A- Do you miss the CBGB’s?
> I MISS IT BEING THERE, LIKE IF IT WAS A PERSON, A FRIEND EVEN A
RELATIVE YOU CAN NO LONGER SEE AND TALK TO.
B- Do you miss touring?
> I AM ALWAYS HAPPY WITH WHAT I AM DOING, I HAVE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH I
HAVE ALWAYS DONE WHAT I WANT, BUT I LOVED TOURING, I LIKE TRAVELING.
C- Would you name yourself a fan of the Ramones’ Music?
> I WAS ALWAYS TOTALLY HOOKED ON THE LIVE SHOW, NEVER LIKED THE ALBUMS, JUST DIDN'T COMPARED, THE RAMONES WERE A BAND TO EXPERIENCE LIVE.
D- Do you listen to them often?
> NOW I DO, BUT MOSTLY LIVE RECORDINGS, EXCEPT FOR JOEY'S SOLO ALBUM, I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT
E- What was this “special thing” about the Ramones to you, the “thing”
that makes them unforgotten years after they quitted, years even after we
had the sad losses?
> THEIR MUSIC IS PURE AND ANGRY YOUNG ENERGY, THEY NEVER LOST THEIR CREDIBILITY AS THE ULTIMATE UNDERDOG BAND THAT NEVER STOPPED FIGHTING FOR WHAT THEY BELIEVED IN, NEVER COMPROMISED.
F- What’s your fave music today? And what are your all-time-Faves?
>  MY   FAVORITE BAND RIGHT NOW IS AGAINST ME, I ALWAYS FIND GREAT BANDS AT THE WARPED TOUR, I SAW ANIMO THERE TOO, THAT TOUR IS MY FAVORITE EVENT OF THE YEAR.
G- Will you ever work for a band again and come over here, like you did with the Misfits?
> MMMMMMMMM MAYBE WHO KNOWS
H- Would you agree: Living at the adress “Joey Ramone-Place” is to live at the coolest adress in the world…
> YEAH IT FEELS THAT WAY TO ME.
I- How would you describe the pain while you became the large
Ramones-Tattoo on your back?
> IT WASN'T THAT BAD, I JUST KEPT THINKING, I WAS DOING SOMETHING RIGHT
MEMORIALIZING THE BEST WORK I HAVE EVER DONE FOR THE COOLEST BAND EVER, I KNEW I WOULD LOOK GREAT, WE ALREADY KNOW THAT DESIGN "WORKS".