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Born to Die in BerlinRamones Museum

With a perfect final brush stroke, my version of the Fritz Musictour concludes at the Ramones Museum — the world’s only museum solely dedicated to the legendary New York punk band.

Located on a nondescript side street in Berlin Mitte, the collection of 300+ artifacts resulted from the obsessions of Florian Hayler, a local Ramones fanatic. For € 3.50, visitors enter a small labyrinth of Ramones clothing, posters, news clippings, set lists, cardboard cutouts, skateboard decks, backstage passes, album covers and other ephemera.

At first, visitors may wonder why a band that so exemplified New York City would be memorialized as far away as Berlin, but Dee Dee Ramone, the band’s primary songwriter, spent much of his childhood in Berlin as an army brat. His mother was German and his own half-Germanness creeped into several Ramones lyrics over the years.

In 1995, the final song on the final Ramones album was titled, “Born to Die in Berlin,” penned by Dee Dee, even though he had long since left the band by then. The recording features him singing the bridge in German, which he submitted over the phone.
Museum has artifacts collected by Florian Hayler a local Ramones fanaticMuseum has artifacts collected by Florian Hayler, a local Ramones fanatic.
Dee Dee, who essentially invented punk rock bass playing, battled drugs for most of his life. In 2002, he sadly lost the fight, overdosing on heroin in Los Angeles at age 50 — just four months after the Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He often said that if he had to choose a real home, Berlin it would be.

In the end, I am left with a gorgeous new way of experiencing Berlin. My ears are ringing.

The new Ramones Museum opened in the Fall of 2008, a revival of the original museum which opened in 2005.  The Museum features over 500 pieces of memorabilia from the internationally acclaimed New York rock stars, and hosts live shows and movie screenings regularly. 

Open 7 days a week 12pm -10pm, the Museum is located at Krausnickstr. 23, 10115 Berlin-Mitte, Germany.

For a full list of upcoming events and more information visit Ramones Museum.


Gary Singh
is a freelance journalist who surfaces most often in San Jose, California.

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