January 16, 2019 / 6:20 AM

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Joey Ramone's Brother, Marky Ramone Talk About U2's Tribute Song

 

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The lead single from U2's surprise album Songs of Innocence, "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)," is about the first time the band from Dublin saw The Ramones and how that performance changed their lives. 

With so many personal emotions involved with the track, it's evident that the the song means a lot to U2, but MTV News decided to ask those who were close to the punk icon, who died in 2001 from lymphoma, what they think of the tune. Joey's brother, Mickey Leigh, had been working with Apple to get the company approved to use the singer's likeness, but he didn't know the reason behind it. "It made me feel so good ... [When I] finally found out what it was all about, my jaw dropped right away." Leigh wasn't sure is he would like the song, but it's proved to be a fitting tribute in his opinion. "I loved it. It's Bono's interpretation and his spirit, but it also captures Joey's spirit. He described my brother's spirit well. I think he got just what Joey would have wanted out of it."

Longtime drummer and sole surviving member of the group Marky Ramone said he was grateful to U2 for penning the song, and friend Jesse Malin remembered how welcoming Bono was to Joey when they met backstage at Saturday Night Live in 2000. John Holstrom, a founding editor for Punk Magazine, relished the fact that the punk genre will reach so many people because of the U2 track. "I watched football on Sunday and I saw U2 [in the Apple commercial that uses the Ramone tribute song] and I see all these images of punk rockers all over the commercial. I think it's great because this stuff was never on the radio and any attention it gets is good," he told MTV.

Songs of Innocence was released for free to millions of iTunes users on Sept. 9.

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