Berlin may not be the most obvious location for the Ramones Museum. Nonetheless, amid the expensive restaurants and tourist destinations in Berlin Mitte is where you will find a piece of punk rock history.
"I don't think I chose to open one, I think a Ramones Museum chose me to open it"
After using his own flat to house his collection of Ramones memorabilia, Ramones Museum owner Florian Haylor was given a nudge to move his collection.
"I just had all of this stuff at home and my girlfriend at the time said 'it's too much, it's claustrophobic, get it out of here!' I had Johnny Ramone's pants... that made it okay for me to call it a museum."
But why move it to Krausnickstraße 23?
"Because we knew we were a tourist trap. Berlin locals don't see their own museums. I think I have seen like two museums maybe. What's good for us is that we have the shows, the concerts, so we get the locals too, because they want to see the bands. The Museum itself is for tourists, and I'm fine with that"
The Ramones Museum features hundreds of rare photos that cover the walls, detailing the Ramones' vivid history through images. Handwritten song lyrics are housed in glass cases. Arturo Vega's designs hang from the Ceiling, and Markey Ramone's iconic sneakers also have a home within the museum. The space offers a valued place to celebrate punk rock's history in Berlin. Flo is returning the favor that the Ramones did for him in his youth.
"It's a combination of things, you know, when you are young, they just gave you some kind of home. You just dressed in a leather jacket and jeans and you were instantly the coolest person in school. I guess it was a combination of things, I just needed a place to go because I didn't fit in anywhere , and I think that's exactly how everyone else felt who got into the Ramones, so it was a big chunk of misfits who fit under the Ramones banner. Back in the day when I got into them back in the 80's, no one knew about them, they were my band."
The Museum is not simply inanimate objects in glass cases. It is an entity that is alive with the electricity of music and the tangible presence of the Ramones in punk rock today.
"It looks like a living room, and I have all of my favorite bands play in my living room, surrounded by posters. When CJ Ramone played... I mean... if you told me twenty five years ago that this guy was going to play in my Ramones Museum in twenty five years I would never have expected this to happen. And thanks to all the bands who come out here and play because they give character to this place. Otherwise it would be a bunch of memorabilia from dead people, but the bands that play and perform, they give it some sort of life."
With the bold motto of "born to die in Berlin," Flo will continue to add to the collection at the Ramones museum, making sure there is always a place for the Ramones and punk rock in Berlin.