Sunday, May 18, 2008
New York Celebrates Joey Ramone
The late lanky lead singer of The Ramones - our beloved Joey Ramone was born on May 19, 1951. He would have been 57 years old. Still, we celebrate him - with annual Joey Ramone Birthday bashes around the world, with a street corner named after him next to the site of the erstwhile club NY Punk made famous, CBGB, and the music of the Ramones lives on forever.
Joey loved his rock n roll and I was never surprised when I saw him out at shows. He was also my favorite late night conversationalist - you could always see him having a snack at the counter at Veselka in the East Village on the way home from a show. Inevitably, you had been at the same show and compared notes. He'd always have time to talk to fans and sign autographs too.
Joey Ramone backstage at Irving Plaza with Georgia Satellite Rich Richards. Joey sang "I Wanna Be Sedated" with the Satellites at their December 1988 gig
These are some of the musicians who will be rocking the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash in New York City, presented by Joey's brother, Mickey Leigh, himself a rock n roll dynamo (remember The Rattlers? - that's Mickey!) who is keeping the flame alive.
Mary Weiss, who is pictured here with the Reigning Sound during an afternoon break from the recording sessions for her 2007 album, Dangerous Game will be performing. There's no doubt as to Mary's influence on Joey over the years. The Shangri Las, while a classic 60s Girl Group were the most punk rock of that pop phenomenon. Mary had us all in stitches with her memories of those times. It reminded me of the fun times I had on the road with the Ramones whenever they invited my constant companion, Stiv Bators to open their shows. The Reigning Sound helped Mary get her performing feet wet again, and she's assembled her own band. The Reigning Sound, I'm happy to say, are making a new album, the follow up to their amazing Too Much Guitar. Look for it soon on In the Red.
Dictators guitarist, songwriter and punk rock sommelier, the handsome and talented Andy Shernoff will also be there. The photo above was taken during the recording of the Dangerous Game album with Mary Weiss.
Dictators frontman, the King of All Men, NYC's favorite bar keep, Handsome Dick Manitoba will also be on hand for the festivities. He's pictured here with Denise Lento.
Joe McGinty, keyboard player extraordinaire and creator of the Loser's Lounge concert series, pictured in the center of this keyboard wizard trio is part of the esteemed group of musicians playing the party.
Cheetah Chrome (above) of The Dead Boys and Richard Lloyd (below) formerly of Television and both of them of the current line up of Rocket From the Tombs will bring their powerful guitar sound to ring in Joey's birthday.
While he's not performing in the party this year, Blondie drummer, punk rock's Most Valuable Player of all time, Clem Burke is a living tribute to Joey and the Ramones - more often than not, I've seen Clem wearing his Ramones t-shirt proudly on stage and off stage.
Put on your own Ramones t-shirt, pop your copy of Rock n Roll High School and End of the Century in your DVD player, spin your favorite Ramones albums and Hey Ho - Let's celebrate Joey Ramone.
click this link or the photo of Joey above to get your own print of this classic 1977 photo of Joey. Offer ends when the Birthday Bash concert is over.