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Monday, October 10, 2005

Joey Ramone, Pop Music Ambassador

Joey Ramone & Rick Richards, originally uploaded by Cool Auntie.

Yes sir, and yes ma'am... your punk rock hero Joey Ramone is pictured here with platinum-selling Georgia rocker, Rick Richards of the Georgia Satellites (of "Keep Your Hands To Yourself" fame - it was a top ten hit in 1987).

This photo was taken in December 1988 at the old Ritz in NYC. The Satellites were headlining a show there and Joey showed up. He even jammed with them! The Georgia Satellites backed Joey on "I Wanna Be Sedated."

Joey Ramone with Georgia Satellites

I remember taking these photos and giving the 4x6 prints to Rick and the other guys in the band. If I had to find the negatives for these shots, I wouldn't know where to start. However, I'm in Atlanta at the moment and Rick's girlfriend, Lorilee, a dedicated archivist, had scanned these and they were in her computer. I am so happy that Rick and Lorilee hung on to the photos all this time.

Anyway, the point I wanted to make by showing you Joey and Rick together is that both Joey and Rick, while heroes in their respective genres which might seem somewhat exclusive to you - one being underground, the other being million-selling, have respect for the art of making music, and recognized in one another just how great they were at their particular thing - not to mention, of course, their true love for rock n roll.

Ian Hunter & Georgia Satellites

Ian Hunter also came to see the Georgia Satellites play that night. I'd have to say the same thing about Ian Hunter - the guy goes out to see new bands all the time. His heart is pure rock n roll. On more than one occasion, I have seen him at a dive club checking out a new band - AND he's even asked me for band recommendations! I turned him on to The Shazam. You should check them out too!

Have I told you before how much I loved Joey? I miss seeing him warming a stool at Veselka in the E. Village, having a late night snack; I miss seeing those long spider legs strolling up Fourth Ave in NYC. I really miss his honesty, especically the way he said to me when I told him in 1990 of our mutual friend, Stiv's untimely passing... Joey said, "Bastard should have gone to the hospital. He did not have to die!"

Of course, Joey went to the hospital when he had to, and stuck around with us as long as he could. Man, he was on his laptop from his hospital bed, keeping in touch and everything... and now he's making music with Stiv at that other CBGB - the one where rockers go when they die.

Rick Richards is still rocking. He's played with Warren Zevon, Paul Westerberg, Izzy Stradlin, Ian McLagan, and the occasional Georgia Satellites "reunions." Rick is one of my life-long friends and he is hosting me in Atlanta at the moment. He's got a killer record collection, so I'm gonna sign off now and pay attention to the music.

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