The great Joey Ramone (photo at right from www.officialramones.com) may be dead and gone, but that isn't stopping people from celebrating his birthday. It's too bad he won't be around to enjoy it.
The seventh annual Joey Ramone birthday bash will be held Saturday, May 19 at the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza, and more information on the event is being released. Emcees Little Steven Van Zandt and Matt Pinfield will host the festivities and a number of big-name artists are scheduled to play at the event, including glam-rock legends The New York Dolls. Unfortunately, if you don't have a ticket already, you're out of luck. The event was sold out long before this year's lineup was announced.
Event organizer, and Joey's brother, Mickey Leigh says Joey would have loved to have seen the Dolls play his birthday party. “Joey used to play the first Dolls album so much that the grooves eventually wore out on the vinyl, creating new arrangements to the songs, but he kept playing it anyway.” Leigh adds “The New York Dolls’ influence on the Ramones is well documented, and a nod is given to them in just about every interview the Ramones did regarding the band's formative years.”
A musician who was also a music fan — that's more rare than you'd think — Ramone, the man who probably did more to promote punk and young bands than anybody, died from lymphoma in April, 2001. He would have been 56 this year. A tribute to Joey, from the mouth of The Queers' Joe Queer, was published in the April 27 issue of Goldmine and can be read here:
Other highlights of the birthday bash include the world debut of Slinky Vagabond, a new band featuring former Sex Pistol Glen Matlock, Blondie’s Clem Burke, David Bowie touring band member Earl Slick and Keanan Duffty. Performances from '60s-inspired garage band The Chesterfield Kings and NYC punk-rockers The Bullys promise to shake things up. Event attendees will also get a preview of the forthcoming Ramones “Double Live” DVD, due out in August 2007.
A raffle will be held at this year’s event to raise money for The Joey Ramone Foundation for Lymphoma Research. For information on the raffle and the event, visit www.joeyramone.com. Net proceeds from the Bash go to support the aforementioned Joey Ramone Foundation for Lymphoma Research.