Joey Ramone Birthday Bash Bowery Electric May 19, 2018 In 1974, four high school friends in Forest Hills, NY, rebelled against the excesses of rock ‘n’ roll, donning tight jeans and too-small leather biker jackets, and reduced rock and roll to three chords, playing them loud, fast and raw. They named themselves the Ramones, adopting the fake name Paul McCartney used to register into hotels, and took Ramone as their surname. Starting at the punk rock club CBGB’s, the Ramones launched a career that sold more t-shirts than records, but the band led the charge of American punk rock until the band’s demise in 1996. The band recorded 14 albums and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, the first year the band became eligible.
Vocalist Joey Ramone became the band’s charismatic and iconic front person, and the first of the original four musicians to pass away. Joey Ramone died in New York after a seven-year battle with lymphoma in 2001. His first posthumous solo album, Don’t Worry About Me, was released in 2002, and a second, …Ya Know?, was released in 2012. In 2003, a few yards from CBGB’s, the block on East 2nd Street where Johnny once lived was officially renamed Joey Ramone Place.
Joey Ramone’s brother, Mickey Leigh, celebrates Joey’s birthday every May 19 with a musical celebration at one of New York’s music clubs. This year at the Bowery Electric, also adjacent to Joey Ramone Place, Leigh hosted the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash 2018. The evening first featured performances by three newer bands inspired by the Ramones, with Heap, the Gobshites, and the Italians. Next, the Love Triangle, a trio consisting of Leigh and two later Ramones, bassist CJ Ramone and drummer Richie Ramone, celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the Ramones’ fourth album, Road to Ruin, by playing the 31-minute opus in its entirety. Finally, a tribute band consisting of the Love Triangle and various local musicians (Walt Stack of the Bullys, George Tabb of Roach Motel and Furious George, Evil Presley of the Independents, Russell Wolinsky with Tish and Snooky of the Sic F*cks, Peter Zaremba of the Fleshtones, Miriam Linna of Miriam & Nobody’s Babies, Lindsey) performed various Ramones songs. All net proceeds benefitted the Joey Ramone Foundation for Lymphoma Research.
Setlist: The Love Triangle
“I Just Want to Have Something to Do”
“I Wanted Everything”
“Don’t Come Close”
“I Don’t Want You”
“Needles and Pins” (The Searchers cover)
“I’m Against It”
“I Wanna Be Sedated”
“She’s the One”
“It’s a Long Way Back”
Setlist: Tribute Band
“Warthog” (The Ramones cover) (George Tabb, vocals)
“Somebody Put Something in My Drink” (The Ramones cover) (Richie Ramone, vocals)
“Chasing the Night” (The Ramones cover) (Richie Ramone, vocals)
“Sheena is a punk rocker” (The Ramones cover) (Evil Presley, vocals)
“Strength to Endure” (The Ramones cover) (CJ Ramone, vocals)
“Surfin’ Bird” (The Ramones cover) (Sic F*cks, vocals)
“I Remember You” (The Ramones cover) (Peter Zaremba & Miriam Linna, vocals)
“I Want You Around” (The Ramones cover) (Lindsey, vocals)
“New York City” (Joey Ramone cover) (Mickey Leigh, vocals)
“What a Wonderful World” (Louis Armstrong cover) (Mickey Leigh, vocals)