CJ RAMONE'S ALBUM RECONQUISTA (2012/2013)

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Copyright: Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone.

THIS SITE INCLUDE:
1) Background, tracklisting and details of musicians in CJ Ramone's Reqonquista album.
2) Album release event in March 23, 2013.
3) Information of Pledge Music campaign for Reconquista.
4) Older information of album and it's tribute feeling.
5) Some background of CJ's activities since 90's.





1) CJ RAMONE'S ALBUM RECONQUISTA (2012/2013)

Ramones' bassist (1989-1996) CJ Ramone had spoke for me of new album since 2009-2010. After Bad Chopper album (2007), he did some recordings what aren't published before entering studio in late May / early June, 2012. Those songs got published really quickly after studio, digitally on June 29, 2012.
"The new CJ Ramone album Reconquista is available at all your favorite download sites! So raise a cup of coffee with me to celebrate and give it a listen. You're really gonna like it!!!", wrote CJ in June 29, 2012.
A while after digital album was taken away from iTunes etc. as he started Pledge Music campaign in December 2012, to get Reconquista released also as a CD and vinyl.
CJ Ramone got Reconquista' CD's in June 6, 2013, and first pressing of LP few weeks later in June, 2013. So will say official release of Reconquista album was June, 2013.
First pressing of LP was picture disc, 500 copies (see picture in right). Second LP pressing is in hot pink vinyl color (not picture LP), only 250 copies and it got published by Pirates Press.

There are also published versions in Japan and South America. The Japanese version has jewel case and a booklet includes all the song lyrics and an insert in japanese.
Title song Reconquista and three more songs were included as a bonus song to South American version of Reconquista album.

More background information...
Pledge Music campaign reached it's goal 100% in February 5th, 2013. Campaign ended in March 3 and it had 109% of goal, so 9% extra.
CJ Ramone put many demos on his Pledge Music site to people who pledged and they downloaded free:
1) non-named demo, 2) cover of Black Flag's Rise Above featuring Dez Cadena, 3) Walking Dead (from Reconquista demos), 4) Shoot 'Em Up (from Reconquista demos), 5) live video of R.A.M.O.N.E.S. 6) live audio version of Damned cover Neat Neat Neat and Los Gusanos demo Ride. 7) Los Gusanos song No Bone Movies (to tribute album for Ozzy Osbourne), 8) Los Gusanos song Liams Tree (was written for CJ's son), 9-11) three demos from "lost" Los Gusanos album, CJ didn't write name of songs. Read more of Los Gusanos here.

Read CJ Ramone's info letters of Pledge Music campaign here. CJ Ramone confirmed to me in February 2, 2013, that tracklisting of CD and vinyl versions are going to be same than in digital version published in June, 2012.

Album has 12 songs and they are rocked in 35,5 minutes. Most fast ones are around 2:20 and longest one Low On Ammo is 4:20.

TRACKLISTING:
1) What We Gonna Do Now? (length 2:41)
2) Three Angels (2:58)
3) You're The Only One (3:01)
4) Nobody's Sweetheart (2:48)
5) Shut Up (2:43)
6) King Cobra (3:44)
7) Now I Know... (3:29)
8) Ghost Ring (2:26)
9) Waitin' For My Man (2:19) (cover of Lou Reed song)
10) Goin' Home (2:18)
11) Low On Ammo (4:20)
12) Aloha Oe (2:55) (Lili'uokalani's most famous song and a common cultural symbol for Hawaii)

Bonus tracks in South American version published by Pinhead Records:
13) Reconquista
14) Shoot' Em Up
15) Walking Dead
16) Rise Above (cover of Black Flag's Rise Above featuring Dez Cadena)

THE BAND:
- CJ Ramone: Bass, guitar and vocals.
- Steve Soto (The Adolescents etc.): Guitar and backing vocals.
- Jose Medeles (The Breeders, 22 Jacks etc.): Drums and percussions.

PRODUCERS:
Jim Monroe and Steve Soto.

ADDITIONAL MUSICIANS:
- Billy Zoom (X etc.): Lead guitar, track: Goin' Home.
- Jonny "Two Bags" Wickersham (Social Distortion, U.S. Bombs etc.): Lead guitar, tracks: Three Angels and Aloha Oe.
- Jay Bentley (Bad Religion, The Circle Jerks, T.S.O.L etc.): Bass, track: What We Gonna Do Now?.
- Marcus Hollar (Street Dogs): Lead guitar, track: What We Gonna Do Now?.
- Matt Katz (Blondie): Keyboard, tracks: You're The Only One, Now I Know... and Waitin' For My Man.
- Frank Agnew (The Adolescents/ 45 Grave): Lead guitar, tracks: Nobody's Sweetheart, Now I Know... and Ghost Ring.
- Dan Root (The Adolescents/ One Hit Wonder): Lead guitar, track: Low On Ammo.
- Pamela vain, additional backing vocals, track: Aloha Oe.
- "The Chimpan three" (John Mauer, Marcus Hollar and Greg Stocks): additional backing vocals.





2) ALBUM RELEASE EVENT OF CJ RAMONE'S RECONQUISTA IN MARCH 23, 2013

Line-up:
CJ Ramone:
singer-bassist.
Steve Soto: guitar.
Dan Root: guitar.
Michael Stamberg: drummer.

March 23, 2013, Do You Wanna Dance, 2628 Gerritsen Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, USA.

Other bands performing: Johnny Black Band and Alouth.

Immediately following the show there will be the worldwide premier of CJ Ramone: King Cobra, The Making Of Reconquista. It is a movie Paul MacKay, CJ Ramone and Jesse Mosher made about the making of new album in Orange Country, CA, USA.
Also Jesse Mosher is doing art show. He told me they are of paintings he did during CJ's shows in the USA in NYC, California, Long Island and Nashville and in Colombia in Cali and Medellin. Exhibited at Do You Wanna Dance club are also Jesse Mosher's paintings from the Reconquista album sessions that are featured in the documentary.
CJ Ramone has helped and inspired to create Do You Wanna Dance club. Read here cool story of background of club. Jesse Mosher wrote it to me.





3) PLEDGE MUSIC CAMPAIGN FOR RECONQUISTA:

CJ Ramone started a Pledge Music campaign in December 2012, to get Reconquista released also as a CD. Campaign ended in March 3 and it had 109% of goal, so 9% extra.

Buying album as CD is 18 US$, as signed vinyl 30 US$, you can get your name in the credits with 35 US$, handwritten lyric sheet 50 US$, Skype session with CJ 50 US$, his signature Mosrite bass signed 2 000 US$...
See CJ's Pledge Music page here.

Here is CJ Ramone's letter where he explains idea of his Pledge Music campaign: "Hey kids, CJ Ramone here. Well this is it, my new album Reconquista. I worked long and hard on it and called in a lot of favors from a lot of friends.
Steve Soto (The Adolescents) joined on to do guitars and background vocals. He also co-produced it. We called an old friend, Jose Medeles (The Breeders) to play drums. We recorded the record at the Racket Room in Orange County, California (USA) with studio owner and producer Jim Monroe. And since we were down that way, got in touch with a bunch of great players that we knew from some great bands, Billy Zoom from X, Jay Bentley from Bad Religion, Dennis Casey from Flogging Molly, Dan Root from The Adolescents, Frank Agnew from The Adolescents/ 45 Grave, Matt Katz the keyboard player from Blondie, Marcus Hollar from The Street Dogs, and Jonny "Two Bags" Wickerson and Johnny Maurer from Social Distortion. We had a real cool time making the record and it comes through on the music.
I chose to do a Pledge Music campaign because its as close to doing it D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) as I could get. Releasing the record through Pledge Music makes it possible for me to offer you things like CDs and records with handwritten lyric sheets, exclusive T-shirts, and autographed CJ Ramone model Mosrite basses. You can even get a thirty minute skype session. So check out all my gear and give record a listen.
I think you are gonna like it. See ya on the big road.
Cj."

CJ's Pledge Music campaign received 50 % of goal in January 8, 2013 and 75 % of goal in January 22, 2013. CJ put as a thank an unreleased track from the Reconquista recording sessions to his Pledge profile to people who had taken part on this campaign. CJ wrote in January 21: "Hey kids!! Time to kick this campaign into high gear! We've added some cool new stuff including limited edition cartoons drawn by myself, my last project Bad Chopper on vinyl (LP), and I Love New York postcards with a personalized greeting from me! I also put together a little package deal for those who just can't make up their minds! Now to sweetin' up the deal, I'm giving away an unreleased track from the Reconquista recording sessions. So get your order in and download your free track!
Let's rock!, CJ"

CJ's Pledge Music campaign news on January 29, 2013.
CJ wrote: "Well we're closing in on 80% real fast! To close the gap and get us to that 100% mark, we decided to offer up what seems to be a favorite on the list of cool CJ gear. We're going to put up two more Mosrite CJ Ramone model guitars and two more bases, this time in white with a black CJ logo! That's right, hand built in Bakersfield, California by the Original Mosrite company and hand signed by me. Get on board now and help me get to 100% so I can get "Reconquista" out and get on the road.", wrote CJ.
So genuine Mosrite CJ Ramone models are built in Bakersfield, California by Dana Moseley, daughter of original designer builder, and owner Semie Moseley.

CJ's Pledge Music campaign news on February 2, 2013. 90 % got reached!
"We're in the home stretch kids, and I'm hoping this new free song will bring it home for us. This one is off the demo's I did for Reconquista and features Dez Cadena on guitar and backing vocals. Its a song he did with his former band, Black Flag. Its the punk rock anthem, Rise Above. Turn it up and step back!!", wrote CJ.
You can download Rise Above from CJ's Pledge Music site if you are bought album or other items from there.
Black Flag formed in 1976 and Rise Above is opening song from their debut album Damaged (1981). Dez Cadena has played for many years now in Misfits and you can read his extensive interview of different Ramones related things from my third book Ramones: Soundtrack Of Our Lives.

CJ's Pledge Music campaign reached 100% of goal in February 5, 2013. CJ downloaded to pledgers new songs: Walking Dead in February 5, 2013, and Shoot 'Em Up! in February 11, 2013. CJ's message in Feb 5, 2013: "We did it brothers and sisters! 100%!! Thanks to everyone who contributed, and everyone who went above and beyond by helping me to promote the campaign. That's the power of the people!! But, that don't mean we're all done! There's still time on the clock and we can keep goin' 'til they shut us down! So don't quit now, spread the word. For all your effort and hard work, I've attached yet another song from the Reconquista demos. Ya'll deserve it!! Thanks again!!", CJ wrote in February 5, 2013 and put on his Pledge site song called Walking Dead.
CJ's message in Feb 11, 2013: "Well kids, we ran right over the 100% mark but it ain't time to rest just yet. We've got a couple weeks left and I'm gonna do my best to keep everyone motivated and try to drag some new recruits into the fight! So, for all those who have pledged, and all those who will, attached is another song from the Reconquista demos. Heavier than anything else I've released before, Shoot 'Em Up!!!!", CJ wrote in February 11, 2013 and put on his Pledge site song called Shoot 'Em Up.

February 19 and 26 CJ Ramone added live songs to people who pledged. CJ's message in February 19: "Listen up Kids, we've got just two weeks left on this already successful campaign! It's been a long, hard battle but we're near the end. I've done my best to get ya'll motivated with some cool gear and free tracks, and the response has been great. This time I'm gonna change it up a bit in the hopes that I can get even more of you to support the cause. Pledge now and get a great live video of me and the boys playing R.A.M.O.N.E.S. live in Mendoza Argentina at a place called Black Jagger Club. We were invited to play a small set after dinner. Enjoy.", wrote CJ.
CJ referred to trip, when CJ Ramone, Michael Stamberg, Steve Soto and Dan Root played in Mendoza, Argentina in September, 2012.
CJ's message in February 26: "This time it's a live track recorded in Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 2008. The song "Neat, Neat, Neat" by one of my favorite bands, "The Damned"!! A big thanks to all who have pledged...", wrote CJ in February 26.

CJ's Pledge Music message in March 4: "This one's for the fans that requested something from the lost Los Gusanos album. The band split during the recording, and I was left with some raw tracks and scratch vocals. This one's the only survivor. For the first time anywhere, Ride!", wrote CJ.
Read here more details of that CJ's old band Los Gusanos.

CJ's Pledge Music messages in March 7 and 8, 2013. Album was released and CJ Ramone put on Pledge Music site booklets of album etc.
CJ Ramone wrote in March 8, 2013: "First off, thanks for all the feedback on the record. It is much appreciated! Seems everyone liked receiving the artwork with the lyrics. I've gotten some questions on delivery dates so I figured I'd try and get everyone up to speed. Now that we've launched, the next step is for us to get all your cool gear made! It'll take us a couple weeks to get it all together, plus some time for shipping, so be patient. For those of you that ordered things like a personalized cartoon drawn by me, or a Skype session, or a post card, I will get to those personally very soon. I'll try to keep ya'll updated on our progress so you know when to start bothering the postman! Thanks for helping me get this record out and get back on the road!", wrote CJ in March 8, 2013.

CJ's Pledge Music messages in March 27, 2013. "The hand drawn cartoons gotta wait 'til the rest of the gear comes in (in example t-shirts, hoodies, CD's and the like) so we can mail 'em out together... If you ordered lyrics, expect an E-mail asking which song you wanted. Likewise, if you've got a skype session, I'll be contacting you shortly via E-mail to schedule those. Doing those last couple of shows really kicked my butt so be patient! Besides I'm a bass player, what the heck do I know about organization?! So stand fast ya'll, doin' my best to get your gear to you ASAP!!!, wrote CJ Ramone in March 27, 2013.

CJ's Pledge Music messages in April 10, 2013. CJ explained more about problems and delays.
"Had a company that was going to make all the gear for us and get it out to ya'll. Found out last week that they did not intend to full that agreement. So, I got on the phone and called Eric over at Pirates Press (check their site out, really cool gear and they work with some badass bands) and explained the situation. Thankfully, Eric is a Ramones fan and promised he'd get it done for us as fast as possible. Now I know you're all reved up and itchin' to get your gear. But the truth of the matter is it will be 6-8 weeks to complete the orders.", wrote CJ in April 10, 2013.
So, CJ and we fans can be really thankful to Eric and Pirates Press.

CJ downloaded to pledgers Los Gusanos songs: April 10, 2013 song No Bone Movies and April 15, 2013 song Liams Tree, then April 23, April 29 and May 7 songs from 2nd "lost" Los Gusanos albums (songs without titles).
CJ told of Liams Tree: "This track was featured on the "Start Your Engies" compilation record put out by Side One Dummy Records. It was written for the ill fated second Los Gusanos record which I think I've mentioned to ya'll before. The song is called "Liams Tree" and was written for my son. I hadn't listened to this one in a whole lotta years, and it really got me fired up when I put it on.", wrote CJ.

Sending orders....
April 29, 2013, CJ shipped the guitars and basses.
May 7, 2013, CJ posted the hand drawn cartoons: "They are traditional tattoo designs by yours truly, all having to do with a song title from Reconquista!", wrote CJ.

CJ Ramone wrote for example in June 4, 2013:
"Test pressings for "Reconquista" on vinyl arrived and it sounds killer!!! As a bonus to you throwbacks that ordered it, we did a pledge only, alternative artwork, picture disc to thank y'all for your patience. You're gonna like it, and that's a promise!", CJ wrote.

CJ got CD's in June 6, 2013. He sent CD's and/or DVD's in June 11, 2013. And then he wrote in June 24, 2013.
"I am happy to report your orders are on their way. After an epic weekend of box stuffing, I am driving to the post office this morning to send them out to you. There are a few shortages to report. We ran out of vinyl, so some of you may not receive it with this shipment (we included a couple of surprises to make up for it!). But fear not, as we have more in transit and will get them to you ASAP! The vinyl is a limited edition two sided picture disc! We had problems with the original artwork so I figured turning it into a collectors item would be the best way to go!
In order to save time at the pressing plant, the CD and DVD come in one package. If you ordered one, you got both. If you ordered both, we threw in A T-shirt. Lastly, the CD booklet was printed with the pages out of order turning my poetic lyrics into a strange collage. This is what a DIY project done by two people in a garage looks like!!!
I wanted to thank y'all for hanging in there with me for so long. We still have a couple packages to ship, so if there are any discrepencies with your order, fire off a message and let me know!!! Hoka hey!!!", CJ Ramone wrote in June 24, 2013, few days before he forwarded to tour.

Visit CJ's Pledge Music site here.





4) BACKGROUND OF ALBUM AND IT'S TRIBUTE FEELING:
Album is a real tribute and thank for our Joey Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone and Johnny Ramone, with CJ's songwriting style, there are no straight "copies" of Ramones songs. But more CJ's headbanging with a cool way.
Already 2009 etc. CJ played at live (see here tour story) great song called Three Angels On My Shoulder, what is second tune titled Three Angels in Reconquista. CJ explained of song earlier and refers to original Ramones line-up:"
- "I wrote Three Angels On My Shoulder song as a tribute to Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy. It was my moment of thanking them for everything they did before I came along and for all the great times I had in my life as a fan."

Here are details of earlier moves in 2012. CJ Ramone wrote in March, 2012, three-four months before release date:
- "Wanted to let you know I will be recording my new album Reconquista very soon. This album is my tribute to Johnny, Joey, and Dee Dee so I am putting everything I have got into it.".
And songs really has lot tribute kind of lyrics and he does mention their names many time in songs.

More of his tribute feelings... In early October, 2011, CJ explained this way how record is going to be:
- "The album really is a tribute to The Ramones. I did not sit down and say, "I am going to write Ramones sounding songs."" It is a lot like a Ramones record. It has everything from the Joey and Dee Dee type of pop love songs to more of the hardcore style stuff. These are songs that I have written over the course of the last couple of years and I am really excited to get it finished up and get it out. That is kind of how I see this album. It is me kind of taking back a little bit of my musical life. I have not liked any new music for a long time.", explained CJ Ramone in October, 2011.


...ENTERING STUDIO....
In late May 2012, CJ Ramone contacted Steve Soto from the Adolescents and soon they had a studio set up in Orange County, CA, USA. CJ Ramone told for Media Mikes / Adam Lawton in June:
- "We (CJ and Soto) had gotten Jose Medeles who we had both worked with before to play drums. We recorded with Jim Monroe who was the owner/engineer of the studio we were using. We had a slew of Orange County musicians come in and play on this record. Jay (Bentley) from Bad Religion, Jonny Two Bags from Social Distortion and Billy Zoom from X all played on the album. Within 3 weeks we had the record recorded and we are now just waiting on final mixes and mastering. We are hoping to have everything done by July. It's going to be released under C.J. Ramone and this is going to be really the first album that I did everything. It's totally my vision. Steve Soto and Jim Monroe did a great job with the production but this is the first one I am doing as C.J. Ramone. If I had to describe the sound it is like Rocket To Russia (Ramones album, 1977) meets End Of The Century (Ramones album, 1980)", said CJ Ramone in June, 2012.
One planned version of cover is cartoon cover, created by cool Argentinean artist Gonzalo Facio.

NON-PUBLISHED RECORDINGS:
Few words about one recording session after Bad Chopper (2007) and before Reconquista (2012). CJ Ramone said in December, 2010,:
- "Been in the studio with Daniel Rey and Michael Stamberg. We recorded two songs for Mosrite Records and we started on my new album."

Those songs/ versions were not published, until title song Reconquista was included to South American version of Reconquista album.





5) SOME BACKGROUND OF CJ'S BANDS SINCE 90'S IN ADDITION TO THE RAMONES BEFORE RECONQUISTA GOT PUBLISHED
In the early part of the 90's, CJ Ramone formed his band Los Gusanos when the Ramones were still performing.
He formed Warm Jets in 2000. Warm Jets released a debut 7' single by Acme Records in late 2000. In September 2001, I was the first person to publicly announce the name change to Bad Chopper.
Read Bad Chopper information here, like about times when the Bad Chopper finished recording their debut full length album in January 2007. USA version of it was released in CD format in December 2007 and in vinyl version in February, 2008 by Acme Records. Rockaway Records released Argentinean pressing of the album in August, 2008.

Later in 2008 CJ Ramone started to play with Daniel Rey (Ramones producer who also co-wrote many later Ramones classics). Last Bad Chopper shows were played in 2008. CJ has said Bad Chopper was officially over when founding member Mark Sheehan passed away on October 1, 2010.
Shows in 2009 and in January-February, 2010, CJ and Daniel played with the Brant Björk (from the fame of Kyuss and Fu-Manchu). After Brant drummer became Michael Stamberg.
CJ Ramone and Daniel Rey had first shows with Michael in March-June, 2010. I asked from CJ how he knows with Michael. CJ wrote to me in April 27, 2010: "Michael Stamberg is a local guy from Long Island, New York. I met him when Los Gusanos (CJ's early band) was playing in NYC and Long Island. Our bands shared a bill a few times."


Later with CJ Ramone and Michael Stamberg was playing Steve Dawson 9-10 months (not Daniel Rey anymore). First shows with Dawson were in Canada in October, 2011. Michael wrote background of Dawson in November, 2011:
"Steve Dawson is a great fit with the band. His musicianship and professionalism are enhanced by his life long love of the Ramones. I've known him since high school and it is an absolute pleasure to be working with him."

Steve Dawson had to quit band just before shows in Italy and Portugal in July 2012. Steve Soto became guitarist, who also produced Reconquista. etc.
Read more details from here...

Line-up in early 2013 is:
CJ Ramone:
singer-bassist.
Steve Soto: guitar.
Dan Root: guitar.
Michael Stamberg: drummer.



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