CJ RAMONE ETC. AT THE RE-UNION NIGHT OF "REAL" THE CONTINENTAL, NYC, USA
ON JANUARY 17, 2010.
January 17, 2010, The Continental, New York, NYC, USA.
This was a special night, as this was re-union night of "real" The
Continental with artists who had played a lot at the Continental in
past. In addition to CJ Ramone, Daniel Rey and
Brant Bjork (they play as a trio) night also featured Cheetah
Chrome (ex-Dead Boys), Walter Lure's band The Waldos, Lenny Kaye, Bebe
Buell, The Bullys, Heap, Charm School, Two Man Advantage, Sea Monster
and Trigger's Allstars.
The Continental club is still on St. Marks Place in New York. It closed
it's doors on September 17, 2006, after 15 years, and it re-opened on
October 11, 2006 (9PM). Main difference after re-union was that bands
will not be playing anymore at The Continental - only mainly acoustic
shows and it is "trendy bar." Future will tell if there is again regular
Joey, Dee Dee, Marky and CJ had played there really many shows or did
guest appearances. I has on my books and
on this site many reviews of
the shows at The Continental. Like I added things already in 1996-1997
when Joey and Dee Dee had shows there...
Read a bit more of The Continental in this location
in my news archive.
REVIEW OF THE NIGHT BY ADELE
Text by Adele Holzman, photos by Michele
Lanci-Altomare. Copyright: Adele, Michele and Jari-Pekka
I didn't know what to expect when I walked into the Continental on
January 17, 2010. I had been in the club a couple of times since owner
Trigger renovated it and it is different. For one, he took the stage out
and put in a bunch of tables. Tables can be moved, but how was the stage
area going to work? I also was concerned about the Continental's new
clientele..., mainly college-aged mainstream types who can't handle
themselves drunk. How many were going to wander in? And how were the
staff going to treat us? In addition to not liking the new clientele,
one of the main reasons I stopped patronizing the Continental as a bar
was that some of the new staff were rude. Among other things, I was
ignored at the bar for at least a good five minutes (I finally left) and
talked down to like a drunk college student when I was stone cold sober
and not doing anything wrong that I could discern. The latter had been
the final straw.
I was pleasantly surprised. With exception of a bouncer barking to me
that there were: "No ins or outs!" when he checked my ID at the
beginning of the night, I did not see any staff members being rude. I
also did not see any of the new clientele..., that $10.00 cover might
have helped. The crowd was a combination of people I usually see at
shows and people who attended shows before my time. The tables were
nowhere in sight and a fairly decent stage had been assembled. It
almost looked like 2006 again.
First up was Charm School, a local NYC band that I think has played some
Joey Ramone Birthday Bashes (and I think Tina has been in Friends Of
Joey Ramone line-up) and played at least one Christmas Bash. They played
a few of their own songs like Frankie and Trust Fund Baby, but swapped
their usual Ramones cover of I Just Wanna Have Something To Do for
Blondie's Dreaming. Two members of Charm School have become part of a
band called Ingrid And The Defectors, so Charm School hasn't been
playing lately. It was nice to see them together again.
Next was George Tabb's band, Furious George. George is a former Ramones
roadie (short time) and a friend of Joey's brother Mickey Leigh. In a
studio, Joey Ramone sang on his song Gilligan (Gets A Record album) and
Dee Dee Ramone (Goes Ape! EP) sang on his song Betty Crocker Punk
Rocker. He covered Wart Hog. George has been very sick since 9/11/01,
but he looked better than he did the last couple of times I saw him. I
should clarify that this means he looked slightly ill instead of looking
like he was about to fall over. Please, if you have money to spare, send
him some to help pay his medical bills so this isn't temporary. Info can
be found on http://www.myspace.com/helpgeorgetabb.
Things get a little blurred at this point, but I think Stab City and the
Love Pirates followed Furious George (That's what the line-up says).
Then there was Heap, who Mickey Leigh used to play with.
Mickey was unable to make it to the Continental (his band Stop had
originally been on the bill, don't know if this was a mistake or what).
Even without Mickey, they're a damn good band. I wish I could
specifically reference some of their songs.
It's a good thing I enjoyed Heap because Two Man Advantage was
They're a good band, but they're a punk rock band that plays songs about
hockey. The resulting intensity leads to some crazyass mosh pits.
Between my being near the front and the club being so damn crowded that
the domino effect of moshing went a bit further, I was on my toes for
the whole set. This would not be the only set that this would happen,
but I think it was one of the craziest. It probably didn't help that it
was getting late enough for more people to be decently drunk.
The reward for making it through that standing was one of my local
favorites: The Bullys. A local NYC
band, The Bullys were actually the
last band to ever play one of Joey's musical showcases. He went to go
see them, but arrived too late. He still booked the Bullys for his next
show, but booked them in the closing slot. His way of being careful,
maybe. The Bullys have also played the 2003, 2007 and 2008 Birthday
Bashes and some of the Christmas Bashes. Their guitarist Walt Stack, who
used to be the booking agent at The Continental, is a regular
participant in Friends of Joey Ramone. I have had the pleasure of seeing
the Bullys live at the Continental many times before, including it's
last night as a fulltime music venue. Over the course of the past three
years, I have enjoyed many of their sets elsewhere, but it was really
good to see them back at the Continental.
After the Bullys, things went old school and started to really heat up
Waldos took the stage. Frontman Walter Lure is a former
Heartbreaker and he still incorporates many songs from that era into the
set such as Chinese Rocks and Born To Lose.
Then there were Trigger's All-Stars, which included Jesse Malin (I Wanna
Be Sedated), Michael H. of a local band called the Bashers (Roadhouse
Blues) and Steve Conte (Midnight Rambler). As always, Trigger wore his
"Chinese/Vietnamese hat" I think the story of hat is in one of Jari's
books (Jari's note: Yeah, Trigger tells in my first book Heaven Needed A
Lead Singer: Fans Remember Joey Ramone how that Vietnamese
rice-paddy hat is related to Joey.)
Next were Bebe
Buell and her band, which included Kitty Kowalski of
the NYC band The
Kowalskis. During the 1980s, Bebe's old band, The
Gargoyles, opened for the Ramones more than once. She and Joey remained
good friends. Bebe sang mostly stuff of her latest album, including
Black Angel, which was written for Joey. In spite of her age, Playboy's
Miss November 1974 is as hot as ever. She and Debbie Harry need to
figure out what exactly they're doing right and market it.
Lenny Kaye followed. His set
included a song (I think he said) he
co-wrote with Jim Carroll, as well as Gloria. The latter included some
great smartass improve about the adventures of him and Gloria. When he
played at the Continental's last show in 2006, he did that as well, but
with different improve. Trigger got on the mike afterwards and made a
few jokes about Lenny.
Then the Ramones road manager Monte Melnick took the stage to introduce
CJ Ramone and
who powered through an all Ramones set that generated another crazyass
moshpit. I was sitting on some kind of structure and several people
landed in my lap. I was really pleased that, in addition to several
songs that Joey would have sang lead on with the Ramones, they played
three songs that CJ would have sung lead on: My Back Pages, Strength To
Endure and R.A.M.O.N.E.S. For the record, he definitely sings: "CJ now
hit the gas Mark takes it up the ass." I find this a little disturbing
considering the next two lines are: "Go Johnny! Go! Go! Go! Go Tommy!
Oh-le-o!" They also were joined by Handsome Dick Manitoba for Rockaway
Beach. In addition to being the frontman for
(which you should see live if you have the chance), he owns a really
cool bar called Manitoba's on the Lower East Side.
was next and Sea Monster was after him but, by this
point, I had spent the past seven hours either standing or sitting on a
very uncomfortable structure near the amps. I was tired, thirsty as hell
(forget trying to get to the bar in that crowd., I will eternally be
grateful to the woman who managed to and shared her water with me) and
starving, so I called it a night and headed to my favorite neighborhood
diner, Moonstruck. I love Cheetah, but not enough to pass out.
Trigger said that he would do this again next year. I hope he keeps his
word because that was one hell of a show. My ears were ringing well into
the next day.