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 shows?
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.

Text by Adele Holzman, photos by Michele Lanci-Altomare. Copyright: Adele, Michele and Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone.

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. Unfortunately, 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 next. 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 as The 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 Daniel Rey, 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 The Dictators (which you should see live if you have the chance), he owns a really cool bar called Manitoba's on the Lower East Side.

Cheetah Chrome 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.