JOEY RAMONE'S BIRTHDAY BASH AT THE CONTINENTAL, NYC, USA ON MAY 19, 1997

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This review is by CM.

It was purely by chance that I found out about this show. My friend Anita and I were in NYC for a couple of days and this was our last night there. I hadn't gotten to see any bands during my stay and thought Monday night would just be a quiet night out. Anita pointed out the ad to me and I couldn't believe that Joey and Dee Dee would be playing in a small club. I was skeptical and thought he might just introduce some of the bands on the bill and split. I was in for a nice surprise.

We arrived at the club at 11:00 pm and the show had been underway for a couple of hours already. The place was packed and we had to stay at the rear of the club. Some band was finishing up (don't know who) when they brought Joey on stage to do "Danny Says", it was fantastic.

Joey didn't play with the next band, The Pristeens, and Anita split at this point as her flight was early the next morning. I took advantage of the space being made up front when people hit the bar after the band finished playing.

I was a few feet away from the stage when an older guy and a Japanese back up band got on stage. The guy looked vaguely familiar and then I noticed the guitar player was wearing a "Heartbreakers" t-shirt. The guy was no one other than Walter Lure from Johnny Thunders' Heartbreakers. They kicked in with a great set of old Heartbreakers tunes including "Too Much Junkie Business". At the end of their set, Walter started calling out for the birthday boy to get on stage, at which point Joey emerged from the basement area and got up to sing the Heartbreakers/Ramones classic, "Chinese Rocks".

I couldn't believe I was there witnessing this. After the song Joey encouraged everyone to stick around for the upcoming band The Independents, and especially to stay later for The Tedio Boys from Portugal.

Next up came the boys themselves. Dee Dee got onstage and everyone went crazy calling out to him. I was surprised to see all the grey hair, but he definitely hadn't lost any of his energy. Once the band started, the place just exploded into the fiercest mosh pit. They played about 7 or 8 numbers, including "Blitzkrieg Bop", "Havana Affair", "53rd and 3rd", and finishing with "I Just Wanna have Something to Do".

After they finished Joey hung out in the crowd and I wished him a happy birthday and complimented him on the set. He actually seems like a shy guy up close, but was very courteous and ready to chat with all the people who approached him. Next up came the Independents and were just a riot. Playing what Joey describes as "Horror Ska" these guys were a great live act. Dressed like a cross between heavy metal and goth, I was expecting them to play some cheesy metal music. Instead, they totally leapt into this really fast ska influenced stuff that grabbed you from the first notes. They are one of the best acts to see live and are managed by Joey. He got up and did a couple of tunes with them at the end of their set and just rocked.

Last on the bill was the band Joey kept encouraging everyone to stay for, The Tedio Boys. It was already past 2:00am when they took the stage but they even outdid all of the other bands in terms of putting on all out rock and roll show.Their CD, "Outerspaceshit" doesn't really reflect their sound on stage as it's more rock-a-billy played with a punk attitude. As the only band I've ever heard from Portugal, they were quite a surprise. The guitar player sported this shaved head with only two patches of hair on his head which were formed into the shape of devil horns, making him one of the more theatrical of the band. Early into their set he got hit pretty hard on the head by the bass, and was bleeding a trickle of blood for the whole set. This near concussion didn't slow him down any, and the blood seemed to work well with his devil horns. Joey did his customary song with them which was one of their original numbers.

After they played Joey thanked everyone who stayed so late and invited everyone to attend the Joey and Dee Dee Blitzkrieg Bash which would be happening sometime later in the summer. I left the Continental with a feeling of having attended a pretty magical night. Seeing Joey and Dee Dee made my dream of seeing the Ramones play in a New York club come true, even if it wasn't the whole band.

(Thanks: CM)




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