Copyright 2007 -> Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone

This picture-story report tells of my (Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone's) trip to the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash in New York in 2007. I also travelled to San Diego, Los Angeles and Tijuana. Lot of Ramoniac and lovely moments and meetings I experienced. I as well visited Joey and Dee Dee (their graves) and Johnny (his statue). I have attended every Joey Ramone Birthday Bash since 2001.


I was working again lot too hard before I started this my trip, in many nights I got chance to go to sleep around 5-7AM and I slept only some hours. During the last week I finished around fifteen newspaper articles for newspapers called Pohjalainen, Kauhajoen Kunnallislehti and Ilkka. I replied and sent around 150 E-mails during the first two weeks of May. Like I was confirming meeting with Tommy Ramone. Trip was going to be around 3 weeks long and many things had to get confirmed. I also wanted to reply all Ramones related questions what people were asked through my page from me, I sent replies all around the world - to the fans in Malaysia, Germany, USA, Belgium, Argentina, Australia, Spain, Poland, Brazil, Italy, Indonesia, Russia, Sweden, Great Britain....

One great honour was it that I got an E-mail from George DuBose in May 15. George asked if I would write little text for his book. George DuBose has photographed/ designed 8 album covers for the Ramones etc. Like Subterranean Jungle, Too Tough Die and Mondo Bizarro are his works. I love his works. We have also met few times. It felt totally great when he wrote: "You are an important member of the Ramones family and I would like to have a testimonial from you." Of course I wrote text to him. George DuBose's book is now out, it is called I Speak Music - Ramones.
Only twenty minutes after his E-mail I got more great news. I was really afraid what was happen to my friend David Kelly, because I was not heard of him anything for too many months. Finally David wrote to me in May 15 and explained what was happen. I was so happy to hear from him. I and David met first time at Joey's first Birthday Bash in 2001. We have been in touch since that. I have also normally stayed at his house in NYC.

Joey Ramone's brother Mickey Leigh, Arturo Vega, Ida S. Langsam, Dave Frey etc. were working hard again that we fans would celebrate great way birthday of our dear Joey. Tommy and Richie were told to appear of the Ramones members at the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash. Well, some also count Clem Burke, who played two shows in the Ramones after the Richie Ramone quit in 1987. Clem used then name Elvis Ramone.
Unfortunately sad news arrived in May 10. So many fans would have loved to see Richie Ramone playing also again. He did "comeback" in 2006 at the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash. Now Richie had to cancel his appearance due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts. Of course I got worried what is happen and if Richie is alright. I E-mailed he and his wife Annette immediately. They explained me longer and I understood. Also they were just moved some weeks earlier away from Los Angeles area. They invited me to visit them and they wrote lovely and sent greetings: "We would love to see you. I will be missing seeing you in NYC, as well as Mickey, Tommy, George Tabb, Andy Shernoff, Bebe Buell etc. Only good memories of the last year, it was a gift to be there with all you wonderful friends."

I travelled to Helsinki (capital of Finland) on May 17, 2007. I did not wanted to fly to New York earlier because Ne Luumäet did that day comeback! Ne Luumäet is best Ramones cover band, also USA cover groups comes behind. Even have to say that Ne Luumäet started as a Ramones cover band but they soon started to write their own original material. Their first album came out in 1986 and it had fourteen Ramones covers. Later studio albums didn't contain actual Ramones covers, just "borrowed" spirit and titles or themes for songs etc. They were made for that night T-shirts which were strongly similar to the cover of Ramones album Too Tough To Die, expect on it read above the picture Ne Luumäet and below Too Dumb To Die. As well The Micragirls were playing that night. Especially Ne Luumäet singer Joey Luumäki loves the music of The Micragirls. He supported them great way also during the enjoyable set. The Micragirls dedicated one song to the Johnny Ramone.
Ne Luumäet started their set with Siinä On Punk Kari (cover of Sheena Is A Punk Rocker). Group played more than 20 songs, like we heard Mä En Haluu Mennä Alas Kellariin (I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement) and Lumiukko Bop (Blitzkrieg Bop). Behind the drum set was huge live photo of Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny and Tommy playing. Show was great to see with friends like Kimmo Aaltonen, Hannu and Kati Jokinen, Anu ja Ville Vihma, M!ka Vesterinen, Harri Miettinen, Taina Laitinen, Jari Marjala, Ilpo, Christer Usenius.... and many, many more.