Copyright 2008 -> 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 (USA) in 2008. Before the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash I headed my way to Misfits shows in Helsinki (Finland) and I visited my friends in San Diego (USA) and I attended Marky Ramone show in Tijuana (Mexico). I tell of those experiences before my time in New York and at the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash. I have attended every Joey Ramone Birthday Bash since 2001. Last page (page 6) contains photos from my visit at Joey Ramone's grave...


I started my trip on April 25, 2008. First I spent great and relaxing days with shiny Pia Voutilainen and with our friends. I/ we also attended some shows. Finnish band called James Puhto Ren did comeback after 8 years break. Ramoniac Woimasointu record label (see here their catalogue, Woimasointu E-mail is: kauppa(a) released James Puhto Ren EP in spring 2008. James Puhto Ren played melodic, fun and Ramones influenced punk. I also saw Freaks Of The Revolution playing a bit harder punkrock with a tight attitude before I travelled to Helsinki, Finland in April 27. Misfits had two shows there at the Nosturi venue in April 28 and 30, 2008. Just after I stepped in to Nosturi around 3.30PM, I met with Dez Cadena and we hugged. Dez has played in Misfits officially since April, 2001. Dez went to buy something and then Chrisse Usenius came to talk for me. Chrisse is long-time Ramones fan. He was wearing Dee Dee Ramone's Poison Heart T-shirt. I was wearing that day Joey Ramone Birthday Bash 2001 T-shirt. Misfits bassist-singer Jerry Only commented straightaway of that Joey T-shirt when we a bit later met. I was at their soundcheck from the beginning and there Dez asked if Robo does remember me. He did. Robo was drumming in the Misfits first time in 80's and then he joined Misfits after Marky Ramone quit the band in April, 2004.

There at the Nosturi is training close 50 bands, for example Hanoi Rocks, HIM and The 69 Eyes. Hanoi Rocks members Andy McCoy and Conny Bloom visited quickly Misfits soundcheck. Then Jerry and Andy did show to each other peace mark. After Andy saw me, he came to change some words. With Andy I have also known for a long time and his Ramones memories are also in my both books Heaven Needed A Lead Singer: Fans Remember Joey Ramone and Rock In Peace: Dee Dee And Joey Ramone.
Soon I went to do an newspaper interview with Eeka Mäkynen who is another boss of Nosturi and Helsinki live music association (Elmu). Elmu was celebrating 30th anniversary and Misfits shows were part of the celebrities. Misfits was playing two shows at the Nosturi in Helsinki, Finland. Show in April 30th was sold-out so quickly that they booked another show for April 28th. They played in Oulu, Finland in April 27th and in Oslo, Norway in April 29th.

Photo 1) Dez Cadena of the Misfits.
2) Robo of the Misfits.
3) Jerry Only of the Misfits signing autographs for the fans.
4) Top left to right: Bazie (The 69 Eyes), Maike (The Black League, Terveet Kädet etc.), Jerry Only (Misfits), Jussi (The 69 Eyes), Dez (Misfits) and Robo (Misfits). Down: Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone and Jyrki (The 69 Eyes).
5) Paula Kukkanen and her Misfits tattoo.
6) Gore Gore Girls members and Eeka Mäkynen.

I went to eat together with the Misfits. Jerry asked if I had copies of my second book with me. He was lost copy which I gave to him in New York in 2004. I then asked if it is OK for them that The 69 Eyes members come to say hi for them. They knew The 69 Eyes and HIM well as a bands, but they weren't met before. I called guitarist Bazie of The 69 Eyes and said Jerry, Dez and Robo wants to meet them.

Gore Gore Girls is a garage rock band from Detroit and they supported Misfits. Show of the Gore Gore Girls was better than their songs, so their tunes really weren't catchy or interesting. Bassist Lianna of them was wearing earlier that day a Ramones shirt and after their show I talked with him of the Ramones.
Misfits played a show with tight attitude. Guys had their regular face paintings and make-up. Of the newer Misfits songs they punkrocked for example Dig Up Her Bones and American Psycho and of the older ones We Are 138, Attitude, Halloween, Ghouls Night Out and Angelfuck. Last Caress is one of my favourite Misfits songs and with it was easy to sing-a-long. Helena was a slower catchy song, on it Jerry was singing for example: "If I cut off your arms and cut off your legs, Would you still love me anyway?" Die, Die My Darling and Green Hell etc. were blasted in an encore. Jerry, Dez and Robo played also some Black Flag songs, like Rise Above and Six Pack. Dez and Robo were playing before in Black Flag. I was watching the show with Misfits tour manager from the balcony which was above stage. Tour manager was looking that nobody wasn't videorecording a show. Jerry interrupted show few times when they saw somebody doing videorecording. I went to take some photos from stage also during the show and after it was ended when guys were signing autographs. Especially Jerry was friendly to the fans and he signed lot material for them.
After a show I went to pick up The 69 Eyes members from audience to backstage as I was decided with Jerry, Dez and Robo. The 69 Eyes guitarist Bazie, singer Jyrki and drummer Jussi and Maike of the The Black League, Terveet Kädet, Faff-Bey etc. came to the backstage and we had great time there. Misfits and The 69 Eyes were talking of it how great it would have if they would do an tour together. Sadly members of the HIM did not got chance to come to the show. Jerry, Dez and Robo would have liked to meet them also.

I was staying in a house of my friends Tommi Parkkila and Pete in Helsinki. It was around 00:30PM when Jerry Only called me on May 30, 2008 and asked if I would come with him to buy an camera. I went to close of their hotel to find a good store and a bit later Jerry, his son and I went there together. It was easier for them when they had an Finnish speaking person with them and they also supposed that I do know more of the cameras than they. We found a good professional camera with a good price. We went back to hotel and Jussi of The 69 Eyes was calling us because he and Jerry were confirmed an interview for Jussi's weekly radio program The Night Of The Vampires. Jerry Only also listed for Jussi's shows for his favourite songs, they included I Wanna Be Sedated (Ramones), Search And Destroy (Iggy Pop And The Stooges) and Your Generation (Generation X).
Jerry offered me a beer when we were waiting taxi. Btw, Jerry, Dez or Robo did not drinked any alcohol while they were touring, and it was a good think. Because that way they can keep their performance level in a high and tight level. Interview did happen at the Nosturi. I was also doing at the same time and later interview for Pohjalainen newspaper. Soundcheck went well later and then Jerry had some projects. I took to the show Tommi Parkkila and my another friend Paula Kukkanen. It was nice to introduce also Paula to the Misfits members and crew members and roadies because Paula has a big Misfits kind of tattoo in her chest.
Kätyrit was playing their punkrock before Misfits as a support band. Kätyrit members are also Ramones fans. I met Kätyrit drummer Pete at the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash in New York in 2007.
Misfits started 30 minutes after Kätyrit. Audience made wilder attitude in a show that day than in April 28 show. I was taking lot photos with Jerry's new camera. I took them from the balcony, in front of the stage, from stage wide and close shots etc. Possibly they are using some of them in their next album sleeve. They were going to take more photos to the sleeve in other shows in that tour. After Europe Misfits went to play shows in South-America.
There was decided DVD recording in advance which Jerry would do it with Henkka Pajunen and his friend. There was a confusion because one surprise interview and there were also lot people in backstage. Athmosphere wasn't best and DVD recording went a different way than was hoped... There is going to be cool speech by Jerry on DVD anyway. In general those days with the Misfits were perfect. Also tour manager and all roadies and crew members were really friendly. Sadly I did not asked their names that I would write them here. Thanks for them and Jerry, Dez and Robo.
While I was in Helsinki, I did and finished around 12 newspaper articles. Because of that I did not chance to hang out so much with Tommi, Pete, Paula and other friends than I was hoped.