Copyright 2008 -> Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone


After I started my trip from Helsinki (Finland) it took for me 33 hours since I was in San Diego (USA). First I had a flight to Amsterdam (Holland) and then to JFK, New York (USA) where I had to wait 13 hours before flights to Phoenix and San Diego.
Then I got chance to change greetings and hugs with my long time special friends Randy Wisebrod and Shazz Carrington. Randy and Shazz moved from Toronto to San Diego some years earlier. I was first time in San Diego year earlier (2007) and then I got to know many of Randy's and Shazz's friends. Now I met in a first days of them Lorie Kubert, Crystal Thompson, Pete Devito, Ibrahima Diallo and Travis and Natalie Campbell. We were hanging out in general and visited also cool pubs like The Lancers and Live Wire. Crystal Thompson was weaved for me Joey Ramone doll, it is really cute. Pete had seen one of the last shows by Dee Dee, it was at Dream Street in San Diego on May 17, 2002. Also that show attended Gaston and Javier Sanchez.

I think it is good to tell a bit about San Diego "as a tourist." Gaston Sanchez , his wife Yoly and their dorother Lily (2,5 years old) picked me up Randy's and Shazz's house and we went to Old Town in San Diego. There was Mexican influenced weekend. We saw lot nice Mexican stuff and also visited some cemetaries and houses which were founded 150-200 years ago. Later that day Gaston, Yoly, Lily and I met Javier. Javier is Gaston's brother. All of those four people was so great for me to meet again. Later Gaston, Yoly and Lily invited me to visit their house and there we looked for example Gaston's Ramones collection. He has one of the most extensive Ramones live bootleg show collection. Gaston especially likes to collect also for example Ramones tour T-shirts, like he has one USA version from Pleasent Dreams tour, Japan version of Brain Drain tour and UK version of Halfway To Sanity tour. Later in that trip Gaston, Yoly and Lily wanted to take me to visit Gaston's parents Gloria and Luis. There were also Gaston's brothers Javier and Jorge. Gloria and Luis had big and beautiful house with lot nice antiques. They had cooked for us great vegetarian meal. And then they started to sing "Happy birthday...", and I was amazed when they brought to table big birthday cake which included three candy roses with text: "Happy birthday Jari." I was so happy of their surprise and friendliness. Thanks again. I has same birthday with Joey Ramone (May 19).

Photo 1) A handwritten note by the Joey Ramone at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego.
2-5) I took these photos of the animals at the San Diego Wild Animal Park: lions (2), beautiful bird (3), meerkat (4) and gorilla (5).
6) From left to right: James "Mac" McNeil, Randy Wisebrod, Pete Devito, Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone and Shazz Carrington.
7) From left to right: Crystal Thompson, Ibrahima Diallo and Lorie Kubert. Crystal weaved for me that Joey Ramone doll what she is holding.
8) From left to right: Sanchez family members: Javier, Luis, Gloria, Gaston, Yoly, Lily and Jorge.

One day I went to Downtown in San Diego. I got idea to go for two hours sea cruise. It was nice and relaxing experience. I saw in a cruise for example sealions and lot of beautiful views. Later that day I visited Hard Rock Cafe. There were no Ramones items. Then Randy came to Downtown and we visited together Hard Rock Hotel. I was told that there is some Ramones items. We founded a handwritten note by the Joey Ramone. It had around 80 words, it was really written with Joey's style which is a bit hard to read. I got a feeling that it was maybe delineation of the lyrics of some unreleased song... Note was framed as was also big Ramones photo in other location in hotel, Ramones photo was taken live at the TV show in 1975. Those were cool to see. I also saw in Hard Rock Cafe and Hard Rock Hotel for example handwritten lyrics on music sheet for Alice Cooper's song School's Out with his signature and limited edition copy of axe bass of Kiss' Gene Simmons and lot Sex Pistols stuff, like clothes what Sex Pistols members used in 1976 and letter by Sid Vicious' mother after Sid was arrested as a suspect of murdering Nancy Spungen.
I and Randy met later that day Shazz Carrington, Lorie Kubert, Crystal Thompson and Ibrahima Diallo at The Yardhouse in Downtown, San Diego. It was a cool place, there was in a tap around 150 different beers.. There were beers all around the world and it was good to try some new ones. Ibrahima Diallo has born in Ivory Coast. He moved to San Diego in 1990 and he run a The Africa Center art gallery/ store in San Diego. It was cool to visit there and meet also Ibrahima's sister Pedoh and see African paintings and sculptures by Kader Boly and Ouedrago who are born in Burkina-Faso. Kader currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Route 44 skate shop was also close of Randy's and Shazz's house. I made a book trade there and I got some T-shirts. Logo in Bones Kills skate T-shirt was made a same way than how is in Ramones logo shirt.
Later that day (In May 8) Shazz, Randy and I were looking DVD of The King Of Punk documentary which is directed and produced by Kenneth van Schooten and Julie van Schooten. King Of Punk contains interviews for example with Marky Ramone, Jayne County, Cheetah Chrome of the Dead Boys, Charlie Harper of the UK Subs and Keith 'Monkey' Warren of The Adicts. It also profiles OBGYN, an all-girl punk band based in Fayetteville, NC, USA, and Patrick Clement, owner of FNS Records. It is a bit too much concentrated for OBGYN and Patrick Clement.
Even I really tried to have finally an holiday, I did many updates to my Ramones homepage also during this trip. It was a bit confusing to tell to the fans that Richie Ramone had to cancel his coming to the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash. I was E-mailing of it with Richie and his wife Annette.

With a help from Javier and Gaston Sanchez I got chance to visit San Diego Wild Animal Park together with Shazz, Randy and Pete. Last year Javier and Gaston helped me and Lorie Kubert to have fabulous day in San Diego Zoo. Wild Animal Park is located 30 miles away from Zoo. We saw for example gorillas, lions, zebras, giraffes, flamingos... There is in all around 3 000 animals and 400 different species. If you go to the Wild Animal Park, don't miss there Africa safari tour. Lot of sad feelings were going through when you saw there Northern white rhinoceros and you heard how critically endangered it is. There is known to be around 15 Northern white rhinoceros in a world anymore, and all known males are too old to make babies with females. So in following decades there is no anymore that species... There is at Wild Animal Park 40 years old male called Angalifu and Nola female.
This time I did not went from San Diego to Los Angeles. I would have loved to see again Johnny's wife Linda, Maria Montoya-Kaye and her husband David and son Nathaniel etc. And sure I would have wanted to visit Hollywood Forever Cemetery where is Dee Dee's grave and Johnny's statue etc.
While I was in San Diego, I confirmed with Glen Kolotkin that we do an interview for my third book. Glen Kolotkin produced together with Ritchie Cordell Ramones album Subterranean Jungle. He has produced also for example Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Talking Heads and Carlos Santana. Glen Kolothin has more than 20 gold and platinum albums on his credit.