MY RAMONIAC TRIP TO NEW YORK, SAN DIEGO AND TIJUANA IN
Copyright 2008 -> Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone
- THIS IS PAGE 4.
- GO BACK TO
PAGE 3 OR GO TO
It turned May 17, 2008 and I had a flight from San Diego to New York. I
slept at JFK
airplane station before I went by metro and taxi close of Arturo Vega's
house in East Village in New York. When I jumped off from taxi, I saw
again Joey Ramone Place street sign and I felt happy and sad both times.
So much I and many hundreds of thousands of people miss Joey. But I also
know that he is in a safe place now.
I forwarded to Arturo Vega's apartment and it was happy meeting. Arturo
Vega was the Ramones creative director since 1974, he designed the
Ramones' eagle logo and most all of the Ramones art, shirts etc. He
worked as well as a Ramones lighting director. He was with the Ramones
in 2261 shows, and he missed only 2 Ramones shows. He lived together
with Joey and Dee Dee in the early Ramones days in a same apartment
where Arturo still lives nowadays. I felt so honoured to stay my New
York days in that apartment. I and Arturo are always supported each
other. Arturo also run Ramonesworld.com website.
Day before Arturo was returned from Wien, Switzerland where he
was in a Punk - No One Is Innocent exhibition. Arturo was going to New
York City Tattoo Convention in May 18 and he asked me to come there as
well. I was going to but later that day I and Arturo did not met in our
meeting place because of one misunderstanding. Arturo was met at New
York City Tattoo Convention for example Andrew D.
Gore. Andrew D. Gore
became friends with the Ramones in early 80's and especially Johnny and
Dee Dee liked to wear horror etc. kind of T-shirts made by Andrew D.
Gore. Dee Dee gave his stage jacket for CJ after Dee Dee quit the
Ramones and CJ used that jacket lot in Ramones shows. Later CJ gave that
jacket to Andrew.
I wanted to visit that day Trash And Vaudeville and meet Jimmy Webb who
is store manager in that cool store. There is all kind of special punk
clothes and merchandise. I bought this year from Trash And Vaudeville
Iggy And The Stooges beer glass, two rock kind of pants and belt. Pants
and belt my dear Ilma grandmother (born in 1919) paid later for me as my
30th birthday gift. Later in this trip I introduced store for Marta
Alcaraz who travelled again from Spain to New York for Joey Ramone
Birthday Bash. Marta loved Trash And Vaudeville.
The Continental club was closed
for a while in past. The Ramones members
played in past many times at The Continental. The Continental was now
re-opened in a same location next to Trash And Vaudeville at St.
Marks Place. I wanted visit Continental and take few beers and remember
times when I was there with many friends already in 2001 and
Arturo Vega had gave me key to his house. I left some of my items there
around 10PM in May 18 I headed to The Bowery Electric bar owned by Jesse
Malin and his friends. The Bowery Electric bar is close of Arturo Vega's
house. 50 meters away from The Bowery Electric was located CBGB's. In
that old CBGB spot is now Morrison Hotel and gallery.
After I left Jesse Malin's bar, my mind and heart filled up with sad
feelings when I walked to
Manitoba's bar. I went to choose songs from
jukebox and 11.57PM I and other people heard Ramones song I Just Want To
Have Something To Do, and at midnight I Wanna Live. So it was May 19 and
Joey became then 57 years young and I 30 years old. I and Joey has same
birthday. Joey Ramone made his final live performance at Manitoba's on
December 12, 2000. It was then birthday party of Evil Presly. Evil is
singer of The Independents, and he was one of Joey's best friends. I was
reading story of that Joey's last show from my first book while I was
sitting at Manitoba's and I had a drink for Joey's memory. I was
wondering how there was no Joey's Don't Worry About Me album at
Manitoba's jubebox, and of the Ramones releases there was only Ramones
Mania collection. Manitoba's is owned by Handsome Dick Manitoba's of the
Dictators. You can buy from bar Manitoba's and Amy Wallace's book titled
The Official Punk Rock Book Of Lists.
Photo 1) Evil Presly (from left to right), Joey Ramone, Willy B., third
The Independents member and Joey's brother Mickey Leigh at
Manitoba's bar in NYC on December 12, 2000. Photo: Sherry Globman.
2) Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone, Joey Ramone going to surf and Arturo Vega
at Arturo Vega's apartment.
3) Musician Al Maddy and his son Ebban.
4) Photo of the girl who has Joey Ramone with wings tattooed in her
5) Promoter Dave Frey and video director etc. George Seminara.
6) Photographer John Nikolai.
7) Some fans at the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash in 2008.
After I returned back to Arturo's house, it was not so easy to sleep. I
had so lot feelings and thoughs going on in my head. I thinked how I was
really sleeping in an apartment where Joey and Dee Dee were living with
Arturo Vega in first Ramones years. Joey and Dee Dee were only 22-23
years old in 1974 when they were living with Arturo and Ramones
was just started their career. I imagined how happy and creative they
were and also what kind
of parties they had with other Ramones members and friends. Spirit of
Joey and Dee Dee really was there around. I was imagining in what kind
of feelings Joey and Dee Dee wrote there early Ramones songs. I also
realized that I really was sleeping in a room where is big working table
signed first Ramones album contract. Arturo still has that same
big working table.
Arturo has lot Ramones photos on walls, like of him, Joey and Dee Dee in
that apartment in 1976 and of Arturo and Johnny in 1978. Arturo Vega
also did show to me photos of Johnny Ramone being 11 months old, 10
years old, 12 years old and 18 years old. Also he did show to me
Johnny's Ramones first passport and high school diplom. They were so
cool to see.
Arturo Vega.s undertenant was also artist like Arturo is. His name was
James Rubio. James was nice and friendly guy and talented artist. I and
Arturo Vega went by taxi to the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza at 4PM
in May 19. Joey Ramone Birthday Bash was there. We carried there an big
Joey Ramone stand where Joey was carrying surfboard. Stand was in an
electric equipment which made it spinning. We put stand behind of
merchandise desk. Then Arturo said to me that he was forgot Joey Ramone
poster's for his apartment. I went to get them and outside of venue I
first met Mike Breschard and his wife Denise and their friend.
I was looking an soundchecks of artists and bands. I met for example
with Evil Presly and Willy B of The Independents. It was great
them again. I told them greetings from Randy Wisebrod and Shazz
Carrington. So in this trip before I was visiting Randy and Shazz and
other special friends in San Diego. Randy and Shazz takes care of The
Independents homepage and they have known The Independents for a long
George Seminara came to say hi for me. Seminara has directed many
Ramones promo videos and he is also main man behind of Ramones DVD It's
Alive 1974-1996. Soon George Seminara, Evil Presly and I were
chatting of the Joey. I asked from Evil which The Independents song he
would like to
sing with Joey Ramone that day. Evil chose Baby Doll song, Joey liked a
lot of that tune.
We three spoke how happy Joey Ramone was in heaven that Mary Weiss
was also performing in that night and honouring Joey. Mary was lead singer
of the 60's band Shangri-Las. George Seminara praised how great way Joey
chose 60's songs by girl groups for his special gig sets, and how
perfectly they fitted for Joey's voice. George also commented how much
Phil Spector loved Joey's voice.
Then I met with Joey's brother Mickey Leigh, Dave Frey of Silent Partner
Management, Ida S. Langsam who was publicist of the Ramones in 1987-1996
and with many artists before the doors were opened. I and Jesse Malin
chatted a while. Jesse remembered me and our earlier discussions of
doing an interview. Jesse asked me to come to The Bowery Electric in
next day. Photographer John Nikolai was taking lot photos of that night
to JoeyRamone.com etc. I took few photos of Jesse Malin and John Nikolai
My friend David K. was said that he has no chance to come to Joey Ramone
Birthday Bash. Luckily I called David just in case and he got chance to
come. We met outside the venue. We chatted with Al Maeda and with Al's
son Ebban. Al was Joey's friend and he also plays in his solo album. I
was happy to see many Ramones fans again, like at the venue I talked
with Celine Moray, Adele Holzman, Bebe Buell, Mike
and Denise Breschard,
Marta Alcaraz, Linda Iorio, Cynthia Klatt, Neil Richter and Don Sellner
who gave CD of his band The
Fans and artists got chance to
write greetings for Joey to the big poster next to merchandise table.
I was planned in advance that I would take at the Joey Ramone Birthday
Bash photo of one girl who has Joey Ramone with wings tattooed in her
back. I saw that girl in audience and I got photo of her. I has
collected Ramones tattoo photos for my third book.
I had hoped to meet with photographer George DuBose at the Birthday
Bash. But sadly we did not met. Also we had in advance plans that I
would go to George's yacht what he was fixing close of New York. Anyway
I met most of the people whom I wanted. Also mentally there
were so many fans worldwide celebrating Joey Ramone's birthday with us.
- GO TO