AN EVENING OF RAMONES-SONGS IN THE SPIRIT OF JOEY RAMONE'S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS SHOW, DECEMBER 15, 2001, AT CONTINENTAL, NYC

Copyrightł 2001 - : Linda Iorio and Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone.

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I went to "Joey's Christmas Bash" last night at the Continental club in the East Village, which was right across the street from where Joey lived. Apparently, Joey had a Xmas Bash each year, but unfortunately I never went to any of 'em. The sign on the door said "In the spirit of Joey Ramones' annual Christmas bash......" and it listed all the bands scheduled to perform (at least a dozen). $5 cover, amazingly!

All the bands did 2 Ramones tunes. Some of the bands I never heard of, but Mickey Leigh (Joey's brother) did the longest set (3 or 4 songs), of Questioningly, Danny Says, a revised version of Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight) medley with "What A Wonderful World" and a new song called "I Couldn't Sleep At All".

The revised Merry Christmas song and "I Couldn't Sleep at All" are on a new CD single (produced by Mickey Leigh) that they were selling at the show the revised Merry Xmas is a slow ballad! The other song clocks in at 2:29 in true Ramones style. The front of the CD single has a photo of Joey wearing a black t-shirt with white letters that say "NYC" (a photo taken by an "unknown fan" according to the credits!), holding a Xmas present, and in the background is a hot-pink heart and behind that is a blue background with white dots. The lettering on the cover is very colorful, with little cartoon angels and Santa & sleigh drawings. And on the inside sleeve (along with the lyrics and credits) is a photo of Joey and Mickey as little kids, wearing curdurory pants and button-down cardigan sweaters, with Santa! It's simply adorable!

Lenny Kaye also played last night, a solo electric couple of songs that I can't remember. He very sincerely said how he misses Joey and what a great person he was. Practically every singer on stage lamented nice things about Joey, how he's missed, but his music will live on. The singer Evil - from The Independents did a great version of "Blitzkreig Bop", and he jumped off the stage into the audience to sing more than half of the song with the audience. One of the bands did a GREAT version of Surfin' Bird as I went into a headbanging frenzy!

Walture Lure and his band "The Waldos" were there (songs escape me) as well as lots of other bands. Some bands had better sound than others - some were way too loud and distorted, but others were just right. There was virtually no long breaks in between bands except for the guitar and bass players to hook up their equipment. I'm 99% sure the speakers, monitors and drum kit stayed on stage all night for all the bands to use.

Joey's mom, Charlotte, was there, near the back of the club, with a few people who were probably relatives. It was great to see her standing on a chair, rocking along to Mickey's set.

To Joey up in Rock 'n Roll Heaven: You would have been proud! Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukuh!

(Thanks Linda Iorio)