BACK

RAMONES: MARKY RAMONE AND MICKEY LEIGH TOURING IN SOUTH-AMERICA IN 2005

Marky Ramone and Joey's brother Mickey Leigh collected line-up and toured in South-America. At first Marky Ramone wrote to me:
"I will be doing these shows with my friend (and Joey's brother) Mickey Leigh, and friend Anthony Esposito, in South America and Mexico. We will be doing songs from Joey's solo album, and of course (and why not everybody else is doing it) Ramones songs. Our tribute. The legacy will live on as long as I enjoy playing (and of course in all the other bands out there that have been influenced by the Ramones one way or another). I'm very grateful and I'm sure Johnny, Joey and Dee Dee would've been flattered by all these groups that are paying homage - thanks again for keeping it alive. Well everyone. have a happy holiday, and may all your dreams come true."

Dates and venues were:
February 3, 2005, Club Formosa, Formosa, Argentina
February 4, 2005, Auditorio Ipacarai, San Bernadino, Paraguay
February 6, 2005, Lago San Roque, Cordoba, Argentina
February 9, 2005, La Batuta, Santiago, Chile
February 11, 2005, La Plaza, Bogota, Colombia
February 12, 2005, El Arroyito, Caracas, Venezuela
Some shows got cancelled, like in Buenos Aires...

Mickey Leigh wrote really cool and extensive way of his feelings of the tour:
Thought some of you might be interested in what it's like being on a tour in South America with Marky Ramone.

On the Road With The Ramones

In case anyone is curious about my expedition to the Southern hemisphere with Marky Ramone, hereīs a glimpse into what itīs been like. Itīs really an extension of what Marky and I have been doing at the Joey Ramone birthday bashes the past 4 years, except this expands to an homage to the entire band. Playing Ramones songs together has been an extremely pleasurable experience for both of us, and this has turned out to be much more rewarding than I envisioned; in many ways. I loved my brother very much, and miss him terribly. Singing his songs for people who also loved him helps fill the emptiness I live with. Iīm very thankful to Marky for inviting me to accompany him here, and ever grateful to his former andmates they brought to and left us with. That sentiment is very obviously shared with these fans of the band.

They couldnīt be more thrilled to see Marky; and having Joeyīs little brother on board happily appears to be an extra adde, welcome surprise for them. Of course, there will always be someone casting some negativity for whatever reason they might choose to conjure up, but not on this tour. One persons nightmare has been a dream for the thousands of people weīve been celebrating the bands legacy with. Iīd heard from my brother for years about the popularity of his band down here. But to witness the admiration and love for Joey and the Ramones music first hand has been precious and worth every minute of the sleepless nights weīve spent traveling around South America. 5,000 people came out in Formosa, Argentina. 8,000 in Ascuncion, Paraguay and 13,000 in Cordoba. They seemed to never want it to end, calling us back for encore after encore.

Refreshing is an understatement in describing their enthusiam. Some of us in the States and elsewhere, might take a lesson. It was all about the songs for them here. They could care less about any infighting, anyone's girlfriends, wives, cosmetic preferences, physical or mental issues. All of us, on stage and in the audience participated in a joyous tribute to one the worldīs great rock and roll bands. We opted to do some songs that the band never, or rarely performed live The first seven songs are Marky with his two friends CJ (a different than CJ Ramone) of the Subtones (Subtones.net) and Aaron of Amps 2 Eleven (amps2eleven.com) doing the high energy songs like...
Havana Affair
Teenage Lobotomy
Chinese Rocks
Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment
I Donīt Wanna Walk Around With You
Cretin Hop
R.A.M.O.N.E.S.

Then the set with the four of us was:
I Want You Around
I Just Wanna Have Something To Do
Rockaway Beach
53rd & 3rd
Pet Semetary
Donīt Come Close
Danny Says
Questioningly
I Donīt Care
Blitzkrieg Bop
I Canīt Give You Anything
Something To Beleive In
I Wanna Be Sedated Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
Lifeīs A Gas
Wonderful World

In no way did we attempt to mimic a Ramones show, and never lost sight of the tragic losses suffered the past several years. Marky introduced the songs and several times throughout hte set expressed his own admiration for his fallen bandmates, as well as his predecessor, Tommy Ramone. I was able to give shoutouts to myībro and dedicate several songs specifically to him, including I Donīt Care -the 1st song he evere wrote- and Wonderful World from his solo album, which we did in the encores.

Sometimes, for me at least, it becomes very emotional. I slip into my big brothers songs as naturally as the hand-me downs Iīd received from him my whole life; from my infancy into the late 90īs-when heīd put on a fe extra pounds and pass down items from his wardrobe to me. It always felt comfortable, and continues to.
Iīve known and admired Marky since the 70īs when we both played at MaxīKansas City and CBGBīS. He with Jayne County. and Richard Hell and The Voidoids; and me with Lester Bangs, and The Rattlers. He is true pro, road warrior and workaholic who simply loves to play the drums; especially the songs of the band he spent 16 legendary years with. I donīt see him ever stopping until the dat he canīt lift his sticks anymore. To see the respect he gets here is "a gas".

600 fans came to an in store appearance arranged for him in Buenos Aires. He asked us to come along with him. Like the scene in the documentary End Of The Century as our van got close to the store, kids started running over and pounding on the windows when they spotted a member of their cherished band. We got a call on the cell phone instructing us to turn around and go back to the hotel as the police cancelled the eventdue to the unexpectedly large crowd.

Later that night we played a few songs live on a radio station and they allowed several hundred fans through to get autographs. Many of them told me, in their best english, "We love your Joey. He is still with us". Several had the Sibling Rivalry CD Joey and I did together. It was truly heartwarming.

Any money I receive from this tour is going to cancer research. The other guys are even generously kicking in.

Will Marky and I do it again? Itīs possible.

The experience has been overwhelming and invaluable. All I can say right now is; "Viva Las Ramones"

-Mickey Leigh-



Marky wrote this after the tour

Just got back from a European and South American tour. I want to say a few words: I want to thank TARAKANY for backing me on the European dates I just did. What a band, and of course the shows in South America with a combined total of 25,000 people were amazing.
I could not do the last shows in Argentina due to a fire in another venue, weeks before I arrived there. The government stopped the show in advance, fearing that the same thing could happen at the venue I was going to play there. I will come back to Argentina and do the shows as soon as possible. Also, the autograph signing in Argentina had to be stopped in advance, because of the amount of people blocking traffic. I apologize to everyone who was waiting, and to the friends and fans who bought tickets for the last show in Argentina.
One more thing: I do not have control over ticket prices, they were set by the promoter. Sorry for all the craziness, but what a tour!"

Mickey wrote to me on February 19, 2005:
"Jari-Pekka, your name came up many times throught the tour. Many fans I spoke to know of you and your site. As always, I very much apppreciate what you do- and the way you do it. Thanks."
Fans, thanks of speaking of me and my site nice way. I felt really great to read those words from Mickey.