BY MARIANO ASCH: MARKY RAMONE AND MICKEY
LEIGH TOURING IN SOUTH-AMERICA IN 2005
This text is by Mariano Asch whom you know for example from my
he's this man who put together and released fabulous
Todos Somos Ramones doubleCD tribute album etc. Mariano is also a
reporter and was a personal friend with Joey since 1996 and he’s
had the opportunity to interview 6 different Ramones (Joey, Johnny, Dee
Dee, CJ, Marky & Tommy).
(Picture: Marky and Mickey in the middle together with Mariano Asch. C.J.
Gunn and Aaron Dowell are also in a picture).
Marky Ramone decided to form a one-off band to play to honour the memories
of Joey, Dee Dee and Johnny only in South-America. He asked his long time
friend and Joey Ramone's real life brother Mickey Leigh to lead it and
added his two friends Aaron Dowell from Amps2Eleven and Chris (CJ) Gunn
from The Subtones, so the full band was ready and had their first
rehearsal somewhere in Buenos Aires before playing a short 4 songs set
live at Rock & Pop FM on February 2, 2005. Same day but at an earlier hour
Marky and Mickey were to do an in-store signing appearence at a local
metal shop but due to too may crazy kids showing up, it HAD to be
cancelled for their own safety. Over 800 kids showed up and they could
have literally eaten Marky alive if he had showed up. So the promoters, in
a good move, decided to re-locate the entire event to the radio station
later on the same evening where Marky and Mickey happily signed
autographed, talked and took photographs with over 300 fans. Some kids
cried when seeing Marky, another one even kissed Marky on the foot (!!!),
other 5 girls wanted to rape Marky all at once : It was RamonesMania all
At the radio they did a live interview for the Apaga La Tele show hosted
by Gustavo Olmedo who on one of his previous shows at the same station had
interviewed the Misfits band with Marky, Jerry Only, Robo Misfit and Dez
Cadena (of Black Flag) years earlier. Then it was showtime and they did 4
songs I Want You Around, I Just Want To Have Something To Do, Don't Come
Close and What A Wonderful World. Few days later they played at outdoor
stadium in Formosa, Argentina, then crossed the border to Asuncion,
Paraguay to play a festival with top punksters Attaque 77 and Expulsados.
But the biggest of all gigs was to happen on Sunday 6th, 2005 at Cosquin
Rock festival in San Roque, Cordoba, Argentina. A 5 days festival on which
over 100 bands of all styles played, including most of the top Argentinean
acts. Marky and the guys headlined the Punk Stage on top of the bill after
local credits Cadena Perpetua, Topos and 2 Minutos.
Stage time boys! Marky took the mic, introduced the band, then straight to
"Lo-bo-to-meeee, Lo-bo-to-meeeeee!!!" First 8 high-energy songs performed
as a 3 piece band: Chris on lead vocals and guitar, Aaron on bass and of
course you guess who played the drums? Mickey was on the side of the stage
waiting to appear. Marky went again to the mic and introduced Mickey to a
cheering audience who despite the immense annoying pouring rain (it was
outdoors!) clapped, cheered and sang-along to every song. Most of the
faces seemed to be kids who were too young to see the real thing (The
Ramones) and were happily enthusiast about having the chance to witness a
real Ramone and the brother of another real Ramone performing some of
their favourite songs. Mickey introduced his first song "If you've seen
the movie Rock'N'Roll High School you will know this tune, called I Want
You Around". Great choice to open with and what a great version!
Next were... too many great songs to mention them all. Some great choices
which the Ramones never played live almost, some others which were totally
expected (you know, all the classics). Personal highlight to me was a fab
rendition of Something To Believe In but the kids all danced too to the
likes of I Can't Give You Anything, went sad and cried to Life's A Gas,
hey-hoed let's goed their hearts out on Blitzkrieg Bop, went to Idaho
listening to Sheena on the radio-wooah to Danny Says and left happily
thinking to themselves What A Wonderful World. What a wonderful closing
song! And a pretty decent show too.
The band was happy, the kids were happy but the rain never stopped. Mickey
was happy to watch first-hand how big his big bro' was in Ramonesland and
flew back to NYC days later after a date in Caracas, Venezuela. The final
night was meant to be at CBGB Buenos Aires but got cancelled at the last
minute by the local government. Why? To make a long story short: I guess
you all heard about the fire at a rock venue in Buenos Aires December 30th
2004 (big amount of people died...). After that the city government went
fuckin' nuts and closed all rock venues, discos, night clubs.... Basically
killed the city's nightlife. The venue was too small and the government
and police decided at the last minute that the event was "too dangerous"
and that "security could not be guaranteed" and closed the venue.
Political bullshit, as usual. Finally the rest of the band plus Tank the
super nice big guy big hardcore Misfits fan who tour managed the band,
they all had to flew back home without playing at the city who mostly
loved the Ramones during their life-time.
Marky, at the Holiday Inn hotel in Cordoba said (as the Beatles) "Not a
second time". Let's hope they play again (and do more of the rarest
1-2-3-4 goes to writer and photographer: Mariano