MARKY RAMONE AND THE SPEEDKINGS

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My trip and 24 hours with the Marky Ramone & The Speedkings, December 28-29, 2001, Stockholm (Sweden)

Copyright© Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone, Marky Ramone & The Speedkings, Peter Åstedt, Juki...

(Pic: from left to right: Nick, Jari-Pekka, Vito, Calle, Dee, Marky and Kenny).
December was more than busy for me and I really needed this gig. Whole autumn I’ve worked so hard specially with my Joey Ramone -memory book and during December I was sent already more than 1 100 e-mails, 700 of the mails to fans who were sent for me their Joey-memory texts. I had to ask permission to publish their words on book form. This was necessary for legal reasons. So I was really happy to get little holiday from computers and I travelled from my city Kauhajoki Dec 26 to Tampere, where really cool finnish band called Pojat played, they’re punked since 1989 and also recorded many Ramones-covers. I was really sad that my girlfriend Päivi couldn’t come for this trip.

Before the Pojat-show I met my friend Kukka, who plays in a Punk Lurex OK and Väärät Vieraat. Punk Lurex OK is at example recorded EP with TV Smith (Adverts). Pojat-gig was great and before them played Control plays Clash. Pojat played Ramones-covers (with finnish) Pet Sematary and She Belongs To Me. There was a good audience and lot of my friends and also some new Ramones-fans recognized me. Then next morning was relax without any hurry and in Tampere I went with Kukka for some shops and also I visited in Poko -record company to discuss of the Joey-memory text by band called Eppu Normaali (band who’s sold most records in Finland) and also asking if Poko wanna get advertisement to my book, seemed to be OK. We drank yet some beers with Kukka and then I went to the busstation to get Hannu’s (owner of the Woimasointu) packet. Speedkings-single was sold out pretty fast in a tour and they wanted to get more and then Hannu sent singles to Tampere, where it was easy for me to pick them up and get to the band to Stockholm.

(Second pic: I and Marky).
Then I left by train to Turku-city and seaport. It’s easy travel to Sweden by cruiser, only 10 hours from Turku to Stockholm. I bought to the Speedkings salmiac Vodka and to the Marky special chocolate (Marky doesn’t have drank alcohols for many years). In a morning I went to some nice record shops and I bought new Misfits-CD Cuts From The Crypt, it contains I Wanna Be A NY Ranger -track, it’s originally developed for the New York Rangers hockey team, written by director John Cafiero and intended for the Ramones, but we know why Ramones didn’t recorded it. Then I phoned with Calle (real Viking), this gentleman and punkrocker, who owns White Jazz -records. White Jazz released this Marky Ramone & The Speedkings -album No If's, And's or But's! Calle told that airplane of the band is late and we talked that I go already to the hotel, there I waited 1,5 hours reading great book Mr Blue: Memoirs of a Renegade by Edward Bunker.

Then I saw Marky walking in to the hotel lobby and we shaked hands and Marky asked my latest news. Then other guys also walked in and sure we shaked hands also etc. Marky was slept only 2 hours on last night and the whole tour was so hard, when Marky Ramone & The Speedkings played 25 shows in 26 days in 10 countries. One gig was cancelled because the snowstorm. Soon Marky went to take shower and get a little rest. Also Kenny from Ramones-cover band Cretins came with the band from airport, he was came with another plane same time to the airport and he was old friend with Calle.

(Third and fourth drawing/pic: Vito's drawing of the Marky, signed by Marky. Photo is from Dec 26, Valencia, Spain, where Marky wear this Evil-shirt = also on drawing).
Then we went to sit down and discuss with the Nick Cooper, Vito Jr Dagostini and Dee Jaywalker. They were also tired, but really friendly, like Marky. Was cool to hear more memories from the tour, when sadly Speedkings wasn’t got chance to write regular tourdiary for my page, like they were planned. Tour was just so busy etc. I also gave for them this salmiac vodka and Nick and Dee liked of it, later Vito told me that he doesn’t drink alcohol. Then I was bought from cruiser also some Finnish beers, Calle thinks that Finnish beers are much more great than Swedish, so I took some for him. Peter from Vitaminic.se netmagazine also arrived, I knew with him already from my other "Ramones-tourings". Peter is really cool guy. Nick, Dee and Vito already autographed Speedkings-album and singles for me and Kenny. Soon Marky came down and we took some photos, Peter photographed. We took some regular ones and then "Fuck you" pics. Marky told that he didn’t like of these "Fuck you" pics so much and only I, Nick and Vito showed our middle fingers. I was read Nick’s message of the "Fuck you" pics before the tour, he was planned to get one that kind of pic in every city. I was only seen one from that tour before (by Bram van Schaik), so I wanted to make sure we get some in Stockholm. Then Marky autographed album and singles. Also signed rare mags by John Holmstrom etc. for me, which are prizes in a drawing, who support financially my Joey-book and also some mags between preorders. Kenny was took with him Marky’s solo records and records where Marky plays (not Ramones-records), like Dust and Estus, sure Marky’s autographs looked beautiful on LP-cover size. Kenny asked from Nick if he can play guitar on some song, they decided that Kenny plays on Blitkzrieg Bop. I was decided month before with the band that I sing vocals on 1-2 songs. Then I talked with Nick that good choices for me would be Blitzkrieg Bop and I Wanna Be Sedated.

Then Marky, Nick, Peter and I left to do interview. Mostly Peter asked regular questions of the tour from Marky and Nick and also of the Joey. It was 15 minutes interview and then we shoot some photographs.

This concert place Shrine was really close of the hotel, so it was short walk when we went to check Marky’s drums and some technical things. Marky was really exact with everything. Organisator of the gig came to introduce himself also and it was good attitude in a place. Then Marky and Calle went by taxi to the record signing place, Sound Pollution -record shop. I, Nick, Dee, Vito, Peter and Kenny walked, it was only 1 kilometer walking. In the front of the Sound Pollution was pretty long line and there I met my friends Juki, Freddy and Iggy. They were first in a line and it was lot to talk before we got in, I stayed outside with them, not went in with the band. Also I bough from kiosk Expressen-newspaper for me and Marky. It contained good infos of the gig and Marky was asked me to get copy of it for him also.

(Pic: Juki got his autographs at Sound Pollution).
Signing took maybe 30 minutes and after it I stayed some time in a shop, owner knew me and my site also, when Calle introduced us. From the Sound Pollution we walked back to the Shrine with many groups and there I talked with the Juki, Iggy, Freddy, Kenny and also one "motorcycle" man came with us to the Shrine. Marky & The Speedkings did the soundcheck, they played 6 songs like Chinese Rocks and California Sun. Marky posed nicely for the pictures which we took and he found time for everyone. I shotted many photos from different places and specially from stairway it was good to take photographs. Then was good time to drink and talk more with the Speedkings and from Nick I heard many new stories. Also Nick gave to me Stolischnaya-vodka (0,7 l) -bottle, it was nice surprise and I decided to open it on some special happening later, maybe in some of my book release partys. Vito did drawing of the Marky and gave it to me, it was really cool. Soon Marky was going to take little sleep and prepared to the gig. Marky wanted to give his best to the audience.

Then I went to the hotel with Juki, I brang my bags to the room and we drink Rum-bottle, which I was bought from cruiser. When we came back, Satirnine (girl band) was already playing and I was surprised. Girl knew how to rock, even they’re pretty young (18-21 years old). Good and nasty show. Little bit later started Maryslim. Maryslim was mainsupport band of that tour and they played in 10 cities with Marky Ramone & The Speedkings. Maryslim sounded little bit more metal rock than Satirnine and their new single just came out and new album comes in February, through White Jazz Records of course! I enjoyed their show and guys were really friendly also.

It was good time to talk with fans also, who recognized me and some of them I knew already, like Martin. With Nick and Dee I also visited on other floors, there was different type of floors in Shrine. Bottom floor DJ’s played more metal stuff, main floor DJ’s offered example Flaming Sideburns between bands.

Strollers played yet before the Marky Ramone & The Speedkings and they served pretty boring gig. I was waited much more from Strollers, they played 60´s punk-garage, but probably I don’t wanna see them again, when they dared to come to blame Speedkings of their bad sound. At first one player came to talk with me, he thinked that I’m one of the Speedkings, I went with him to talk with Dee. That Strollers-member said that Speedkings was sabotaged their sound. It was impossible, when Speedkings wasn’t got own mixer for that gig etc.

I got nice and exciting feelings before the show. I was decided with Nick that I only sing Blitzkrieg Bop. I wasn’t on first line, I wanted to pogo and be crazy when first songs came out and it wasn’t surprise that our first shock treatment was Speedkings Ride Tonight. Early we also heard R'N'Roll Asshole and Manuelita, which were also really catchy at live. There was some assholes in a audience and some threw something to the stage, Vito replied fuck you for him/her, during the song break. There was no long breaks, like you can expect. If I remember well, Chinese Rocks was first Ramones-song. Some days before Speedkings was started to play Ramones-songs during the whole gig, not only on second set. Speedkings was so tight band at live than I waited and it was really nice to pogo and keep fun with other fans. Iggy, Freddy and Juki enjoyed the gig from left side and from time to time I was headbanging with them. Telephone Love was only Marky Ramone & The Intruders -song which band played and I don’t know how they choosed it, I think that some other Intruders-songs would fit more well to the set, like Can't Take It With You, I Wants My Beer, Life Sucks or Middle Finger. Then I went to the left side of the stage (Vito’s side) and climbed to 0,5 meter high box. It was good place to take more photographs. Can smell adrenalin and attitude from these pics. Whole band fit well to the pics, can see everyone of them in action.

(Animated pic: ...Hey ho, let's go Hey ho, let's go Hey ho, let's go Hey ho, let's go They're forming in straight line They're going through a tight wind The kids are losing their minds The Blitzkrieg Bop ...)
California Sun and Glad To See You Go were good warming to the encore. Then I went with Juki to the stairway, that he took some pics during Blitzkrieg Bop. Juki was pretty drunk (, but he took good pics, but sadly can see only part of the Marky on those photos. Audience got more community singing with I Wanna Be Sedated and Girls & Gasoline. Girls & Gasoline contains lot faster aggressive parts without speed limits, but also couple slower "relax under the sun" parts.

Kenny was coming to the stage without his leather jackets, I mention of it to him and finally he weared his leather jacket, got more Ramones-spirit for our appearances. Nick introduced us, he talked some lines of my page, like I run the most big and best Ramones-site ever and told that Kenny is from Cretins. Nick was told that Marky Ramone & The Speedkings doesn’t play ultrafast version of the Blitzkrieg Bop, but... it was ultrafast and it was good for me, when I speak normally pretty fast way and then I also sing with fast style. It was easy to do mainvocals. It was really good feeling and after it ended, I hugged with Nick and Marky. Blitzkrieg Bop was final song of the gig. I think that audience was satisfied for the gig. Speedkings offered what fans wanted! At all they played 23 songs.

Then we started to pack equipments and was also some time to hang out with fans and some new ones came to talk for me and promised to write e-mails. Then we left and I walked to the hotel with Juki, I carried Nick’s guitar and soon Nick walked towards us. Also some girls and one boy came with us, (at least) one of the girls was originally from Finland and we talked of the Hanoi Rocks Revisited -gigs. She was pretty drunk and some things she told three times. I was going to visit on Calle’s hotel room, but he wasn’t there and when I came back to the lobby, Speedkings-members were leaving to their hotel rooms, where I also slept on extra bed. Girls left home and this one guy started to sleep in a floor, he was pretty upside down, he though that we’re then in a cruiser... In a morning he was gone, when I wake up 10.15, I went to the breakfast. Speedkings-members were already eating. Nick and Dee ate fast, they enjoyed some "animals" on their breakfast, I and Vito are vegetarians, so we give animals to be alive. With Vito I talked pretty long time, of his other band Liar, who comes soon to Finland also and general underground punkthings. Then I got time to go yet to shower on Calle’s room and then we left to the airport.

It was restful feeling in a car and I talked with Marky of the Attaque ’77 (band from Argentina), who does Portugalian or Spain version of the Road Rage (bonus track on Speedkings-album) for next Speedkings-album and also of the Raimundos-album, which feature livetracks where Marky plays. Also of the Ramones-gig at Provinssirock, Finland 1988, during it Red Hot Chili Peppers -members came to the stage wearing only genitalsocks. With Calle we promised to try to get some good festival shows for the Speedkings in summer in Scandinavia and then comes also some smaller club shows, if everything goes fine. Nick also gave me some special presents and later asked Marky to autograph that Vito's drawing and Marky's drumstick, which Nick was gave me after the show. Calle also asked drumstick from Marky, which he autographed. It was 20-25 kilometers from hotel to airport, we were there well before the flight. We shaked hands and I took final pic of the band with Calle. Then we drove back to the Stockholm and I checked out yet some record shops and shopped in some other places presents for Päivi and later I met with Juki, with whom we enjoyed one concert, girl band, whom one member I was met last night on the gig and Juki was talked with that same girl of the gig. Next day it was good to sleep long and listen great music and talk before I had to go and enjoy big portion of Juki’s spicy pasta.

It was nice to come back to Finland and buy lot tax-free alcohols. Also I was got more than 150 e-mails during that trip, so it takes a while to answer them, because the Joey-book works.

(Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone)