Text and photos -> Copyright 2006 -> : Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone.
Expect photo featuring Jari-Pekka.

The full-length CD/DVD combo Osaka Popstar And The American Legends Of Punk was released in May, 2006. Osaka Popstar is helmed by John Cafiero (vocals), Marky Ramone plays drums, Jerry Only (Misfits) is on bass, Dez Cadena (ex-Black Flag/ Misfits) on guitar and Ivan Julian (ex-Richard Hell & The Voidoids) on guitar. Marky and Cafiero are also main men behind of the Ramones Raw which was released in 2004.

I added to my homepage infos on August 16, 2006 that the Misfits will headline Fiend Fest 2006 tour in the USA and Canada in October and November, and Osaka Popstar will tour then also. Only five days later I announced to the Ramones fans that the Misfits and Osaka Popstar will tour in the UK and Scotland before Fiend Fest 2006 (nine shows on September 21-30, 2006). I also then started to think if I do travel to see some shows in the UK, like about show at the Electric Ballroom in London on September 21. I didn't knew many Ramones fans who lives in London area at the moment. With Fulham FC's (Premier league football team from London) goalkeeper Antti Niemi I've known for years. I also heard that Alfie Deliss lives in London and I sent him an E-mail. It's always better to hang out in a city with people who know it and it's also great to get to know with new fans. Alfie was helping me with many things in advance. I was also E-mailing with Marky Ramone, John Cafiero, Bram van Schaik (great journalist and my friend from Netherlands) and Lynne Cameron (my friend from Scotland, who also run Marky Ramone fan site) and calling with Antti Niemi about Fulham FC's games. I decided to book my flights on August 31, departure on September 19 and return on September 25. I got pretty cheap flights from the Ryanair company. Also Bram van Schaik decided to travel to see show in London with his wife Yvon. I had some plans to visit Lynne in Scotland but it would have became too expensive.
I got to know with Grace Crook and her father Kelvin Crook in NYC in May 2005. They travelled then to NYC also because of Joey Ramone Birthday Bash. I've E-mailed with Grace occasionally after that and on September 17 she E-mailed that she will move to London on September 24 and I'm welcome to stay in her apartment last night of my trip.

I had hectic weekend before I started my trip, I did then for example 10 newspaper articles and I replied lot E-mails etc. After I started my trip, I visited wonderful and lovely Piia Voutilainen and then Arska (he's in both of my books, in Heaven Needed A Lead Singer: Fans Remember Joey Ramone and in Rock In Peace: Dee Dee And Joey Ramone. Arska's current band is Jann Wilde & Rose Avenue) before I headed to the airport in Tampere, Finland. Flight went without problems and I landed to London (Stansted airport) at 11PM and then I was going to take express train to Tottenham Hale train station. We were checked with Alfie Deliss that it should still go so late. But it didn't. Then I started to try to find infos of busses and we sent SMS's with Alfie. One bus drove pretty close of Alfie's house and there we met and we changed first time gabba hey greetings in real life. We had chatted shortly on phone before I came to UK and already in car we changed many Ramones experiences. Alfie saw the Ramones first time at live at Hammersmith in London on February 2, 1978. He saw the Ramones at live in all around 15 times, last time in 1988. Few times Alfie was also lucky to hang out with the guys. Like he did show to me really great photos from 1988, he had then fun with Marky and Dee Dee in hotel. With Dee Dee he also visited tattoo shop (Dee Dee took then tattoo) and with Joey Alfie did interview in 1987. He also did show to me his Ramones press articles collection. Alfie had asked many times me to take books with me, he wanted to get them and his first impressions seemed to be great. Also afterwards he has wrote many times positive comments of them. We started to sleep around 3-4AM.

Next morning I was chatting more with people who were living in same commune with Alfie. Everyone had own room and they shared kitchen etc. That day (Wednesday, October 20) we watched DVD of German version of Gabba Gabba Hey! musical, I was just got it some days earlier from the Michael Schaumer, producer of musical. It was fun to watch, even I or Alfie can't understand German language.
I also replied some E-mails before we headed to the Fulham-Wycombe football game. It was Carling Cup game, not Premier League game, and I had got press tickets for us. Carling Cup didn't seemed to be so important to the Fulham and many of their important players weren't playing. Also Antti Niemi wasn't playing. Fulham lost 1-2. It was cool experience to attend football game in UK.
Alfie drove me to Camden Town where was located Camden Inn hostel. I was a bit excited because I was read conflicting feedback of Camden Inn hostel. Some praised it and some had wrote really negative stories. But from the first moments I got there good service. I shared my room with five other people.

I slept pretty well and next morning I was excited because it was day of the Osaka Popstar / Misfits show. Alfie was working that day and he couldn't attend a show. Last time he was seen Marky at Dingwalls in London in 2000, then Marky was doing a spoken word show.
So Camden Town was really close of the hostel and I decided to go and wander there. Camden Town is well-known for it's markets and shops which are selling goods of all types including clothes, lifestyle, books, food, antiques and bizarre goods. There were lot young people wandering and doing shoppings. Lot punks were also walking in streets. I saw there as well lot Ramones products (also official ones). Bram Van Schaik then sent me an SMS and we decided to meet at 5 in front of Electric Ballroom, where the show was going on to be. We were confirmed in advance with John Cafiero and Marky Ramone that we can go to soundcheck also. We met outside of Electric Ballroom with Robin Guy. He is a drummer who has been in many bands, also he has played some shows for example with Lars Frederiksen (Rancid). At the moment he's playing for example in The Business, The Grit and Conspirators and with the Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden guy's solo shows). He's also currently recording an album featuring Kip Winger, Marco Mendoza, T.M. Stevens & Steve Stevens.
We got in together and first we met with Tank. Tank is really great guy and he has been Marky's drum technician etc. many years. In this tour Tank was tour manager. Later he introduced me to Roger and Chris who were also in crew members.
Osaka Popstar where on stage when I and Bram got in. Marky waved to us behind of drums and then came to give a hug. We went to the front of stage and John Cafiero greeted us through microphone. Then soon Osaka Popstar started doing soundcheck. They played whole set (same as later at the real show) and it was so great to watch it relaxing way. I and Bram were taking some photos. I also went to take some close shots of Marky.
After soundcheck was time to change more greetings with everyone. I didn't met with Marky, Jerry Only or John Cafiero in New York in last May, when I was there because of Joey Ramone's Birthday Memory Bash. But before we were met many times and hang out together. With Ivan Julian I met in May 2005. With John Cafiero I had only been in touch via E-mail before and it was great to meet him finally. All of them were really friendly and we were chatting 1 hour. They also asked soundcheck opinions from me and Bram. We told that of the some reason Dez's guitar was hard to hear etc. I and Bram got all access passes.

Marky asked what I've been doing and I also gave him a hug from our mutual friend Lynne Cameron. I had brought with me copy of False Alarm CD and I gave it to Marky as well. CD's cover is painting by Dee Dee Ramone and Paul Kostabi.
Then I found out that We Are Invasion, Park Royal and The Bones were going to play also. The Bones is a great Swedish band and I was also E-mailing with their singer-guitarist Beef Bonanza in spring 2006, when their Partners in Crime Vol. 1 10"/MCD was coming out. 10"/MCD starts with the Ramones cover I Wanna Be Sedated, featuring Roger Miret (Agnostic Front) and Lou Koller (Sick Of It All) on lead vocals. It was released by the cool German label I Used To Fuck People Like You In Prison. I went to say hi to The Bones.
Soon I was signing my books to the great photographer from the Netherlands, Willy-Jan van Gemert, I dedicated another book also for his dorothers Celine, Reinate and Elaine. Willy-Jan wanted to buy my books and Bram was taking them with him. Bram also gave me nice letter from Willy-Jan and two photos of Antti Niemi.
I walked together with Dez Cadena to their hotel. Dez told to me really great news of his personal life. Next I headed to the Vietnamese restaurang, where I drank Vietnamese beer and I ate my vegetarian food only using sticks.