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After Joey Ramone had passed away, I (Jari-Pekka
Laitio-Ramone) began writing a book
to remember and
pay tribute to our beloved Joey Ramone.
This book was
released through my company called Tmi Ramoniac. This book is full of
stories expressing much love for what Joey Ramone and the rest of The
Ramones family did for all of us. Reading these stories from so many fans
and the joy Joey and The Ramones brought to my life is the reason why I
wanted to write this book.
The majority of the profits from this book will be
donated to charity; the
biggest chunk of money will be donated to the Juliana Von Wendt Fund. This
fund was founded in 1971 and they support humane researching method
without animals. I also plan on donating some funds to cancer research in
HEAVEN NEEDED A LEAD SINGER: FANS REMEMBER JOEY RAMONE features hundreds
of stories about Joey. The people that have written some words for this
book include those who have seen The Ramones play live more than 100
times to those who never had the opportunity to see them. The most
important thing though is that all of these memory texts are from
YOU, the fans. Every one who wrote did so from their heart and used this
book as a platform to express what Joey had meant to them.
There are lots of Ramoniac stories and information included. You'll be
surprised. I also included a section in this book dedicated to some texts
I had received from people wanting to express their feelings on the 9
month anniversary and also 1 year anniversary of Joey's death.
(Picture: CJ Ramone, I and Tommy Ramone at Johnny Ramone memorial
event in Los Angeles, USA)
I have been fortunate enough to collect a lot of very special unreleased
Ramones and Ramones related photos and drawings. Arturo Vega sent me many
of his treasured photos of Joey and I used some of my own photos including
me at Marky Ramone's house and standing in front of his wall of gold
records. Comic artist Darren Merrinuk also contributed to this book with a
very cool unreleased Ramones drawing. In all, the book contains more than
230!!! photos, including 16 full colour pages. In all book has 192
pages and size of the pages are B5.
"A most informative book of The Ramones I have seen,
extremely rare photos
and commentary's from one of the most avid and loyal Ramones followers...
Years in the making this is for sure one of the books to have." Writes
Marky Ramone in the book's opening text that was penned by the
April 2002. Marky also provides a couple of very informative interviews
that can only be found in HEAVEN NEEDED A LEAD SINGER: FANS REMEMBER JOEY
One of the more unique things I have also included is a questionnaire that
was filled out by Joey Ramone himself that was only found in the
Loudmouth! Fanzine released by Jörg Buscher and Christian Pemsel.
The response to this memory book has been tremendous with more than 70
famous musicians/ people contributing their Joey Ramone memories (as well
as general Ramones stories) for this book. Some of the contributors
include: Cheetah Chrome (Dead Boys), Jello Biafra (Dead
Kennedys), Campino (Die Toten Hosen), TV Smith/ Gaye Advert (Adverts),
Gordie Lewis (Teenage Head), Hilly Kristal (CBGB), Bono (U2), Arturo
Vega, Monte Melnick, Legs McNeil, John Holmstrom, Chips (Sator), Dregen/
Nicke Borg (Backyard Babies), Nick/ Robert (Hellacopters), Kitty (The
Kowalskis), Jonny (Huntingtons), Micke (Hymans), Udo (Rämouns), Sal
(Electric Frankenstein), George Tabb (Furious George), Nick Cooper/ Dee
Jaywalker (Marky Ramone & The SpeedKings), Evil Presly (Independents),
Ginger (Wildhearts), Trigger (Continental), Calle (White Jazz), PJ Soles
Popular Finnish artists/ people include: Michael Monroe/ Andy McCoy
(Hanoi Rocks), The 69 Eyes, Vesku (Klamydia), Severi (Klamydia/
Nukkekoti), Sipe (Apulanta), Jay Burnside (Flaming Sideburns), Otto
(Tehosekoitin), Matti (Tehosekoitin),
Heko (Ne Luumäet), Miika (Pojat), Pelle Miljoona, Arto Nyberg, Leena
You can only imagine what an honour it is to include all the stories from
all these great people and fans in my book.
This book is from the Joey's fans, friends, and me. It contains a lot of
material from my Ramoniac world and it was my decision to include them.
I'm happy that I'm still alive after the all this hard work. A few years
back, I was in a burnout state because of all this work for The Ramones
and my homepage. Also some others worked very hard on this book and my
main thanks goes of course to Joey Ramone, but also to Diane Hatcher and
Randy Wisebrod. Also Im gratefully thanked for every other who
supported with this huge project. You're listed in this book.
HEAVEN NEEDED A LEAD SINGER: FANS REMEMBER JOEY RAMONE is a book Joey
deserves and would be proud of. This will be a collector's item that every
Ramones fan will enjoy.
1) Joey Ramone's 50th Birthday Bash postcard. Autographed by Arturo Vega
(5th Ramone, www.officialramones.com etc.), Mickey Leigh (Joey's brother)
and John Holmstrom (Punk Magazine etc.) Winner of the prize = Ingvar "Iggy" Pettersson (Sweden)
(At first one
another person won that prize, but
I got information that he was passed away... RIP)
2) The Song Ramones The Same tribute CD. Autographed by: Dregen, Nicke
Borg, Johan Blomquist and Peder Carlsson (The Backyard Babies), Hans
Östlund and Björne Fröberg (The Nomads), Per Gessle
(Roxette), Mats MF Olsson (Maryslim), Kent Norberg (Sator), Nisse
Hellberg and Jalle Lorentzon (Wilmer X) and Calle von Schewen (White
Jazz). Winner of the prize = Winny Kas
3) Marky Ramone & The SpeedKings: No If's, And's Or But's CD autographed
by band: Marky Ramone, Nick Cooper, Dee Jaywalker and Vito Jr Dagostini.
(White Jazz) Winner of the prize = Teemu Pitkänen
4) Autograph by Marky reading: "To competion, Marky Ramone." Winner of the prize = Bergur Tomasson
5-7) Joey Ramone's 50th Birthday Bash postcard. Winners of the prizes = Antti Niemi (UK), Ville Sirkko
and Chrisse Usenius (Finland)
8) Special CD containing a Ramones gig in Glasgow 1991 and an interview
with Joey's. (by Murray Ramone) Winner of the prize = Bussy Ramone
9) Stop Magazine #8 autographed by Marky Ramone. Include Joey Ramone's
"Occupational Therapy" column etc. (by John Holmstrom) Winner of the prize = Mike Rock
* The Song Ramones The Same tribute CD. Winner of the prize = Juha Hyvönen
- Furious George's
George Tabb did great article of my book to the New
York Press online, it's filled with his humour, so don't take too
seriously this one line: "a funny-smelling dood!" ;). Thanks George! Read it
here. (Added August 6)
- I did nice TV-interview for
SubTV's (Finland) program called Sessions with interviewer Ville
Toivonen. It comes/came out: August 15, 2002, 20.55 (8.55PM) and
Pelle Miljoona's interview of the book/ Ramones. (Updated August
Radio Mafia's (national radio) program called Ooppera contained 25-30
minutes interview of the Ramones and my book in August 4, 2002.
Jani Kortti played also great songs like Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment,
Blitzkrieg Bop and my choose SLUG. (Updated August 15)
- Rodney Bingenheimer, is one of the best known DJ's in the world. His show
on Los Angeles' KROQ-FM has been a hit with youth of all ages since it's
inception in late 1976. Rodney has played Ramones from the beginning and
on October 26, 2003 Rodney Bingenheimer played an amazing Ramones solo
effort music set: Rodney listed the names of the songs as he always does,
then he did talk of my book about Joey and where to purchase it online
etc. He is said that he loves my book. That was honour to hear.
- Long review with picture in Up Magazine (The Netherlands) #5 (Oct.
2002), by Bram van Schaik.
- Shorter review by Michael Layne-Heath in Tangents. Read it here.
- 1/2 page interview with huge picture in really popular daily newspaper
called Iltalehti (Finland) in June, by Toni Viljanmaa.
And articles/reviews has also been in Rumba, Pohjalainen, Ilkka, Toinen
Vaihtoehto, Ilta-Sanomat, City etc. etc.
I received your book yesterday and I really must say that this is a great
piece of work. Congratulations for this great and very informative
(Rudi Beyens, Belgium)
I was at Wowsville Records store in NYC on Tuesday, before I went to the
Dee Dee Tribute @ Continental Club. They have your book for sale there!
My friend Ritchie bought one, and I bought one to give to a friend.
You did a GREAT job on the book! Congratulations!!! Many great photos,
texts, and everything! And thanks for putting in my photos of me by
Joey's grave, and both of my texts! I can't wait now to get my own
order copy that you'll be sending!
(Linda Iorio, USA)
I'm still in a maze! I never thought it would be the way it is... I never
expected it to be so great! No, it wasn't necessary to write all the
Ramones story (We, who have written messages to you, that have finally
appeared in the book, know the story by heart), but you've found the
exact thing to say: just a few words on key facts! Then, reading the
messages, I got moved again... and I can't stop checking once and again
all the pics. To me, it's a meeting point for all the Ramones fans in the
world... I've been in contact with some of them, I've read about some
others on your page. This is a physical, tangible thing that unifies us
all, and helps us dealing with our feelings, as you well say! There is
still a lot to read, and a lot to check, but, I say it again; it's a
really great work, really amazing!
(Alfredo Cordeiro, Spain)
I've read your book from first till last page many many times and I really
like your style of writing. I think it can be understandable for
everybody! I was almost crying to read that on the day when you knew that
Joey is dead you needed to confirm it to the people through internet! You
have such a powerful and kind soul! But in the same time I think that it
was easier for you to keep on helping people then to drown in your misery
all alone. But in anyway I think that there are not so much people who
could do the same and be so powerful.
Thank you for the excellent book that arrived today. This is an amazing
achievement - some of the photos are awesome and there is lots of
interesting reading. This is the best book I have ever seen about the
Ramones. It has so much information for the fans and I now realise how
much work and time you must have spent on it.
(Cliff Hughes, New Zealand)
I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed your Joey Ramone memory book, it is
terrific! Great stories & fantastic pictures! Thanks for sending it so
quickly, I know you're very busy.
(Tom Andrukevich, USA)
This morning I recieved your Joey Ramone Memory Book and I'm still
shocking; What a wonderfull work you did! There's a lot of incredible
stuff to check and I have only one thing to say... THANKS A LOT. This
book contains all the love that only a true fan have. I have read the
first part of the book and all the memory texts from fans. I treat this
book as a treasure, thanks again.
(Luis Alvarez "Bussy Ramone", Spain)
I just received your wonderful book and want to congratulate you on a
wonderful piece of work. It's pretty obvious that a lot of research,
co-ordination, hard work and love went into it. I've read it cover to
cover and have still found lots of information and anecdotes that even I
(a long-time fanatic!) wasn't aware of before. I hope this email is just
the sort of positive feedback you like to receive, and will encourage you
to keep up the great work. It must be re-assuring to know there are so
many people who were deeply affected by the Ramones and we truly
appreciate the mammoth task you undertook in putting this whole book
together and your continued work on your website.
(Luke Cauldwell, Ireland)
Thanks so much - just wanted to say how great your book is - a really
fitting tribute. I am slowly working my way through it - it is also very
interesting to read about your life. Sounds like we have similar
backgrounds and have both been involved in the Animal Rights movements
which is cool. Thanks so much for including the Animal Rights stuff in
the book - perhaps some more eyes will be opened to the truth.
(Sharon Hay, UK)
I got the book yesterday in the mail, and it is AMAZING! So many pictures
I never saw before, so many different quotes from so many different fans,
so many interviews! Just an endless Ramones tribute. I can tell you worked
really, really hard for this book.
You know, when I read the book "Ramones : An American Band" it felt
like that book was for people who never heard of Ramones, to teach them
who the Ramones were. That book did not seem to be written for the fans.
But your book is truly for the fans and by the fans, and think most fans
will really like it. I did not read all of it yet, but I read many
different parts and enjoyed it, and I look forward to reading more soon.
You really did a great job.
(JC, NYC, USA)
Thanks for your wonderful book. Beautiful pictures, fantastic
stories, moving memories... everything great! It's very important for me
to know there are so many people who feel the same as me. Thanks for
stories about Joey's 50th Birthday and tribute concerts, invaluable for
me, cause I had no chance to be there.
(Eliza Socha, 30, Poland)
I've spent the morning reading your book, it's absolutely wonderful, so
heartfelt and a perfect treat for any fan. Congratulations on such a
wonderful work and for having the determination to make it a reality. I
only wish Hanoi Rocks had a fan community like that, where people would do
such things. To see a book like that about Hanoi Rocks would be a
(Xana, UK. Xana is fabulous Hanoi Rocks fan)
Got the book last week! It is brilliant! You have done a fantastic job. I
love all the little stories and the tremendous amount of information in
it. My friend Dots is reading it at this moment and he is blown away by
it. Well done! It is a book to treasure 4ever in the memory of a true
legend. Thank you very much.
(Munich Reilly, Ireland)
I received your book in the mail yesterday. What an awesome job you did!
The whole book reminds me how much I loved the ramones to begin with. You
feel extremely "Ramones" by just reading it!!! Haha. There's alot of stuff
that has happened over the past couple of years when it comes to the
Ramones getting more recognized, and alot of it is cool, but alot of it is
also really negative and bothers me. But your book! Man, it really captures
the love that Ramones fans have for their favourite band, you definitely
put alot of work into it, and it shows. when you read a book like that,
and the first you wanna do is put on your leather jacket and cons and
blast your stereo!
(Tyler Boutilier, Canada)
Your book arrived, and I have been reading and reading it! It's wonderful!
There's so much loving detail in the book; I found it very moving to read
all the quotations and extracts from different people. It's truly a lovely
tribute to Joey, and I'm so pleased to have it. I found myself sneaking
away from work to go read the book for a few minutes here and there...I
couldn't keep my eyes off it.