Copyright 2009 -> : Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone.

Here begin report of my trip in May-June in 2009. This is four pages long report.
Pages 1 and 2: You can find story and photos of Joey Ramone Birthday Bash in 2009.
Page 3: I had great time also in Connecticut, San Diego, Riverside and Los Angeles. I visited there my friends and also I visited Dee Dee's grave and Johnny's statue.
Page 4: I had lovely holiday at Hotel Lands In Love in Costa Rica.


Thanks for Maria Montoya-Kaye, Bobby London, Lynne Cameron, Ykkös-Offset (printing place) and for some other people of their help: I did survive and I made it! I got my third book, Ramones: Soundtrack Of Our Lives, from print in afternoon on May 18, 2009! 3-4 hours later I started my trip to Joey Ramone Birthday Bash, and I had lot books with me to take to the USA. After spending 4 hours in train I slept following night in airport before first flight. Of course second flight from London to New York was 2-2,5 hours late. I had chance to send an SMS from London to Noki Citrin who had promised to come to airport. He didn't had to wait for so long because of delayed flight and me going through immigration line.
Noki Citrin got in touch with me in 2008, and we had great discussions. I am really happy that I had chance to do an interview with him to the Ramones: Soundtrack Of Our Lives book. Noki tells his story and of his friendship with Joey. Noki was not only an important friend to Joey Ramone but his best friend during their high school years in 60's. Noki and I had chance to discuss first time at live when we were driving from airport to the The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza. Joey Ramone Birthday Bash was at the same venue in New York as year before.

Photos from above to below:
1) Tracy Thornton.
2) Bebe Buell and her band.
3-4) Uncle Monk (Tommy Ramone and Claudia Tienan)
5-6) Fishbone's singer "Dr Mad Vibe".
7) Eddie Spaghetti (Supersuckers)

After Joey Ramone passed away, I have travelled every year to New York to celebrate memory of our Joey angel. Doors were opened 7PM, and because of delayed flight Noki Citrin and I entered The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza one hour later. After ticket office we were fronted by great and skillful artist - steel drum musician Tracy Thornton (see left).
Tracy Thornton became familiar with the Ramones fans when he released tribute CD Pan For Punks... A Steelpan Tribute To The Ramones in 2005. Tracy is from North Carolina, USA and he has produced and performed for that CD fourteen Ramones songs. On May 19, at live Do You Wanna Dance? (Ramones version of song) was followed by We're A Happy Family. Tracy does of some songs slower versions and they also works well. Photo in this page tells effectively what kind of skills have to have to play his instrument.

That night were on stage playing beside of Friends Of Joey Ramone set, Uncle Monk featuring Tommy Ramone & Claudia Tienan, Fishbone, Supersuckers, Death, Bebe Buell, Rough Francis, and Tom Clark & The High Action Boys.
Bebe Buell had five members in her band, for example Kitty Kowalski of The Kowalskis. I had wrote with Kitty in advance of their set. They performed as a third song a tribute song for Joey called Black Angel. It is included for her album Musesque (release date in the fall 2009). Bebe had wrote they will be filming Black Angel that night for a future video. Bebe's voice was in good shape. What I saw, Kitty Kowalski was the most energetic performer of them.

My new book Ramones: Soundtrack Of Our Lives has three interviews with Tommy, and in one of them we discuss only about Uncle Monk. Uncle Monk is Tommy's and Claudia Tienan's acoustic duo band. All bluegrass instruments are challenging. I was really happy that Uncle Monk was performing that night. I feel Tommy doesn't know how some Ramones fans react for Uncle Monk music, and it is maybe reason why Uncle Monk hadn't performed earlier in any Joey Ramone Birthday Bashes. The musical style is a bit of a surprising mix for some Ramones fans, and also for many others, a refreshing acquaintance. Uncle Monk is an alt-country bluegrass. The debut CD for Uncle Monk was available on March 16, 2006. The CD has 14 songs.
Tommy Ramone and Claudia Tienan started their set with Round The Bend which represent effectively what kind of music bluegrass is. Uncle Monk is recording second CD and it was great to hear one song also from it. I listened attentively that new song which Claudia sang.
Uncle Monk didn't played for a long any Ramones songs in their set. I think they included first time Ramones songs in their set in 2008. Tommy anyway like to sing songs he has helped write. We heard touching and really slow version of I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend. Audience listened it carefully, and gave big applauds. Besides of Round The Bend one of my favourite Uncle Monk song is Mr. Endicott, atmosphere of it takes you easily back to roots of old music. Uncle Monk played six songs and I was surprised to hear acoustic also The Clash cover, I Fought The Law.

After different sets were shown videos. Like after Uncle Monk was shown videos from event at Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Annex NYC on May 14, 2009. Then was shown the re-presentation of Joey's award. Ramones manager Danny Fields, and Hall Of Fame president Joel Peresman presented the award. Tommy Ramone and Joey's brother Mickey Leigh accepted it behalf of our Joey. It was nice to see.
I hadn't time to see all bands so extensively. Mainly I missed sets by Death, Rough Francis and Tom Clark & The High Action Boys. Later in that trip for example Randy Wisebrod and Shazz Carrington were wondering: "how the hell you missed Death?" This Death has roots in early 70's scene, and band isn't death metal group called Death. I wanted to discuss with time with Tommy Ramone, Mickey Leigh, and with Joey's manager Dave Frey of Silent Partner Management. So Tommy and Mickey saw my third book then first time. We three took promo photo of the book to my site.
While Tommy was browsing the book, Richie Ramone came to chat for me, and he apologized. I had decided in advance I do not go to speak for Richie first. You can read from my third book why, as on it Richie Ramone's eight pages long part didn't end so happily. One line on last page is: "Hopefully at some point Richie and Annette (Richie's wife) will have a better understanding and be apologetic, time will tell." And I am happy Richie apologized. Mickey was also happy of it as he knew what had happen one month earlier.

One reason why I missed many sets that night was undoubtedly it, I wanted to have chance to meet and discuss with lot of friends. Most of them I do see once a year. Like I had chance to discuss a bit longer with Joey's friends Richie Stotts of the Plasmatics, George Seminara, and Al Maddy and his son Ebban. Also with many Ramones fans like Michael and Denise Breschard and their daughters Kelly, Lauren, Brittany, and Shannon. I hadn't met for some years with Carole M Cassioy who were friends with Joey Ramone's mother Charlotte Lesher. Carole was happily surprised that I had included photo of her and Charlotte and their friends also to my new book. I had photo of them taken at the opening night of The Joey Ramone Birthday Bash Art Extravaganza in 2005. I was happy to speak few times also with Suzanne Gruber of Downtown Design, who is an expert in custom glass and tile mosaic. Suzanne did a tile mosaic of the Joey Ramone Place Street sign.

The Supersuckers are an American rock band. I had big expectations for their set. Their "cowboy" oriented rock'N'roll is many times fun but that night they were somehow boring. Singer-bassist Eddie Spaghetti asked people to show middle fingers before they played I Want The Drugs. Many did so. Supersuckers played Ramones cover I Believe In Miracles and on it Eddie did show well his harder sides of playing.
I had spoke with George Seminara how he had seen really many times Fishbone. I attended their show for the first time. Fishbone were formed in 1979 and their set was mix of ska, rock, funk etc. I was really impressed of their energy, they started with 1-2-3-4, and soon seven men on stage had cool party going on. Their older and younger singer, both were stage-diving.