EVENT RELATED TO BOOK I SLEPT WITH JOEY RAMONE: A FAMILY MEMOIR

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Copyright 2010 -> : Geraldine "Jeri Ramone" Rapetti and Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone.

Geraldine "Jeri Ramone" Rapetti of Guitar Principles organised event related to Mickey Leigh's and Legs McNeil's book I Slept With Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir at the Bearsville Theater Lounge, Woodstock, New York, USA, on July 10, 2010. Jeri wrote to me:
- I am a big fan of the Ramones in Woodstock, New York, and have read all your three books. I appreciate all your time and efforts to keep the Ramones legacy alive. You have inspired me to want to do the same! I thought it over for 6 months, what can I do to make a difference, to contribute to the Ramones legacy?
- I decided to do something here in Woodstock, NY through my company Guitar Principles. Event included a book reading of I Slept With Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir, discussion, and signing by Mickey Leigh. Mickey also performed with his band STOP, explained Jeri Ramone.

Jeri wrote more her thoughs:
It was truly memorable. Mickey Leigh had a couple of surprise guests to help him with the reading..., his wife Arlene, Raven (who is Angela Galetto's lovely daughter), and Patrick Carpenter. Patrick is Mickey's drummer and close friend of 15 years, and who is one upbeat guy to have around!
The book reading was very poignant and the guests were filled with emotion in remembering Joey Ramone. My business partner, Jamie, gave a beautiful introductory speech for Mickey. I have attached her writing (you can read it below); I know that you would appreciate the love that is written in here the Ramones, and especially for Joey.

Mickey's band STOP came on and blew everyone's mind, opening up with song Jerk, getting everyone rock'in straight out! They are fantastic and for three guys, they sure make a lot of noise! Mickey did a few Ramones tribute songs to Joey, choosing songs that Joey wrote like I Don't Care and I Want You Around. STOP also played their own songs from their newly re-released CD from 1995. Top quality music.




Jamie Andreas' beautiful introductory speech for Mickey. Jamie is business partner of Jeri Ramone

My name is Jamie Andreas and I am the founder and president of Guitar Principles. At GuitarPrinciples.com we spread the message that "anyone can play the guitar" ... even you! Tonight, we are here to celebrate and recall the life of a great artist who, while becoming the great artist that he was, spread an even broader musical message: anyone can start a band, or join a band, and be a musician... even you!

Joey Ramone was at the forefront of one of the most important, innovative, and influential movements in the history of rock music. When the Ramones formed as a band with Tommy Erdelyi, John Cummings, and Doug Colvin, and Jeff Hyman, rock and roll had in many ways become a caricature of itself. The ultra-virtuosity and commercial hype that seemed to be the prerequisite for permission to "rock" had reached heights that called the very foundations of rock and roll's appeal into question.
So, Joey and the guys decided to do what they could to "keep it real". In many people's minds, they managed to keep it realer than it had ever been before... or ever since!
A good indication of the strength of what the Ramones created is the fact that the dedication of their millions of fans has only grown stronger over the years, and more than that, they continue to draw new fans, my 15 year old nephew for one, who was wearing a Ramones T-shirt the last time I saw him, and who started his own punk garage band.
But there is probably no better illustration of the appeal of the Ramones and their music than the story of a woman I know who is in her mid-fifties, plays Bach and other classical music for 5 hours every day, and yet, in the last year, has become a major Ramones fan, eagerly collecting their albums and who pretty much knows all their songs.
That would be me!

During the years that the Ramones were starting out and building their fan base, I was practicing the classical guitar and studying music 10 hours days. I was also teaching guitar in a local music shop. I remember hearing about the Ramones from my students from time to time. I remember standing in the store in between lessons, and seeing this very cool looking teenage girl talking to someone about how she was going to the city that night, because the Ramones were playing.
I didn't know anything about the Ramones, but I knew they were doing something very edgy and very cool. I knew that if you were into them like this girl was, you were also ultra cool... and I knew I definitely was not cool. No, I was busy studying Bach fugues and counterpoint, and I really did not have time or interest in rock and roll, the Ramones, or other forms of "primitive music." Well, all I can say is, in the words of another famous musician who also has roots in Woodstock NY, "Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now."
What happened is that about a year and a half ago, my business partner, Jeri, had a birthday coming up, and I was looking for a present for her. I knew she had really been into punk music in years gone by, so I saw what looked like a great book in Barnes & Noble. It was called Please Kill Me by Legs McNeil. Well, she loved the book, and got me reading it too, and we both found ourselves getting very fixated on the Ramones.
The rest is history. Since that time there's been a whole lot of Ramones going on, and when Mickey's book came out I guess it just reached critical mass and we had to try and bring him to Woodstock. Oh, I've also found out something about my business partner in the last year as well... I never knew her full name was Jeri Ramone!

At this point, we've both read most of the books on the Ramones, watched about all of the videos available, some many times, and have formed a strong love not just for the fabulous music they created, but also for the people they were, and what they each brought to this artistic collaboration that transformed them, and millions of people ever since
. It was not just in their music that they were so different than all other bands, it was pretty much everything about them. When they came together, there was something else there that was much greater than the sum of the parts. I have to admit, when it comes to those parts, when it comes to getting to know the cast of characters that were the Ramones, there was one person who seemed to be the heart and soul of the band, and who seemed to get to my heart in a powerful way, as a person and as an artist. That person of course, is Joey Ramone.

And though I have read a lot of books about the Ramones, and all the great stories of their 22 years together, there is one book that touched me more deeply than all the others, and that is the book written by his brother, Mickey Leigh. Yes, there are other folks who were an integral part of those early years, and all the rest of the years, and they have written their books, too... but none of them slept with Joey Ramone! So many of the words Mickey has written about his brother, about their early years of just being two kids growing up and trying to figure out who they were in this perplexing and often cruel world, bring tears to my eyes when I read them.
Mickey has written about Joey with affection, honesty, authority, humor, respect, and most of all the deepest kind of love that a younger brother has for his older brother he looks up to and admires. Mickey Leigh's book I Slept With Joey Ramone is a great gift to all of us who love the Ramones, and we are going to unwrap that gift here tonight for everyone to see and hear!

Texts: Geraldine "Jeri Ramone" Rapetti and Jamie Andreas.

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