Monday, December 21, 2009
Marty Thau remembers Joey Ramone, from his upcoming memoir...
"My involvement with Joey Ramone didn’t end with those first recordings. As the next few years unfolded, and the Ramones toured the world and became international favorites, I became good friends with the now more confident Joey. We'd meet over late-night cocktails when he was back in New York to discuss fame, fortune and the rock 'n' roll lives we were living. I always had fun hanging out with him and usually our get-togethers ended with the two of us in a gently buzzed alcoholic state, stumbling out of a funky bar into the dark East Village streets at 4:00 AM.
Joey was the real deal. In the simplest of terms, he was a no-nonsense, somewhat gawky looking, kind-hearted sweetheart of a guy. You couldn’t help but like him. I found him to be a perceptive and sensitive individual, generous of spirit and a soulful counterpoint to downtown New York's conniving hustlers. When the Ramones split up in 1996, it was Joey who lent his name to the downtown music scene and assisted many aspiring musicians in their career pursuits. When Joey died in 2001, I was greatly saddened and so were the 3,000 friends and fans that showed up one New York City summer night to pay tribute to him in Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom. That memorable four-hour affair mixed witty salutes from friends and witnesses, vintage videos of the Ramones from every stage of their career, and inspired performances from the likes of Blondie, Cheap Trick and the U.K.’s original punk band, the Damned.
The Ramones have been called many things, but to me they brought to the game an exhilarating intensity that rock 'n' roll hadn't experienced since its earliest days. They will go down in history for having reintroduced pure fiery energy and youthful humor into rock 'n' roll. New York City re-named 2nd Street in the Bowery-the block where the early Ramones shared a loft-Joey Ramone Place. His family can be proud of Joey for the person he was and the life he led.
(R.I.P. sweet Joey. We miss you and will always love you)."
And of course, the real festive # 1 is "Whisper"...