Joey Ramone Birthday Bash 2010

There was never a dull moment at this year’s Birthday Bash at Irving Plaza in NYC which honored the late, great Joey Ramone. Bands such as Heap and Spanking Charlene played all night and in between sets the audience was treated to rare video and concert footage on a huge screen. The Independents played with intensity, blending punk rock and ska music. Joey was once their manager and back in the day would join them on stage for some Ramones tunes. Those were some good times and it was great to see Evil and Willy B. back on a New York stage. The Sic F*cks, one of the original NY punk/glam bands, played a memorable set. Check out the video below for their performance of “take drugs.” They were joined on stage by Dennis Dunaway (original member of Alice Cooper band) on the bass.
Another local band, Morningwood also rocked out and lead singer, Chantal is nothing short of a thrill to watch. She worked the stage like a female Iggy Pop jumping into the audience, climbing amps and railings up to the balcony. Next up, HR of the Bad Brains who performed a couple mellow reggae numbers. He sounded great, better than expected. Don’t let the bath towel on his head or what appeared to be a bullet proof vest under his suit fool you. He may look a little off, but he can still perform when he’s focused. I wish he played some Bad Brains songs but that might have to wait until the original lineup plays the Afro Punk Festival later in the summer.
Jesse Malin and the St. Marks Social played a loud set from their new album “Love It To Life” and you should go get it. Check out “Burning the Bower”…awesome tune. I remember seeing Joey Ramone and Dee Dee Ramone play at the Continental by St. Mark’s Place (once a cool club to check out bands, now a bar with no live music) and bumping into Jesse jumping around and singing along in the pit. Cool dude.
Friends of Joey Ramone rounded out the evening playing a bunch of Ramones tunes. Richie Ramone and Cheetah Chrome of the Dead Boys played. Walter Lure of the Heartbreakers did a fun cover of “Chinese Rocks” and George Tabb of Furious George sang “Wart Hog.” Punk Rock! A tipsy Mickey Leigh played a lot of Joey’s solo stuff and announced that a new Joey Ramone solo album was in the works.
The lead singer of one of the greatest bands ever would have been 59 years old this year. He’s not around around anymore, but his music and legacy will live on forever.


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