Tuesday, February 09, 2010

End of the Century

On November 30, 2003 after 2 years and a 16-year old kid from Staten Island spearheading the effort, the dedication ceremony for Joey Ramone Place was held. My friend Artie and I decided to check it out. So we wandered over to CBGBs around 11am. We were thinking we'd beat the crowd. So we walk straight in to CBGBs, said hi to the door guy and made our way closer to the bar. We looked around and saw that the place was mostly empty. We were pretty chuffed with ourselves and our fantastic timing and decided to celebrate with a beer for breakfast. As we ordered our Ying Lings we noticed Little Steven, Jim Jarmusch, Mickey Leigh, Legs McNeill, Arturo Vega, Charlotte Lesher (Joey's mother), Snookie and Tish from Manic Panic, Alberto Camarasa (proprietor of Wows!ville Records) and Handsome Dick Manitoba of The Dictators filing in. Artie and I slowly realized, the sharpness of our normally keen senses dulled by the effects of our breakfast beers, that we had pulled a Harold and Maude. We had in our innocence and enthusiasm and perhaps a small amount of cool, crashed this memorial. Who knew??

Well, they'd let us in so...we listened enraptured by the speeches and little anecdotes each speaker offered. The highlight being Jarmusch playing an answering machine message that he'd saved from Joey. Apparently Joey made a habit of leaving these sorts of messages, sometimes short and sweet, sometimes rambling and all focused on something uniquely New York or random that he'd witnessed or experienced on that particular day.

Once the speeches were over, everyone filed out of CBs and were greeted by a crowd that stretched across Bowery down to Houston St and as far up as Cooper Union. All there to watch the Joey Ramone Place street sign unveiling.

Artie and I looked at each other and thought well, we've just taken a page out of Steal This Book. And wouldn't Joey be proud.


Bob Andelman said...

You might also enjoy this Mr. Media interview with Legs McNeil, co-author (with Joey’s brother, Mickey Leigh) of I Slept with Joey Ramone and Please Kill Me.

JohnArdolino said...

I love that Joey Ramone story so much that I came back to read it again. I am hoping to see more of these! Last one was February?!