The fifth annual Joey Ramone Birthday Bash will be an all-star blowout show at
New York's Irving Plaza on May 19. The event honors Ramone's contributions as front man of the
The Ramones and as a solo artist. For
decades, he hosted a blowout birthday party every year. Since his
passing, his mother Charlotte Lesher and brother Mickey Leigh have
continued the tradition of a birthday bash celebrating the life of
Ramone, the spirit of the Ramones and "keeping us, and Ramones fans,
occupied and positive on what would otherwise be a sad, somber day,"
For the second consecutive year, the bash has has sold out well before the line-up was even announced clearly indicating that the Joey Ramone
Birthday Bash has turned the corner from its more casual stages in
previous years and is snowballing into one of the most anticipated
annual Rock 'n' Roll events in New York. That the event is even bigger now
at its five-year mark has also attracted growing interest from
sponsors, the number of which is now eight, up from none it had only
a few years ago.
The bash has featured performances by Cheap Trick, Alkaline Trio,
Blondie, the remaining Ramones, Little Steven Van Zandt, Green Day,
Joe Strummer, DJ's Vin Scelsa, and Matt Pinfield, actress PJ Soles,
and film directors Jim Jarmusch and Allan Arkush.
The line up for this year's show includes "Bad Girl" Ronnie
Spector, The Bouncing Souls, The Saints, and Friends of Joey
performances by Marky Ramone, Andy Shernoff (Dictators), Ivan Julian
(Voidoids), Arno Hecht (Uptown Horns), Theo (Lunachicks), Sean Pierce
(Toilet Boys), Tish & Snooky (Sic F*cks), Russell Wolinsky (Sic
F*cks), Sonny Vincent, Joe McGinty, Al Maddy (Joey's Solo Album) and
Mickey Leigh. The show will also feature performances by The
Waldos, The Lazy Suns, Suffrajett, Mr. Impatient, The Slashtones and
special appearances by the Lucky Devil Circus Sideshow and MC Matt
Pinfield. Rare Joey Ramone and Ramones videos will be screened
throughout the night.
Verizon Wireless will "Phone Cast" three performances from three
birthday bash artists as part of a V CAST Encore audio-visual stream
to mobile phones anywhere in the world for up to seven days.
This year the event is also presenting the Joey Ramoone Birthday Bash Art extravaganza, a true punk rock art show opening May
14 at CB's 313 Gallery and running through June 3,featuring the work of Joey Ramone, John John Jesse,
Shepard Fairey, James Rizzi, Mark Mothersbaugh, Liz McGrath, Ray
Caesar, Ron English, Dee Dee Ramone, and Charlotte Lesher. The net
proceeds of both events will benefit the Lymphoma Research Foundation.
The 2005 sponsors of the bash are The Village
Voice, Trash and Vaudeville, Tripp NYC, Masque Sound and Recording,
Shure Bros. Microphones, Manic Panic, Love Nico and NY Waste. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen