Third Annual Joey Ramone Birthday Bash
Webster Hall, NYC, May 16, 2003
The Third Joey Ramone Annual Birthday Bash probably got as close to “the ass-kickingest party Joey would have wanted” (in the words of Rocket From the Crypt’s lead singer) as it’s possible to get with the new New York smoking ban. Despite that almost inconceivable limitation on rock and roll abandon, the crowd – a mixture of young punks and Goths and aging former punks and Goths – was in good spirits and packed Webster Hall, which was done up to look like the old Ritz that it was when the Ramones played it. Despite the good cause (all the proceeds went to lymphoma research, to aid sufferers from the disease that Joey died of in 2001), I was initially feeling very old and unexcited. A gray-haired Tommy Ramone sang “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend,” and he did a good job, but he looked about as old as I felt, and I wondered what a night of Ramones covers would feel like – just sad nostalgia?