Celebrating what would have been the 57th birthday of punk icon Joey Ramone, the annual Joey Ramone Birthday Bash will take place Monday, May 19 at The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza. Mickey Leigh, event organizer and brother of Joey Ramone, has announced that, as part of the eighth annual Bash, fans will be treated to a special reunion appearance from MANITOBA'S WILD KINGDOM featuring Handsome Dick Manitoba, Andy Shernoff, Ross the Boss and JP Thunderbolt.
This year's headliners are Mary Weiss (THE SHANGRI-LA'S) and Richard Lloyd (TELEVISION) and the SMUFTYDOGS. The spectacular party will conclude with The Joey Ramone Birthday Bashers featuring Jesse Malin, Cheetah Chrome, Walter Lure, Tish & Snooky, Jean Beauvior, Andy Shernoff, Joe McGinty, JP Thunderbolt, Al Maddy, Ivan Julian, Bobby Steele and Mickey Leigh. Also appearing are CHARM SCHOOL, SEMI-PRECIOUS WEAPONS, THE INDEPENDENTS, LOCAL H, L.E.S. STITCHES and Rachel Newman. In what has become a Birthday Bash tradition, Sean O'Sullivan's PUNK PIPERS will round out the night on the bagpipes. The night will be MCed by "Little Steven" Van Zandt, Matt Pinfield and Peter Aschner. Additional surprises are expected at the evening's events.
Ramone, who passed away in April 2001 after a seven-year battle with lymphoma, had a history of encouraging up-and-coming bands in New York's downtown music scene by showcasing them at his special "Joey Ramone Presents…" events. Since Ramone's passing, his brother and their mother Charlotte Lesher carried on the tradition "by featuring bands that make great music and getting together some of Joey's friends to celebrate him on what would otherwise be a sad, somber day," Leigh explained.
Tickets are available in advance at the Fillmore box office for $25 ($30 day of show) or through Ticketmaster.com. The Fillmore is located at 17 Irving Place, corner 15th Street, NYC. Doors open at 7 p.m. Net proceeds from the Bash go to support the Joey Ramone Foundation for Lymphoma Research.