With nearly 7,000 fans in attendance, Dread Central hit this past Sunday’s 10th Annual Johnny Ramone Tribute at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, CA, and we got an eye and earful. Read on for our report, photo gallery, and a video clip from the event.
The show was hosted by musician/filmmaker Rob Zombie and his band, who played a blistering five-song set of Ramones tunes set inside the facility’s Masonic Temple, which included “Blitzkrieg Bop,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School,” “Beat on the Brat,” “Lobotomy,” and Motörhead’s tribute song to the same, “R.A.M.O.N.E.S.”
With the show simulcast on the cemetery’s mausoleum wall to the throng of music fans who picnicked on the grass outside, Zombie’s set was followed by a jam session made up of guitarist Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses, singer Billy Idol, and actor Fred Armisen with Zombie drummer Ginger Fish handling the back-beat. Actress Traci Lords introduced the “All-Star” group to an enthusiastic crowd.
“We’re here for one reason and one reason only – to pay tribute to our good friend Johnny Ramone,” said Zombie of the event to those gathered. “I miss him every day. He was a wonderful, kind guy. There was nobody like him.”
Zombie then went on to relate the story of the creation of the statue of the Ramones guitarist which stands within the cemetery (the punk musician’s grave is regularly visited by fans), and it proved quite humorous and rather touching (see the clip below).
The festivities also included Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett’s rare collection of horror movie memorabilia. Rarely seen in public, the collection (then on display in the cemetery’s mausoleum) included a treasure trove of movie posters, props, toys, and costumes from his personal collection. Musician and effects artist Joe Petro, responsible for the restoration of many of the props, was on hand to oversee.
Also in attendance, in addition to Johnny’s surviving spouse Linda Ramone, were Sheri Moon Zombie and fellow Devil’s Rejects actors Leslie Easterbrook, Diamond Dallas Page, Danny Trejo, Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, and Brian Posehn, who engaged in an audience Q&A following the live concert, which preceded a screening of the Rob Zombie-written and directed film (Johnny Ramone was a fan of the film).
Our thanks to Senior Editor of Rock N Roll Industries Magazine Angelica Ulloa for assisting in our coverage and event sponsor Stillhouse Spirits for keeping us warm as day turned to night.
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