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BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE TO JOEY RAMONE

The party is being held in New York in May...

A posthumous 50th birthday party will be held for JOEY RAMONE on May 19 in NEW YORK.

Friends, family, fans and other bands will gather at the Hammerstein Ballroom to commemerate the late Ramones frontman's life, his mother announced yesterday.

"In the weeks prior to his death, we often talked about his upcoming 50th birthday, and Mickey [Leigh, Ramone's brother] and I promised Joey that for this very special day, we would throw the best and biggest birthday bash he ever had," his mother Charlotte Lesher said in a statement. "He is going to have that party. It will be a celebration of his life and music and it's gonna be a gas."

According to mtv.com, no acts have been announced for the show, billed as 'Life's a Gas - Joey Ramone's Birthday Bash', though big names are promised. A spokesperson for the event said Lesher and Leigh wanted fans to show up to in tribute to Joey, not just to see the special guests.

Meanwhile, another Joey tribute is set for next week (April 30). Organised by Leigh and described by him as a "punk-rock memorial", it will take place at CBGB's the New York club synonymous with the rise of both punk and The Ramones.

Leigh will host the event and will perform four of his favourite songs written by Joey - 'I Remember You', 'I Want You Around', 'Danny Says' and 'Questioningly'. His band will include longtime Ramones associates and collaborators, including producer Daniel Rey, Andy (aka Adny) Shernoff, and drummer Pat Carpenter, from Leigh's band, Stop. Another New York punk outfit, The Stitches, will also perform.

Old friends of Joey's, like Blondie singer Deborah Harry and Joan Jett are also expected to attend. Admission is free.

Joey Ramone died on Easter Sunday (April 15) after losing a long battle with lymphatic cancer. He was 49.

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