The punk legend's place in history is assured...
After two years of talks, JOEY RAMONE PLACE is now a reality.
The mood was both sombre and festive as hundreds of people gathered Sunday afternoon (November 30) on the corner of Bowery and Second Street in New York, where the corner was officially renamed Joey Ramone Place in honour of the deceased lead singer of revered punk band the Ramones.
The unveiling was preceded by an hour-long tribute to Ramone in CBGB, the club that was the epicentre of New York punk in the mid-’70s. With a poster of Joey Ramone and replica of the street sign as the backdrop, friends, family and government officials recalled anecdotes about Ramone and discussed the long-lasting impact he had on music, New York and anyone who came in contact with him.
“Joey was the epitome of the perfect singer/frontman,” said former bandmate Marky Ramone. “His influence reached global proportions and his legacy will continue to endure forever.”
The speakers list read like a who’s who of ’70s New York punk, as the packed crowd heard testimonials from Tommy Ramone, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads, The Dictators frontman Handsome Dick Manitoba and Plasmatics guitarist Richie Stotts. Many speakers chose not to discuss Ramone’s battle with cancer, focusing instead on his generosity, friendly nature and appreciation of his fans and New York.
Following the tribute, fans mobbed the sidewalks and streets surrounding the area to witness the unveiling. When their enthusiasm led to impatience over a delay in the presentation, the crowd started a passionate chant of “Hey ho, let’s go” from ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’, one of the Ramones‘ most famous songs. Eventually, Ramones’ Artistic Director Arturo Vega pulled off the shirt that covered the street sign, revealing Joey Ramone Place.
“Joey would have loved this because he loved everybody and everybody loved him,” Charlotte Lesher, Ramone’s mother, told NME.COM. “He overcame a lot of obstacles and he got where he wanted to go and did what he wanted to do.”