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8th Annual Johnny Ramone Tribute – at The Hollywood Forever Cemetery – Los Angeles, CA

August 19, 2012

8th Annual Johnny Ramone Tribute - at The Hollywood Forever Cemetery - Los Angeles, CA - August 19, 2012Most people spend Sunday at church or in the backyard barbecuing up burgers with family before resting the night away. And then there are people like you and I who opted to spend a Sunday at Hollywood Forever Cemetery for the 8th annual Johnny Ramone fest! Yes, you read that correctly, and in case you were not in the know and missed out on Sundays fun, then know you missed out on one hell of a celebration that wont happen again until this time next year. Luckily for you unfortunate souls Big Wheel was there and captured all that went down under the stars that night.
Photo - 8th Annual Johnny Ramone Tribute - at The Hollywood Forever Cemetery - Los Angeles, CA - August 19, 2012
Much like previous celebrations, the 2012 Johnny Ramone Fest was a night to remember as hundreds of dedicated fans flocked to the beautiful Hollywood Forever Cemetery for a night of endless fun amongst the stars in attendance and of course those buried not far from the viewing area. Some fans brought beer to drink, few brought snacks to eat, while many brought books and records to get autographed by the many celebrity guests at the signing tent.
Photo - 8th Annual Johnny Ramone Tribute - at The Hollywood Forever Cemetery - Los Angeles, CA - August 19, 2012

   Enjoy this video overview of the 8th Annual Johnny Ramone Tribute


All in all hundreds showed up to help make this one of the best fests in recent memory and of course help to raise proceeds to battle prostate cancer, a disease that unfortunately took the life of the man we were all there to celebrate and honor, Johnny Ramone.
Photo - book signing 8th Annual Johnny Ramone Tribute - at The Hollywood Forever Cemetery - Los Angeles, CA - August 19, 2012
Linda Ramone photo - 8th Annual Johnny Ramone Tribute - at The Hollywood Forever Cemetery - Los Angeles, CA - August 19, 2012
Tommy Ramone; original drummer and sole survivor of the original band posed for photos and signed autographs all night with fans of all ages. For those wishing to pose with Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee there was a life size cardboard cutout for photo opportunities not far from the official merch booth that sold original t shirts, pins, the book Commando and even a Johnny Ramone Army throw blanket!

In the VIP area where special guests from legendary Punk bands and cult movie stars were there mingling amongst each other catching up on weird tales of the Ramones and related topics. Famed street artist Shepard Fairey was even in attendance sporting the classic presidential seal Ramones shirt as he mingled with Steve Jones, guitarist of the Sex Pistols and LA radio personality.
Henry Rollins - Linda Ramone - Tommy Ramone - 8th Annual Johnny Ramone Tribute - at The Hollywood Forever Cemetery - Los Angeles, CA - August 19, 2012
Henry Rollins of Black Flag was a fan favorite of the night as was one of the worlds most famous rock wives of all time, miss Priscilla Presley. In fact Linda Ramone and Priscilla were seen backstage chatting together right before Priscilla made her way to the podium to introduce the nights film, an Elvis film, and all time favorite of Johnny’s, the 1958 black and white big screen classic, King Creole.
Johnny Ramone book - Commando photo
Priscilla seemed a bit nervous at first but began to open up and become comfortable in front of the large audience who held on to her every word throughout her speech. She shared her daughters relationship with the Ramone family and how Johnny and Linda have always been very important to Lisa Marie (who was scheduled to make an appearance but was not seen Sunday at the event). Priscilla discussed the circumstances surrounding the making of King Creole and how production was able to continue filming as The US Army allowed Elvis an extension before he was drafted into the army, making this his last film for a few years. It was a role that he took very serious as he was a fan of James Dean and wished to portray a character that had a depth seen in Dean films of the 50’s.


A special shootout needs to go to John Cafiero who puts together the entire Johnny Ramone Tribute along with Linda Ramone each year. John edited the book "Commando: the Autobiography of Johnny Ramone" which is a must has for all Ramones fans and music aficionados. John also manages Johnny Ramone and Dee Dee Ramone's Estates, The Ramones, The Misfits, and is also known as the singer in Osaka Popstar, so you can tell he has a very full plate.

Photo - Priscilla Presley - 8th Annual Johnny Ramone Tribute - at The Hollywood Forever Cemetery - Los Angeles, CA - August 19, 2012
Priscilla , Jerry Schilling (a close friend of Elvis and member of the Memphis Mafia) then viewed the film seated near other stars such as Dita Von Teese, Stan Lee (Dickies), Billy Zoom (X), Slim Jim Phantom (Stray Cats) PJ Soles (Actress), Joe Escalante (Vandals), London May (Samhain), Howie Pyro (D Generation), Rose McGowan (actress) Steve Jones (Sex Pistols), Tommy Ramone and of course Linda Ramone. The masses of fans seated on blankets nearby laughed, drank, ate and clapped in unison at moments throughout the film and especially its dramatic ending where Elvis triumphantly sings at the King Creole club.

There really isn’t any other similar movie experience like one at Hollywood Forever when surrounded by Punk rockers with beer and food. All enjoyed themselves whether they were the most obsessed Ramones fan (we met more than a handful) to the casual Ramones fan. We even met a few die hard Elvis fans who had flown all the way from Elvis hometown of Memphis Tennessee for this very special once in a life time event.
Photo - 8th Annual Johnny Ramone Tribute - at The Hollywood Forever Cemetery - Los Angeles, CA - August 19, 2012
Sunday night at Johnny Ramone Fest proved to be a surreal in so many ways and the experience of watching one of Elvis’s best films surrounded by people close to him and fans of all ages of both the king and kings of Punk was just too awesome!

As the night wrapped up just after midnight, the near empty cemetery appeared to be perhaps the most peaceful place in all Hollywood despite it being a full fledged rock and roll celebration just a mere hour beforehand.
Photo - Dee Dee Ramone grave site
Before exiting we made our way to Dee Dee’s memorial and admired the extra décor surrounding the bass gods grave stone before walking over to Johnny’s neatly decorated and very illuminated statue as we paid respects to a godfather of Punk rock. Johnny was a man who left an impact on music and the world that is still felt today and will forever live on. There is no denying it and one must truly recognize the impact his playing has had on rock music for the better. Our hats were off to Johnny that night as we celebrated his lasting legacy.

The yearly celebration at Hollywood Forever is an event we’re so grateful to experience and share with you readers all over the world, so do yourselves a favor and make sure to attend next summer. The event gets bigger and better with every year and any celebration benefiting the fight against prostate cancer is a cause worth your support. Stay in touch with all things Johnny Ramone and join the mailing list so that you will know about the events they throw  www.johnnyramone.com

We’ll see you all next year at the 9th annual Johnny Ramone fest, until next time ....

              More photos of the event can be seen HERE



-Louie Bones-
Big Wheel Staff Journalist

 


 

 

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