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Joey Ramone: Don't Worry, Be Happy

By Frank Meyer, Contributing Editor
Friday, December 14, 2001 @ 11:29 AM


Joey Ramone’s Long Awaited Sol

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Joey Ramone's legacy continues with a new solo album, Don’t Worry About Me, soon to be released on Sanctuary Records. After The Ramones hung up their jackets in 1996, Joey Ramone continued to work diligently writing and recording songs. Don’t Worry About Me, the result of these solo efforts, is already garnering recognition as his best work to date. Sadly, Joey succumbed to cancer in April 2001 at the age of 49.

Producer, guitarist and long-time friend Daniel Rey worked alongside Joey on Don’t Worry About Me from day one. He recently completed final mixes on songs that hadn't been mixed prior to Joey's passing. Joey recruited world-class bassist Andy Shernoff (The Dictators/Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom) and split the drumming between Frank Funaro (Cracker and Del Lords) and special guest Marky Ramone. Captain Sensible (The Damned), who guests on "Mr. Punchy," said, "if anyone is looking for someone to 'blame' for punk, his would have been one of the first doors to knock on. Joey Ramone has contributed some bloody marvelous moments to the world of music."

In December 18th, 2001 Sanctuary will release a special holiday CD containing two songs which are not included on Don’t Worry About Me. Over the years, Joey recorded music with his brother Mickey Leigh (Stop, Lester Bangs' Birdland and The Rattlers). The holiday CD features a pre-Ramones version of "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)" and a new song, "I Couldn't Sleep At All." The brothers' musical paths previously crossed when they performed together on the 1994 three-song EP In A Family Way under the moniker Sibling Rivalry and when Mickey contributed backing vocals and percussion on The Ramones' first record.

The Ramones were indeed the progenitors of punk music and, as the voice of The Ramones, Joey not only influenced thousands of bands, but also established standards for punk fashion and culture. The Ramones enjoyed a 22-year career that yielded 23 records and countless world tours. Lemmy (Motörhead) says, "Joey was my friend and he understood rock 'n' roll better than any other singer of my generation."

In related news, the corner of East 2nd Street and the Bowery in NYC's East Village, just a few steps from legendary punk haven CBGB's, may soon be known as Joey Ramone Place after a request by fans for an honorary street sign was approved by the local community board.

The Ramones will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 18, 2002!


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