Joey Ramone's Road Report: Joey Meets Dr. Judy

ATN New York special correspondent Joey Ramone reports: I'm going to start

this road report on May 20, the day after my birthday. When I last left you,

I'd just gotten back from seeing CJ's [Ed: That would be none other than CJ

Ramone] band, Los Gusonos' show at Brownies. I got home at 3:30 AM, and went

to bed at 4:00 AM, and got a lousy sleep, which I was afraid was going to

happen after staying out so late seeing Los Gusanos. But it was well worth

it.

Woke up much too early, eight o'clock in the morning. Packed my bags for

WMMS's Buzzard Fest in Cleveland, Ohio. From lack of sleep, I was in a

hallucinogenic state. Left at 2:30 PM, arrived at the festival site at around

six o'clock. Over-tired and starving, I went into the dining room, where

there was some sort of buffet. Standing in line for my slop, a woman

approaches me, who I find out is Dr. Judy, the syndicated call-in radio sex

therapist, who has the show "The Love Phones/Sex Lines." Right away we hit it

off. We had an instant connection. We had a love connection? No, we had a

cosmic connection. The wonderball theory. Immediately she started asking me

embarrassing personal questions about my most intimate fantasies. I told her

that was my business. We discussed being experimental and open-minded, and

both agreed that it's the best policy. Over my omnivore dinner (fish and

vegetables), Dr. Judy brought up the wheel-barrow position. She was being

serious, but I thought it was funny. I just meet someone, and she's already

telling me about the wheel barrow position. I told her that was a new one for

me.

From lack of sleep I felt like I was on acid, and meeting her only reinforced

the feeling. So maybe that's why I allowed myself to get in such a weird

discussion. After this strange encounter, I had to get ready for the show. I

had to prepare my voice. First I steam and then do my vocal exercises. I

plug in my steam inhaler, and grab my boom box. Because of all the bands on

the bill, there weren't any extra rooms where I could do my exercises, and I

need a separate room to do my vocals in. I need some privacy because it's

kind of like a meditation. So there was a closet, I let myself in, and shut

the door and that was cool. I took my boom box with me, and popped in the

tape my vocal coach, Don Lawrence made for me. It's different assorted

scales. The tape starts, "and Don goes, ready Joey?" I answer him in my head,

of course, and begin. It takes me about 25 minutes to half an hour. I also

did some physical loosening exercises, and I took some vitamins, and there

was Dr. Judy introducing the Ramones.

We hit the stage at about 10:00 PM--we were the headliners. Our Lady Peace,

Victoria Williams, face to face, Rug Burns all went on before us. We played

for 15,000 kids. We played the first single off our upcoming studio album,

Adios Amigos (due out July 4), which is "I Don't Want To Grow Up." A

highlight of the night was during a radio interview for the station, everyone

sang me "Happy Birthday" on the air.

The next day we flew back home. Four days later, on May 24, we went out

again. This time it was off to Detroit, to play Planet Fest for radio

station, WHYT. When I introduced the show, I said: "It's great to be back in

Detroit, home of The Stooges, and The MC5." Duran Duran, Bush, Letters to

Cleo, No Use for A Name, and Verve Pipe were also on the bill. The place

where this Planet Fest was held is called Pine Knob. It's an indoor, outdoor

kind of a place. Part of it's covered with a big overhanging roof, but the

rest of it is in the great outdoors. During Bush's set, (who went on right

before us) the kids were hurling this grassy sod. Spinning them in the air

like UFOs. The management was flipping out, because the fans were destroying

the place. Before we went on, they told us if they continue throwing clumps

of grass, while the Ramones are playing, we should tell them to stop it.

Either that or the management of Pine Knob was going to try to stop the show,

which isn't right. In fact it really sucks. I know it's really that no-good

Billie Joe Armstrong's doing that the fans are doing this. He incited the

mud-slinging at Woodstock, so sod slinging just seemed natural. I'm kidding.

Anyway, we're playing and all the kids out in the back are hurling the grass,

and it looks like spinning projectiles. Thousands of 'em thrown up in the

air. Luckily they weren't throwing them at us. So I said: "Don't throw the

grass, smoke it." Even after I said that, they were still trying to stop the

show--but we weren't stopping. We don't dig that shit. We did stop for a

slight pause in between songs, and this guy came out from the grounds

department. He came out and echoed my sentiments, "Don't throw the grass

smoke it." Besides stealing my lines, he was making it a legitimate action to

smoke pot during the show. I don't think he realized he was encouraging

people to smoke pot. I thought it was funny. All of a sudden I start smelling

that nice pungent order. I thought it was cool that they went out and told

everyone it was okay to smoke pot--endorsing the right to indulge. It made it

more fun... I want to talk about what these shows are all about. They're

radio-sponsored alternative/punk festivals with all the hot MTV bands. The

rationale for these festivals is, the radio stations are playing your new

album, and in return you play their festivals. Everybody wins in this

situation--and the kids get to see all the bands for a reasonable ticket

price, and it's a whole day affair of fun and frolic. It's definitely a great

opportunity for the Ramones to play for theses audiences. These are today's

"yutes,"[Ed. note: Does he mean youths?] and that's who we want to play

for--the young whippersnappers of today.

(More to come....)