The Strokes, Sonic Youth, Blondie, Andrew W.K. and Sean Lennon are among the artists on board for a benefit concert in memory of the late Johnny and Joey Ramone.
"Be Well: Ramones Beat on Cancer" will be held on October 8 — which would have been Johnny's 56th birthday — at the New York club Spirit. All proceeds from the event will go to the Cedars-Sinai Cancer Research Center and the Lymphoma Research Foundation. Johnny lost his five-year battle with prostate cancer last week, (see "Ramones Guitarist Johnny Ramone Dies At Age 55") while frontman Joey died after a lengthy battle with lymphoma in 2001 (see "Punk Pioneer Joey Ramone Dead At 49").
The concert — organized by Johnny Ramone (before his death) with longtime Ramones creative director Arturo Vega — will also feature an exhibition of band memorabilia, personal items and photographs. Original Ramones drummer Tommy Erdelyi, the lone surviving member of the band's first lineup, will make an appearance, and New York Dolls frontman David Johansen, Ramones producer Daniel Rey and former Ramones bassist C.J. Ramone are also scheduled to perform.
"It was Johnny's idea, and we were aware that Johnny was in risk of dying. I just wanted to make sure he wanted us to continue in the event of his death," Vega said. "I asked him over and over if he wanted to continue planning, and said he didn't want to let down the fans and the people involved."
"It's sad, because they had been planning on doing this since May. It wasn't something that we just put together," added Strokes manager Ryan Gentles. "It came from Johnny and Arturo. They had it planned for so long, and he just passed away the other day, so it's really sad. There was a chance he was going to be there."
Tickets for the event are $50 and can be purchased via Ticketmaster, Wanttickets.com or at the club's box office.