Rob Zombie hosted the 10th annual Johnny Ramone birthday on August 24 at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The show included live sets of RAMONES classics performed by some of Johnny‘s closest musician friends, including Zombie, Billy Idol, former GUNS N’ ROSES bassist Duff McKagan and SEX PISTOLS guitarist Steve Jones. Fred Armisen (“Portlandia”, “Saturday Night Live”) also appeared at the tribute and brought along his punk rock alter ego, Ian Rubbish, to the festivities.
According to RollingStone.com, Zombie and his band played a five-song set consisting of “Blitzkrieg Bop”, “Rock ‘N’ Roll High School”, “Beat On The Brat”, “Lobotomy” and MOTÖRHEAD‘s tribute song “R.A.M.O.N.E.S.”
“We’re here for one reason, and one reason only: to pay tribute to our good friend Johnny Ramone,” Zombie told the crowd. “I miss him every day. He was a wonderful kind guy. There was nobody like him. There was nothing like the RAMONES, so we’re here for Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy.”
“I was freaked out by the RAMONES,” McKagan said during a panel question-and-answer session. “As a 13-year-old kid living up in Seattle, the RAMONES were the first punk band to come play. They were like my KISS. So 10 or 12 years later, ‘Appetite [For Destruction]’ came out, I got an opportunity to meet the RAMONES, and I actually didn’t want to because I didn’t want to ruin anything. They still remain bigger than life to me.”
Cited by both Time and Rolling Stone magazines as one of the most influential guitarists ever, the Johnny Ramone Tribute brings family, friends and fans together to celebrate the late punk guitarist’s music and legacy with question-and-answer sessions, screenings of Johnny‘s favorite movies and musical guests. Past participants have included Tommy Ramone, Johnny Depp, Rob Zombie, Lisa Marie Presley, Priscilla Presley, Chris Cornell, Nick Cage, Kirk Hammett, Steve Jones, Rose McGowan, Henry Rollins, John Waters, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, Shepard Fairey, Dita Von Teese and Billy Zoom, among many others.