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Joey Ramone Birthday Bash Speech
by John Holmstrom
Holmstrom with TV Guide

Back in 1975, Legs and I published the first "punk rock zine." No one called anything "punk rock" back then because there wasn't any--there was just the Ramones. But we thought the Ramones were going to be the new Beatles so we decided to call our new magazine--actually, it was MY fucking magazine, Legs just sort of hung out in the office--anyhow, we called it "PUNK." Like in "Judy is a Punk."

Well, back then all the smartass New York rock critics used to make fun of us for saying this... (except for Lisa Robinson and James Wolcott who agreed with us)... The critics would say stupid stuff like, "How can the Ramones put out more than one record? No one would be able to tell the difference because all their songs sound the same!" So we would just say "WHAT! Are you nuts? The Ramones are the coolest rock 'n' roll band in the whole world! And don't you forget it!"

Anyhow I was at the newsstand today and I picked another little 'zine. It's for people who like to watch TV - maybe you've heard of it... it's called TV Guide? And there, on page 10, is a Tribute to Joey Ramone. Let me read part of it to you: "Joey loved television almost as much as he loved rock 'n' roll... He was proud of the quintessential punk group's appearances on everything from 'Late Show with David Letterman' to 'The Simpsons.' And he was especially delighted by a 1998 appearance on 'The Drew Carey Show' in which he played a guitarist auditioning to be in Carey's band."

Did anyone else see this episode? I must have missed it somehow... Anyhow, then they finish up by mentioning Joey's song "Money Honey," which is about CNBC's anchorwoman on "Squawk Box." Now, this song is gonna be on Joey's upcoming solo CD. And I think we should all go out and buy 10 copies of it when it comes out so Joey can have that hit record he always wanted!

Well, anyhow, as it turns out, Legs and I were 100% right. The Ramones WERE the next Beatles. And it was great to have a front row seat for all of their adventures. Most of all, being a good friend of Joey Ramone was an unforgettable, really cool thing. And The Ramones were the coolest band in the history of rock 'n' roll. And don't you ever forget it.

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