Hollywood Forever Cemetery becomes lively during Johnny Ramone tribute

Johnny Ramone Tribute Event

August 24, 2014

Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, CA

            It was a night of music all around Los Angeles, CA; the MTV Video Music Awards were going on, numerous concerts all around, but the most rock n’ roll event was at a cemetery- The Hollywood Forever Cemetery to be exact. Fans, family and musicians alike gathered to celebrate the birthday of the legendary, Johnny Ramone of the Ramones and celebrate the 10th anniversary of the tribute event.

Rob Zombie  + Band  DSC_4285After a day of celebrating, checking out the food trucks, merchandise and of course the burial site of Johnny Ramone, over 3,000 fans of multiple generations gathered on the lawn area to watch the broadcast of the live performance from the Masonic Temple, while a lucky couple hundred got to witness the greatness from the sweat filled room. Starting the night off right, Rob Zombie and his band crowded on the small stage in the intimate venue.

“We’re here for one reason, and one reason only: to pay tribute to our good friend Johnny Ramone,” Zombie told the crowd.

“There was nothing like the Ramones, so we’re here for Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy.” Zombie and his band quickly banged out their 5 song set which included Blitzkrieg Bob; Rock ’N’ Roll High School; Beat on the Brat; Lobotomy and Motorhead’s tribute song, R.A.M.O.N.E.S. The set went by in a blink of an eye and it was clear that these guys rehearsed for weeks to perform so flawlessly. Zombie and his band (minus drummer, Ginger Fish) packed up their gear and left the stage, making way from the “Cemetery All-Stars”.

Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols on guitar and vocals, Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses on bass and Ginger Fish of Rob Zombie on drums continued the night with Rockaway Beach; Sheena Is a Punk Rocker which McKagan’s daughter, Grace McKagan sang and Judy is a Punk with Jesse Jo Stark on vocals. Actor, comedian, Fred Armisen followed with a couple more, including, Silly Thing, Danny Says and Can’t Make It On Time. The show ended with a man who needed no introduction, Billy Idol who performed Sedated and California Sun. The 13 song set ended almost as quickly as it began and fans couldn’t help but want more.Behind the Scenes  DSC_4916

The night was far from over though; as fan exited the Masonic Temple, they were treated to goodie bags which had t-shirts, Ramones vinyls and posters. Many of the fans went back to the other side of the cemetery where they would get the witness the cast and crew of Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects come together for the first time in 10 years and talk about the film and answer questions. After the Q&A and some story telling from the cast, the big screen lit up the dark night and fans got a theater like showing of The Devil’s Rejects. A horror movie in a cemetery, how cool is that!?

Aside from the performance, the movie screening, the Q&A, and countless other amazing things, that the mere 25 dollar ticket got these fans, there was also a gallery of Horror Memorabilia, some of which was provided by Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, who shared a love of scary movies alongside Johnny Ramone.

Johnny’s widow, Linda Ramone has been successfully putting on this event for years, and this year was no different, with live performances by legends; a gallery of horror memorabilia, a Q&A with the cast of Rob Zombie’s film, The Devil’s Rejects and a screening of the movie. She is keeping the Ramone’s legacy alive and has no intention of stopping. For next year’s event, Linda said, would be a tribute to all of the Ramones, and may return to Hollywood Forever. “The Ramones legacy is really important to me,” she said. “This is my life.” I hope this event continues on for many years to come, and with such a strong following, I don’t think the Ramone’s will ever be forgotten.

Review by: Nicole Lemberg 

Rob Zombie

Cemetery All-Stars

Billy Idol

Fred Armisen

Horror Memorabilia

Behind the Scenes + Q&A panel 

Johnny Ramone tribute