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More Recipes: The Joy of October; Sangwich Numero Uno; Snack of the Moment; Dear God, What Have I Stumbled Upon?; I Thank God for Baseball

by H.D. Manitoba

This month I've been overwhelmed by the death of my pal Joey Ramone. The regular article and food stuff will be replaced by all Joey stuff!!!!

Maybe this is interesting, maybe it's not....lemme know what you think. Here's the little speech I made at the Joey rock n roll memorial service at CBGB. If you don't like it, blame my website editor, Karen Winter, she made me put it in.......................

Back in 1974, the Dictators were playing regularly at a joint on Queens Blvd. called the Coventry. We saw Kiss play there and we opened for bands like the NY Dolls & the Harlots of 42nd St. I always noticed this guy at the bar at the Coventry. He was ALWAYS hanging out. You couldn't help but notice him. He was very tall, very skinny, & very unique looking. "Who is that guy?" I wanted to know. "That guy?--that's Jeff Starship--he's got a band called Sniper!" Well, Jeff soon became Joey and his band soon became the Ramones!

The Ramones and the Dictators played shows together all over the country. Joey and I would become good friends over the next 25 years. We hung out at all the clubs and after hours clubs of the 70's. We got high together, and then we got healthy together. There was always a great mutual love and respect between us. Joey was a sweet, warm, loyal friend. He was very supportive of the Dictators. Every so often we'd go to dinner or just call each other up on the phone and catch up. Our conversations were mostly about music, girls, life, and sometimes we would exchange notes on our respective illnesses. THIS was a bonding thing. It brought us closer together. These two aging, ageless, Jewish CBGB graduate, New York rock guys talking about their maladies!

The thing about Joey was.....he never kvetched about his problems to me. He didn't define himself by his problems. He mentioned them but he didn't dwell. He was too busy being excited by the music he was creating, or a band he was working with, or a party he was throwing.

When I walk down the street I love being noticed and appreciated for the work I've done. When I walked down the street with Joey, he got all the attention and that was OK cause Joey was a great guy who DESERVED everything good that he got! I don't root for everyone, I don't pretend to. But I did root for Joey. He was my friend. I was happy for him. I'm a fan. The Ramones belong to me too! They belong to the world, they belong to New York, they belong to the neighborhood.

Joey was a great singer with a great pop sensibility. Musically, Joey and the Ramones did something that is indeed rare! They invented something! That is the highest compliment you can pay an artist. They created something, they affected people, THEY CHANGED SHIT!!!!!! Joey created a body of music that is everywhere & cuts across many cultural boundaries. Joey listened to all the right people (in my humble opinion): Phil Spector, the Stones, the Beatles & the Beach Boys. Whenever I'm lying on the beach, the two songs that pop in my head are: "The Warmth of the Sun" & "The Girls on the Beach"......Thank you, Brian Wilson!...When I walk into a bar or go to a party and hear "Rockaway Beach," "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker" or "I Wanna Be Sedated," I feel like singing along & playing air guitar! I feel young! I feel cool! I feel excited!....All great rock n roll does that to you!...Thank you, Joey Ramone!

Last week I went to see my beloved Yankees play at the Stadium. The hey-ho-let's go chant started in order to rile up the fans. I felt so proud that MY BOY, Joey Ramone, was blaring out of the loudspeakers, at MY shrine. But I felt so sad that I could no longer call him to tell him how proud I was! I just sat there, looked at my girlfriend and said "OH MAN, JOEY!!!"...........

***

Joey and I had 2 memorable food experiences....1) We ate a coupla times at Hasaki on 9 st. & 3rd ave. It was right across the street from Joey's house and the food was as good as any sushi in the hood (my personal fave is Takahachi on ave. A). Also, everybody there knew Joey and kissed our asses properly!!!! 2) One day I called Joey up and said, "Why don't I come over, make dinner, pick up a video to watch on your big screen TV and we'll just hang!" Joey said, "Yeah, yeah, that sounds like a great idea!" So I brought over Runaway Train, which I love and Joey liked, and for dinner I broiled a salmon filet quickly on both sides on a high heat to get a crispness yet the insides remained moist. In a bowl I mixed together Hellmanns mayo, fresh lime juice, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and fresh chopped dill. I spread this mixture on said filets and we wuz eatin !!!!!!!