Following on the heels of the release of Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone, the eighth annual Johnny Ramone Tribute will be held at the renowned Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Aug. 19.
A standout event every year, the tribute will be hosted by Johnny's widow, Linda Ramone, with appearances by very special guest Priscilla Presley, Steve Jones of Jonesy's Jukebox, Henry Rollins, actress Rose McGowan, guitarist Billy Zoom of X, actress PJ Soles (Riff Randell of "R'n'R High School"), and Slim Jim Phantom from the Stray Cats. The event will be even more special this year, as it will include a book signing of Commando, Johnny's autobiography that was released earlier this year to critical acclaim. The book signing will feature Linda, Commando Editor and Ramones manager John Cafiero (of Osaka Popstar), the sole surviving original member of the Ramones, drummer Tommy Ramone, as well as aforementioned celebrity guests with the exception of Presley. Music to suit the occasion will be spun throughout the cemetery grounds by "Intoxica Radio" DJ, musician Howie Pyro. Fans of Johnny, a founding member of the legendary punk band The Ramones, will gather at his 8-foot bronze memorial statue to celebrate his life and legacy.
As the sun sets, the event will feature an outdoor screening under the stars showcasing one of Johnny's Top 10 favorite Elvis films, "King Creole," (a personal favorite of Presley's himself). The screening will include a slideshow of rare photos from Johnny Ramone's personal archives of the guitar legend with one of his closest friends, daughter of the King, Lisa Marie Presley; who also penned the Epilogue in Commando. The esteemed Priscilla Presley will appear in-person to speak and share reflections on Johnny Ramone, daughter Lisa Marie, her iconic husband's legacy, and the lasting impact he made on the world. This is even more poignant considering it's the weeklong Graceland celebration of the 35(th) anniversary of Elvis' death.
Johnny, a longtime Elvis fan and avid collector, cites Presley in Commando as being highly influential in igniting his flame for Rock 'n' Roll; a spark that would eventually lead to significant contributions to pop culture and rock history in his own rite. Appropriately, the grounds of the event will include an on-site display of rare Elvis memorabilia culled from Johnny's personal collection, as housed in the "Elvis Room" of Ramone's Los Angeles home.
Net proceeds benefit the Johnny Ramone Research fund at USC Westside Prostate Cancer Center lead by Dr. David Agus. Admission is only $10, however donations in excess of the required admission are welcomed and suggested (but not mandatory). Tickets can be purchased online in advance, or at the gate upon entry.
Johnny Ramone, born John Cummings in 1948 in Queens, NY, was a founding member of one of the most iconic and seminal bands in history. Formed in 1974, The Ramones emerged from New York City's underground rock scene to become major influencers on the punk movement worldwide. Known for his fast, high-energy playing style, Johnny appeared as #16 on the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" list in Rolling Stone and Time magazine named him one of the "10 Greatest Electric-Guitar Players."
Released in April of 2012, Commando is THE definitive book on the Ramones. Colin Fleming of Rolling Stone Magazine calls Johnny "a barre-chord-loving punk master of paradox ... for surging rhythm work, there was no one who could touch him, and no one better at blending ferocity and humility." Geoff Edgers of the Boston Globe calls Commando "a rare rock memoir. No debauchery. No self-aggrandizing ... In the end, you get what you pay for, a direct and concise book that feels like a conversation with Johnny." Ken Kurson from The Wall Street Journal wrote "When Spin magazine ranked the Ramones as the second-greatest group ever after the Beatles, John was pleased. But I know I wasn't alone in wondering how anyone could even joke about putting those wimpy Liverpudlians ahead of these ambassadors of kickassador from Queens."
Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone will be sold on site by LA favorite Book Soup. Commando is available in stores and online nationwide from Abrams Image for $24.95 with copies available through the Johnny Ramone Army online store at http://www.johnnyramone.com. E-book is available on Kindle, iPad, Nook, Kobo and Sony Reader. Global demand for the book is already such that rights have been pre-sold in six different languages throughout Europe and Brazil with more soon to be announced.
To purchase tickets online in advance please visit http://johnnyramone.com/tickets.html
The gates are scheduled to open at 5:30 p.m. with the book signing at 6:30 p.m. Intro with Priscilla will begin at approx. 8:30 p.m. with the film screening at 9 p.m.
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