Happy fucking Birthday, Joey

I’m not usually maudlin about celebrity deaths, but I wanna take a moment and say Happy Birthday to Joey Ramone, who woulda been sixty today. It’s one of those reminders that we really don’t live forever, and considering he died over ten years ago… well, from my vantage point fifty isn’t THAT crazy far off either…


I met Joey only once, in an elevator. It was 1989, and I was ready to move out of that place on 57th & 10th. I was going to check out an apartment I wanted to sub-let on 9th Street at 3rd Avenue. It was actually a surprisingly nice co-op a block from St. Mark’s Square, and the building in which Leon Klinghoffer had lived before the PLO shot him in his wheelchair on the Achille Lauro and pushed him overboard into the ocean… I was on my way up to meet the co-op board and was going past the apartment one more time with Kate, my girlfriend of the time… who actually gasped in fear when she stepped into the elevator and saw Joey standing very quietly in the corner. Understand, she claimed she dated HR of the Bad Brains before me, so it took a lot to unsettle her. Anyway, it was a tiny elevator, but he was so tall and thin it actually seemed like he was kind of far away. Totally Joey… leather jacket (in July!) hi-tops, stripey shirt, the works. He was very friendly, mainly to Kate for some reason…

I got turned down by the co-op board, they were worried I would be too loud. Fuck ’em.

Anyway, thanks for the story. And thanks for the songs.

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