A plaque on Rodeo Drive is one way to commemorate a late legend. Here’s how Johnny Ramone is being remembered. On August 19, a motley gang including Priscilla Presley, Henry Rollins, Rose McGowan, guitarist Billy Zoom of the famed L.A. band X, and Slim Jim Phantom from the Stray Cats, among others, will respectfully descend on Hollywood Forever Cemetery to pay tribute to the founding member of The Ramones, the seminal New York punk band of the late 70s. Johnny Ramone, number 16 on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, lost his battle to cancer in 2004.
But this is hardly a funereal occasion. Think of is as a not-too-crazy get-together among crazy types at a cemetery in the late afternoon. But first, understand that Johnny was a major Elvis Presley fan. Okay, so around sundown, none other than Priscilla Presley will share her reflections on Johnny, her husband, and anything she feels like. Then, an outdoor screening of King Creole (starring Elvis) will begin, followed by a slideshow of rare photos of the legend from Johnny’s archives, given by another Presley, Lisa Marie.
And before any of that starts, Johnny’s fans will gather at his eight-foot bronze statue to do what fans do so well: swap stories, sing his praises, glorify his legacy, etc. The grounds, meanwhile, will include an on-site display of rare Elvis memorabilia culled from Johnny’s personal collection in his Los Angeles home.
The event will also include a book signing of Johnny’s autobiography, Commando, released earlier this year, by his wife Linda Ramone, as well as the sole surviving original band member, drummer Tommy Ramone, and the aforementioned speakers (with the exception of Priscilla, we’re not sure why).
You could say it’s also a tribute to Elvis Presley, although it’s called the Johnny Ramone Tribute. But here’s the thing. It’s the 8th annual Johnny Ramone Tribute. Yeah, they’ve done this seven times before! How did we not know?
Admission is $10, tickets available here. Net proceeds will benefit the Johnny Ramone Research fund at USC Westside Prostate Cancer Center.