Joey Ramone's Road Report: The California Experience
We just finished three weeks touring the South, and then we flew into Los Angeles for a private party. As we arrived at LAX. we were greeted by a huge white stretch limousine. (A yacht on wheels.) And we were set up in this great five star hotel, the Sheraton Grande Hotel and given everything we wanted. It's usually not that way. The party was for E3, the world's first CD-ROM software convention, hosted by Sirius Publishing. It was at Glam Slam, Prince's club. Sirius wanted to put something together that was totally over the top. So they sent out a survey to all the corporate suits who were going to be at this party, and asked them who they wanted as the entertainment. They listed a bunch of bands. R.E.M., Pearl Jam, the Ramones, etc. And when the surveys came back, eighty per cent of the people wanted the Ramones.
So we came out to play. It was an all-out wild party. We got there early and had a sound check. Prince was going to play there too, and he decided he needed to sound check as well. The Symbol. I mean, The Man. We sound checked so everything would be right, then he tears down the whole stage and does a five hour sound check. The rest of us went back to the hotel, but Johnny Ramone decided to stay at the club. Then he found out that you can't be in the same room when the Symbol sound checks, and if by chance you were, you couldn't look directly at him. Kind of like those super-human entities in Greek myths a la Jason and the Argonauts. If you looked at them you would turn to stone and disintegrate. When Johnny was hanging out, they said to him, "if you want to stay, you either have to go back to the dressing room, or leave the club." So Johnny went back to the dressing, but Arturo, our lighting guy and resident artiste, managed to catch the sound check...
We went on at 11:15 PM. We come in and see that it's all a bunch of suits. I found it amusing. I said to the crowd, "Welcome to the freak show, we're the band formerly known as the Ramones." I heard there was a mosh pit in front of CJ. The suits were moshing. Most of them were young guys, some of them were older. There was this one guy standing in front of me, who was in a gray suit, with whitish, gray hair. Older, but in his late 40s or early 50s. In the beginning, he just stood there but eventually we infiltrated his soul. We broke them down. We affected their primal inner core with our tribal sound, and they were bopping. Women in their gowns and cocktail dresses. I think the tribal rhythm really affectsthem more than men. I don't know why, but they seem to lose it first. Anyway, they were having a good old time. It was definitely strange, but it was cool. It was a good show, and they loved it.
Prince watched the show, and we heard he was very impressed. He wanted us to stay and do another night there. Billy Idol was there, Rodney Bingenheimer too. John Wayne Bobbitt and his scarred penis. According to Rodney, Bobbitt kept exposing his stump to Rodney's girlfriend. He's got something there. It's full of scars. Spielberg was there, Mariah Carey was there, and was having such a good time, she forgot to go to the Sony party where she was supposed to perform.
Perry Farrell was there, it was really cool hanging out with him. He was talking about how computers can turn us into tribal society. They have the ability to connect us to one another. To me, there's some irony to it. I think on one hand computers can serve as a bridge between people, but at the same time they can isolate. I don't know. I've always preferred the dark ages myself, the primal stone ages instead the world of high-tech. It's more rock and roll to me. But I am intrigued by the whole computer revolution. A computer is a black hole into the universe. Of knowledge. It enables you to connect and interact with anybody and anyone on the planet. It's amazing and fascinating. I guess I felt extra good because now I'm involved with ATN, so the fact we were doing this software party seemed so perfect.
Everybody was there from all the companies. Viacom, Sony, etc. The conference was based around computer games. That was cool, because I've always been obsessed with computer games. They definitely suck you in. Recently, I've bought some stock in some hi-tech companies like that. So I'm really curious from a couple of different aspects. Prince went on at 5:00 AM and went on forever. But it's his club, so who's gong to tell him he can't. There were still about 300 people (zombies) there when he went on. He didn't even sing, he just jammed...
We went back to the hotel, and me, Jown Tarshis and her friend Lydia hung out eating sandwiches and strawberry shortcake down in the lobby until about 4 a.m. All the executives kept filing in, and stopping by to tell us how much fun they had and how much they liked the show. It was kinda cool. The next morning, morning of our departure back to New York, we were all greeted by a van that was sent to take us to the airport. A regular cattle car. The party was over and it was back to reality. The coach turned back into a pumpkin.