Gabba Gabba Birthday!

When the Ramones began playing gigs in 1974, they quickly earned a reputation for being loud, fast, and different. The straightforward New Yorkers made themselves famous by employing the same philosophy country songwriter Harlan Howard espoused: three chords and the truth. Most of the original members of the first real punk-rock band have shuffled off this mortal coil, but the urgent legacy of the Ramones remains. Their influence can be heard in the political rush of Green Day as well as the rebellious posturing of pop-punk MTV bands. If lymphoma didn’t curtail his life, Joey Ramone would have turned 55 today. To pay tribute to the black-haired ectomorph who sang ditties like “Cretin Hop” and “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue,” the earnest cover band Rockit to Russia is throwing Joey Ramone’s Birthday Bash, a weekend-long celebration of the rock and roll icons. “The way I see it, is musicians who are out there playing for the love of it are a step away from being monks -- just because of the sheer dedication it takes,” says frontman Nicky Ramone. Rock out tonight at 10:00 at Broadway Billiards, 17813 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura. Call 786-258-0546, or visit
Fri., May 19
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Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik