Joey Ramone- Happy bloody Birthday.

I idolise this man. I have done ever since I can remember. I fell in love with his perfect stage presence. His unconventional beauty. His lyrics. His music, his art, his wisdom- just him. You wanted to be just like him, you wanted to be friends with him. Some may use the word “cool” to describe him, but I find that word to be highly redundant. It’s such an empty word to describe a person. Joey deserves more than that, especially as today would’ve been his birthday.

I remember when I first heard the Ramones. My uncle was a Punk (and I firmly believe once it is in you, you are a Punk for life) and I used to be fascinated with his record collection. I still am. Most of what I love comes from his influence. I picked up a Ramones record and I was in awe of the artwork. They didn’t look like a band- they looked like a gang. You could tell by just looking at them that they had a “do or die” kind of approach. I personally believe that’s the best way to be. If you are not willing to bleed and ache for your art- then don’t do it. Never do something unless you are going to put your heart into it. That’s one of the many things Ramones taught me. I feel in debt to this band.

I had a Ramones hoodie. I let someone borrow it. I’m never getting it back. I pretty much lived in that hoodie. I just want it back. I need a new one. Sorry, about the outburst.

What I loved about Joey was how for most who didn’t know who he was, he probably seemed like a lanky daunting creature. His gangly frame completed with ripped jeans and a beaten leather jacket. Most probably would look at him and think “here comes trouble.” The only time he probably kicked up a fuss was on stage. Thrusting the mic stand about and yelling every word for you to scream back. I watch the old clips and just wish I was there. I have a couple of Ramones records on vinyl, and they are honestly one of the few treasured possessions I have. I don’t own anything expensive at all. If you’re going to mug me, I wouldn’t bother at all. I have no money and my bank card has snapped in half. I’m a walking mess and a disgrace to myself. I like to think my leather (not real leather) shields me from being approached by the likes of bible bashers and charity workers. I don’t want to be told I’m going to Hell nor do I have the money to send to someone else. I’ve been living off cup-a-soup. Feel free to send me YOUR money.

Joey was a gentle giant. Hiding behind his hair, was he really that shy? I think that was part of the appeal. From him, I learnt that being shy isn’t a bad thing so long as you have a way of letting it all out. Find a form of art to just let it all out.

Joey made me, and still makes me feel less hideous about my messy hair and my clothes that are falling apart. It doesn’t matter about the outside. Keep your insides pure and honest- and do what you have to do in order to keep yourself alive.

Joey, wherever you are, I hope you are having the best birthday ever. Thank you for being an inspiration and role model for someone like me. Much love xxxx

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