I was invited down to SPA to see Candy Ass - an all-female punk trio with influences ranging from The Donnas to The Lunachicks to The Ramones. All bands I dig!
I also heard that Dee Dee and Marky Ramone would be "sitting in" with the girls. This pretty much sold me on going. SPA is more known to be that hardcore club scene - you know beautiful people, velvet ropes, VIP rooms etc...but they are trying to make Wednesday nights "rock nights" there. Shawn from the Toilet Boys is the guy leading the charge on this, and more power to him, I hope this continues. It was interesting watching the 2 types of crowds mix.
Candy Ass took the stage at around midnight. They rocked - really great raw punk sound and a great leading lady out front. I was really enjoying the tunes - when all of a sudden, Shawn (Toilet Boys) taps me on the shoulder and says - "Hey- whose bass is that?" ( I recently took up the bass- and yes, I brought it to try and have Dee Dee Ramone sign it - ok ? so settle) I look at Shawn and say "Mine - it's my bass- why?" He looks all flustered and says "Well.. ummm ? we can't find Dee Dee's bass and ..well.." I said "He can play this." Shawn then asked what kind it was and I told him, An American Fender Precision bass. Then - this was my favorite - Shawn asked if it was white? I immediately thought of all the numerous images I have seen of Dee Dee Ramone playing his white bass on stage. I said, no it's blue - and white. He says "C mon."
We walk past the bathrooms up this narrow staircase into a smaller attic type room with a few seats and coat racks with one adjacent room. Two guys walk out - then Dee Dee Ramone walks out. Everyone is looking around and looking for their instruments - I hold up my bass and Dee Dee says, oh, that's a nice one. We start talking, etc...I tell him I knew Joey and the other guy finds Dee Dee's bass, but he doesn't have a strap. Dee Dee asks to borrow mine, and I say, "OF COURSE." Dee Dee's guitarist asks me to stand stage right during the gig in case Dee Dee needs to use my bass as back up. No problem , I say. He then grabs my bass and tunes it.Set lists are exchanged and then we all B Line for the stage - showtime!! Dee Dee's guitarist, drummer, Dee Dee and me - all walk in line towards the stage - all of us holding instruments.
This was a great evening of rock 'n roll and every single person in the room knew it. Dee Dee slammed from one song to another (sometimes starting and stopping and starting again) but always with the trademark "1 2 3 4..." Some of the Ramone's classics he did were "Loudmouth," "Beat on the Brat," "53rd and 3rd," "I Wanna Be Sedated," "I Don't Care," "Chinese Rock," "Blitzkrieg Bop," "I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement."
It was great to be there inhaling this rock n roll legend in a classic "only in NY" rock 'n roll moment. No, Dee Dee never stopped to exchange his bass for mine - but he did graciously sign my new Fender Aqua P Bass for me as we shared some pre gig time together at SPA. I hope these nights continue, NY is losing a lot of rock clubs. We need nights like this to come back strong. Who better than Rock legend Dee Dee Ramone to kick this series off!!
After Dee Dee left the stage and threw his bass on the ground, I took my strap back...and went home.
Source: Drew Goldberg