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Joey Ramone's 50th Birthday Bash: Hammerstein Ballroom, New York

Michael Azerrad, The Boston Phoenix, 31 May 2001

IT'S FUNNY HOW memorials often take on the character of the person they honor. The sold-out "Life's a Gas – Joey Ramone's 50th Birthday Bash" May 19 at Manhattan's 3500-capacity Hammerstein Ballroom rocked hard, but it was also poignant, funny, generous, and unpretentious. Just like Joey, who died last month of lymphoma. Tickets for the four-hour event were a very populist 15 bucks, just enough to cover expenses. Very few of the crowd, which was about half youngsters and half oldsters, looked like punks (whatever that means). These were regular folks.

Total word count of piece: 725


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