Photos and words by Mary Bell
Groups of Ramones and Cry-Baby character look-alikes swarmed Hollywood Forever Cemetery for the 9th annual Johnny Ramone Tribute night organized by Johnny’s widow, the lovely Linda Ramone.
The event was hosted by none other than the director/writer of the cult film, John Waters. The evening was complete with a book signing by Waters, Traci Lords, and Joe Dallesandro as well as a screening of the film and a panel discussion with members of the cast. The panel was introduced by burlesque extraordinaire Dita Von Teese, moderated by Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones (Jonesy) and included Waters, Lords, Ricki Lake, Dallesandro, and James Intveld (the singing voice behind Cry- Baby). Oh, and almost forgot a super surprise appearance by some guy named Johnny Depp.
The screams from the crowd when he appeared out of nowhere awakened the dead. While the questions being asked overall were pretty bad and disorganized, we did find out a few juicy tidbits – Lake lost her virginity on the set, and Brad Pitt auditioned for the role of Cry-Baby’s sidekick. Waters joked that he may have been the only director to ever turn down Pitt but knew he would be a big star.
After the panel ended and everyone in the crowd tried to regain composure after the Depp sighting, Waters got up and gave a lovely introduction to the movie. He said his favorite line is when Depp’s character Cry-Baby Walker seductively tells his lady Allison that “One single salty tear is all they’ll ever get out of this Cry-Baby.” Fitting for the cemetery setting his parting words were, “Let’s do the mash. It was a graveyard smash.”
Following the movie vintage footage of the Ramones playing various venues through the span of their career was shown. Truly a trip to be rocking out to my favorite Ramones’ tunes, standing five feet away from Linda Ramone and Shepard Fairey. Overall a pretty spectacular night. See you next year Johnny!