RollingStone.com is reporting that several of Johnny Ramone's friends — including Rob Zombie, Eddie Vedder (PEARL JAM), Pete Yorn, John Frusciante (RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS), Anthony Kiedis (RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS) and Nicolas Cage — gathered at Los Angeles' Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Friday, January 14th, to unveil a four-feet tall bronze statue of the guitarist, who according to Cage's speech, "willed the RAMONES to happen." [Check out pictures from Wire Image, Film Magic, MTV.com]
About a thousand fans gathered for the mid-afternoon ceremony, to hear speeches by many of those closest to Johnny Ramone (whose real name was John Cummings), and to see the $100,000 statue, which Ramone bought himself. "He saw it as something for the fans to come see," former RAMONES drummer Tommy Ramone said in the makeshift backstage area of the cemetery just behind a cathedral.
Rob Zombie, wearing a RAMONES T-shirt, explained how the statue came to be. "Every Christmas trying to find Johnny a gift was impossible," he said. "So I thought what I would do is have my friend Wayne [Toth] sculpt an award that just said 'legend,' and I would present it to him at Christmastime." Zombie then recalled how, as a joke, he suggested to Ramone that he make a giant version of the award. "Now this joke is sitting over there. It weighs 50,000 pounds, and it's made of bronze." Read more.