When Rockit to Russia's Bobby Ramone Reinhardt passed this
October, his family wasn't able to afford a funeral. To help his family and
celebrate the fastest bassist since Dee Dee Ramone, his bruddas are throwing a
sendoff this Saturday at the Monterey Club. Near the end of his battle with
diabetes, Reinhardt could barely afford all the treatment he needed. Stranded, without
a car, and geographically isolated in Oldsmar, Florida, he struggled to get rides
to dialysis. As a founding member of South Florida's premiere Ramones tribute
band, he seemed to embody Joey Ramone's Too Tough to Die
His late younger brother, Mikey, also did his time in Rockit to Russia. "He played the Ramones stuff better than anyone -- he died of a
pulmonary embolism in 2008," says longtime friend and Death Becomes You
drummer Christopher Lee. Lee and his band of actual brothers shared a close
and special bond with Bobby, Mikey, and the rest of the Rockit. It's
appropriately heartwarming that Lee would pull his resources and set up a
benefit show for Bobby's family.
As Lee explains, "[Bobby was] one of these people who
didn't have much -- living off of government assistance -- and they didn't do
much to help him." The Monterey Club is allowing Lee to use all the door money
so it can be given to Bobby's kids. Lee says, "His kids are 12 and 13; we're going
to use the money to buy them a savings bond. They were totally into everything
Reinhardt's love of classic three-chord punk and his family
kept him going when he couldn't get the care he needed. Lee and his brother
Nicodemus spent hours talking music with their buddy as his condition worsened.
Lee elaborates: "The last time we spoke, he really didn't sound good."
In the spirit of Bobby Ramone, Rockit to Russia will perform
35 Ramones classics and invite anyone in attendance to sing or play along. It'll
be a South Florida version of the Ramones' cameo-laden final concert as
captured on We're Outta Here. If
Saturday's show is anything like that, it'll be a blast that we wish never had
Lee puts it best: "Since he didn't have an actual funeral,
now [we're] doing a rock 'n' roll funeral for Bobby, like the 'Pet Cemetery'
Bobby Ramone Memorial Benefit Show. 10 p.m. Saturday, December 3, at the Monterey Club, 2608A S.
Federal Highway. Click here.