Pearl Jam have toured with a lot of amazing opening acts over the years, sharing the stage with Iggy Pop, Sleater-Kinney, the Buzzcocks, Cheap Trick and many, many more. But nothing is likely to top four American shows in September 1995, when the Ramones were on the bill. The punk icons were on a farewell tour that year, playing a career high 73 gigs. Their last gig together was September 17th at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans.
During the encore, in a moment that Ramones super fan Eddie Vedder is likely to never forget, Joey Ramone came onstage and sang the Dead Boys classic “Sonic Reducer” with the band. This was obviously before the era of smartphones, but camcorders were rolling in the audience. Here’s the best available video, which was spliced together from two sources.
Despite pledging that they would break-up following their 1995 tour, the Ramones got a big money offer to headline Lollapalooza in the summer of 1996, so the tour kept going. They played their final show at the Palace in Hollywood, California. Eddie Vedder joined them for the final encore, a cover of “Anyway You Want It” by the Dave Clark Five.
Six years later, Eddie Vedder inducted the Ramones in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He spoke for 17 minutes. “They were armed with two-minute songs that they rattled off like machine gun fire,” he said. “It was enough to change the Earth’s revolution. Now it’s Disney kids singing songs written by old men and being marketed to six- and seven-year-olds, so some kind of change might have to happen again soon.”
Tragically, Joey Ramone wasn’t around to receive the honor. He passed away the previous April. Dee Dee Ramone died of a heroin overdose just three months later, and Jonny Ramone died of prostate cancer in 2004. Eddie Vedder spoke at his funeral.