CJ RAMONE'S ALBUM RECONQUISTA (2012/2013)
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Copyright: Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone.
THIS SITE INCLUDE:
1) Background, tracklisting and details of musicians in CJ Ramone's
2) Album release event in March 23, 2013.
3) Information of Pledge Music campaign for Reconquista.
4) Older information of album and it's tribute feeling.
5) Some background of CJ's activities since 90's.
1) CJ RAMONE'S ALBUM RECONQUISTA
Ramones' bassist (1989-1996) CJ Ramone had spoke for me of new album
since 2009-2010. After Bad Chopper album
(2007), he did some recordings what aren't published before entering
studio in late May / early June, 2012. Those songs got published really
quickly after studio, digitally on June 29, 2012.
"The new CJ Ramone album Reconquista is available at all your favorite
download sites! So raise a cup of coffee with me to celebrate and give
it a listen. You're really gonna like it!!!", wrote CJ in June 29,
A while after digital album was taken away from iTunes etc. as he started
campaign in December 2012, to get Reconquista released also as a CD
CJ Ramone got Reconquista' CD's in June 6, 2013, and first pressing
of LP few weeks
later in June, 2013. So will say official release of Reconquista album
was June, 2013.
First pressing of LP was picture disc, 500 copies (see
picture in right). Second LP pressing is in hot pink vinyl color (not
picture LP), only 250 copies and it got published by
There are also published versions in Japan and South America. The
Japanese version has jewel case and a booklet includes all the song
lyrics and an insert in japanese.
Title song Reconquista and three more songs were included as a bonus
song to South American version of Reconquista album.
More background information...
Pledge Music campaign reached it's goal 100% in February 5th, 2013.
Campaign ended in March 3 and it had 109% of goal, so 9% extra.
CJ Ramone put many demos on his Pledge Music site to people who pledged
and they downloaded free:
1) non-named demo, 2) cover of Black Flag's Rise Above featuring Dez
Cadena, 3) Walking Dead (from Reconquista demos), 4) Shoot 'Em Up
(from Reconquista demos), 5) live video of R.A.M.O.N.E.S. 6) live
audio version of Damned cover Neat Neat Neat and Los Gusanos demo
Ride. 7) Los Gusanos song No Bone Movies (to tribute album for Ozzy
Osbourne), 8) Los Gusanos song Liams Tree (was written for CJ's son),
9-11) three demos from "lost" Los Gusanos album, CJ didn't write name of
songs. Read more of Los Gusanos here.
Ramone's info letters of Pledge Music campaign here. CJ Ramone
confirmed to me in February 2, 2013, that tracklisting of CD and vinyl
versions are going to be same than in digital version published in June,
Album has 12 songs and they are rocked in 35,5 minutes. Most fast ones
are around 2:20 and longest one Low On Ammo is 4:20.
1) What We Gonna Do Now? (length 2:41)
2) Three Angels (2:58)
3) You're The Only One (3:01)
4) Nobody's Sweetheart (2:48)
5) Shut Up (2:43)
6) King Cobra (3:44)
7) Now I Know... (3:29)
8) Ghost Ring (2:26)
9) Waitin' For My Man (2:19) (cover of Lou Reed song)
10) Goin' Home (2:18)
11) Low On Ammo (4:20)
12) Aloha Oe (2:55) (Lili'uokalani's most famous song and a common
cultural symbol for Hawaii)
Bonus tracks in South American version published by Pinhead Records:
14) Shoot' Em Up
15) Walking Dead
16) Rise Above (cover of Black Flag's Rise Above featuring Dez
- CJ Ramone: Bass,
guitar and vocals.
Soto (The Adolescents etc.): Guitar and backing vocals.
- Jose Medeles (The
Breeders, 22 Jacks etc.): Drums and percussions.
Jim Monroe and Steve Soto.
- Billy Zoom (X
etc.): Lead guitar, track: Goin' Home.
- Jonny "Two Bags"
Wickersham (Social Distortion, U.S. Bombs etc.): Lead guitar,
tracks: Three Angels and Aloha Oe.
Bentley (Bad Religion, The Circle Jerks, T.S.O.L etc.): Bass,
track: What We Gonna Do Now?.
- Marcus Hollar (Street Dogs): Lead guitar, track: What We Gonna Do
- Matt Katz (Blondie): Keyboard, tracks: You're The Only One, Now I
Know... and Waitin' For My Man.
Agnew (The Adolescents/ 45 Grave): Lead guitar, tracks: Nobody's
Sweetheart, Now I Know... and Ghost Ring.
- Dan Root (The Adolescents/ One Hit Wonder): Lead guitar, track: Low On
- Pamela vain, additional backing vocals, track: Aloha Oe.
- "The Chimpan three" (John Mauer, Marcus Hollar and Greg Stocks):
additional backing vocals.
2) ALBUM RELEASE EVENT OF
CJ RAMONE'S RECONQUISTA IN MARCH 23, 2013
CJ Ramone: singer-bassist.
Steve Soto: guitar.
Dan Root: guitar.
Michael Stamberg: drummer.
March 23, 2013, Do You Wanna Dance,
2628 Gerritsen Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, USA.
Other bands performing: Johnny Black Band and Alouth.
Immediately following the show there will be the worldwide
premier of CJ Ramone: King Cobra, The Making Of Reconquista.
It is a movie Paul MacKay, CJ Ramone and Jesse Mosher made about the
making of new album in Orange Country, CA, USA.
Also Jesse Mosher is doing art show. He told me they are of paintings he
did during CJ's
shows in the USA in NYC, California, Long Island and Nashville and in
Colombia in Cali and Medellin. Exhibited at Do You Wanna Dance club are
also Jesse Mosher's paintings from the Reconquista album sessions that
are featured in the documentary.
CJ Ramone has helped and inspired to
create Do You Wanna Dance club. Read here
cool story of background of club. Jesse Mosher wrote it to me.
3) PLEDGE MUSIC CAMPAIGN FOR
CJ Ramone started a Pledge Music campaign in December 2012, to get
Reconquista released also as a CD. Campaign
ended in March 3 and it had 109% of goal, so 9% extra.
Buying album as CD is 18 US$, as signed vinyl 30 US$, you can get your
name in the credits with 35 US$, handwritten lyric sheet 50 US$, Skype
session with CJ 50 US$, his signature Mosrite bass signed 2 000
See CJ's Pledge Music
Here is CJ Ramone's letter where he explains idea of his Pledge Music
campaign: "Hey kids, CJ Ramone
here. Well this is it,
my new album Reconquista. I worked long and hard on it and called in a
lot of favors from a lot of friends.
Steve Soto (The Adolescents) joined on to do guitars and background
vocals. He also co-produced it. We
called an old friend, Jose Medeles (The Breeders) to play drums. We
recorded the record at the Racket Room in Orange County, California
(USA) with studio owner and producer Jim Monroe. And since we were down
that way, got in touch with a bunch of great players that we knew from
some great bands, Billy Zoom from X, Jay Bentley from Bad Religion,
Dennis Casey from Flogging Molly, Dan Root from The Adolescents, Frank
Agnew from The Adolescents/ 45 Grave, Matt Katz the keyboard player from
Blondie, Marcus Hollar from The Street Dogs, and Jonny "Two Bags"
Wickerson and Johnny Maurer from Social Distortion. We had a real cool
time making the record and it comes through on the music.
I chose to do a Pledge Music campaign because its as close to doing it
D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) as I could get. Releasing the record through
Pledge Music makes it possible for me to offer you things like CDs and
records with handwritten lyric sheets, exclusive T-shirts, and
autographed CJ Ramone model Mosrite basses. You can even get a thirty
minute skype session. So check out all my gear and give record a listen.
I think you are gonna like it. See ya on the big road.
CJ's Pledge Music campaign received 50 % of goal in
January 8, 2013 and
75 % of goal in January 22, 2013. CJ put as a thank an unreleased
from the Reconquista recording sessions to his Pledge profile to people
who had taken part on this campaign. CJ wrote in
January 21: "Hey kids!! Time to kick this campaign into high gear!
We've added some cool new stuff including limited edition cartoons drawn
by myself, my last project Bad
Chopper on vinyl (LP), and I Love New
York postcards with a personalized greeting from me! I also put together
a little package deal for those who just can't make up their minds! Now
to sweetin' up the deal, I'm giving away an unreleased track from the
Reconquista recording sessions. So get your order in and download your
Let's rock!, CJ"
CJ's Pledge Music campaign news on January 29,
CJ wrote: "Well we're closing in on 80% real fast! To close the gap and
get us to
that 100% mark, we decided to offer up what seems to be a favorite on
the list of cool CJ gear. We're going to put up two more Mosrite CJ
Ramone model guitars and two more bases, this time in white with a black
CJ logo! That's right, hand built in Bakersfield, California by the
Original Mosrite company and hand signed by me. Get on board now and
help me get to 100% so I can get "Reconquista" out and get on the
road.", wrote CJ.
So genuine Mosrite CJ Ramone models are built in Bakersfield, California
by Dana Moseley, daughter of original designer builder, and owner Semie
CJ's Pledge Music campaign news on February 2,
2013. 90 % got reached!
"We're in the home stretch kids, and I'm hoping this new free song will
bring it home for us. This one is off the demo's I did for Reconquista
and features Dez Cadena on guitar and backing vocals. Its a song he did
with his former band, Black Flag. Its the punk rock anthem, Rise Above.
Turn it up and step back!!", wrote CJ.
You can download Rise Above from CJ's Pledge Music site if you are
bought album or other items from there.
Black Flag formed in 1976 and Rise Above is opening song from their
debut album Damaged (1981). Dez Cadena has played for many years now in
Misfits and you can read his extensive interview of different Ramones
related things from my third book Ramones:
Soundtrack Of Our Lives.
CJ's Pledge Music campaign reached 100% of goal in
February 5, 2013. CJ downloaded to pledgers new songs: Walking Dead in
February 5, 2013, and Shoot 'Em Up! in February 11, 2013. CJ's message
in Feb 5, 2013: "We did it brothers and sisters! 100%!! Thanks to
everyone who contributed, and everyone who went above and beyond by
helping me to promote the campaign. That's the power of the people!!
But, that don't mean we're all done! There's still time on the clock and
we can keep goin' 'til they shut us down! So don't quit now, spread the
word. For all your effort and hard work, I've attached yet another song
from the Reconquista demos. Ya'll deserve it!! Thanks again!!", CJ wrote
in February 5, 2013 and put on his Pledge site song called Walking
CJ's message in Feb 11, 2013: "Well kids, we ran
right over the 100% mark but it ain't time to rest just yet. We've got a
couple weeks left and I'm gonna do my best to keep everyone motivated
and try to drag some new recruits into the fight! So, for all those who
have pledged, and all those who will, attached is another song from the
Reconquista demos. Heavier than anything else I've released before,
Shoot 'Em Up!!!!", CJ wrote
in February 11, 2013 and put on his Pledge site song called Shoot
February 19 and 26 CJ Ramone added live songs to people
who pledged. CJ's message in February 19:
"Listen up Kids, we've got just two weeks left on this already
successful campaign! It's been a long, hard battle but we're near the
end. I've done my best to get ya'll motivated with some cool gear and
free tracks, and the response has been great. This time I'm gonna change
it up a bit in the hopes that I can get even more of you to support the
cause. Pledge now and get a great live video of me and the boys playing
R.A.M.O.N.E.S. live in Mendoza Argentina at a place called Black Jagger
We were invited to play a small set after dinner. Enjoy.", wrote CJ.
CJ referred to trip, when CJ Ramone, Michael
Stamberg, Steve Soto and Dan Root played in Mendoza, Argentina in
CJ's message in February 26: "This time it's a
live track recorded in Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 2008. The song "Neat,
Neat, Neat" by one of my favorite bands, "The Damned"!! A big thanks to
all who have pledged...", wrote CJ in February 26.
CJ's Pledge Music message in March 4: "This
one's for the fans that requested something from the lost Los Gusanos
album. The band split during the recording, and I was left with some raw
tracks and scratch vocals. This one's the only survivor. For the first
time anywhere, Ride!", wrote CJ.
Read here more details of
that CJ's old band Los Gusanos.
CJ's Pledge Music messages in March 7 and 8,
2013. Album was released and CJ Ramone put on Pledge Music site
booklets of album etc.
CJ Ramone wrote in March 8, 2013: "First off, thanks for all the
feedback on the
record. It is much appreciated! Seems everyone liked receiving the
artwork with the lyrics. I've gotten some questions on delivery dates so
I figured I'd try and get everyone up to speed. Now that we've launched,
the next step is for us to get all your cool gear made! It'll take us a
couple weeks to get it all together, plus some time for shipping, so be
patient. For those of you that ordered things like a personalized
cartoon drawn by me, or a Skype session, or a post card, I will get to
those personally very soon. I'll try to keep ya'll updated on our
progress so you know when to start bothering the postman! Thanks for
helping me get this record out and get back on the road!", wrote CJ in
March 8, 2013.
CJ's Pledge Music messages in March 27, 2013.
"The hand drawn cartoons gotta wait 'til the rest of the gear comes in
(in example t-shirts, hoodies, CD's and the like) so we can mail 'em out
together... If you ordered lyrics, expect an E-mail asking which song
you wanted. Likewise, if you've got a skype session, I'll be contacting
you shortly via E-mail to schedule those. Doing those last couple of
shows really kicked my butt so be patient! Besides I'm a bass player,
what the heck do I know about organization?! So stand fast ya'll, doin'
my best to get your gear to you ASAP!!!, wrote CJ Ramone in March 27,
CJ's Pledge Music messages in April 10, 2013. CJ
explained more about problems and delays.
"Had a company that was going to make all the gear for us and get it out
to ya'll. Found out last week that they did not intend to full that
agreement. So, I got on the phone and called Eric over at Pirates Press
site out, really cool gear and they work with some badass bands) and
explained the situation. Thankfully, Eric is a Ramones fan and promised
he'd get it done for us as fast as possible. Now I know you're all reved
up and itchin' to get your gear. But the truth of the matter is it will
be 6-8 weeks to complete the orders.", wrote CJ in April 10, 2013.
So, CJ and we fans can be really thankful to Eric and Pirates
CJ downloaded to pledgers Los Gusanos songs:
April 10, 2013 song No
Bone Movies and April 15, 2013 song Liams Tree, then April
23, April 29 and May 7 songs from 2nd "lost" Los Gusanos albums (songs
CJ told of Liams Tree: "This track was featured on the "Start Your
Engies" compilation record put out by Side One Dummy Records. It was
written for the ill fated second Los Gusanos record which I think I've
mentioned to ya'll before. The song is called "Liams Tree" and was
written for my son. I hadn't listened to this one in a whole lotta
years, and it really got me fired up when I put it on.", wrote
April 29, 2013, CJ shipped the guitars and basses.
May 7, 2013, CJ posted the hand drawn cartoons: "They are traditional
tattoo designs by yours truly, all having to do with a song title from
Reconquista!", wrote CJ.
CJ Ramone wrote for example in June 4,
"Test pressings for "Reconquista" on vinyl arrived and it sounds
killer!!! As a bonus to you throwbacks that ordered it, we did a pledge
only, alternative artwork, picture disc to thank y'all for your
patience. You're gonna like it, and that's a promise!", CJ
CJ got CD's in June 6, 2013. He sent CD's and/or
DVD's in June 11, 2013. And then he wrote in June 24, 2013.
"I am happy to report your orders are on their way. After an epic
weekend of box stuffing, I am driving to the post office this morning to
send them out to you. There are a few shortages to report. We ran out of
vinyl, so some of you may not receive it with this shipment (we included
a couple of surprises to make up for it!). But fear not, as we have more
in transit and will get them to you ASAP! The vinyl is a limited edition
two sided picture disc! We had problems with the original artwork so I
figured turning it into a collectors item would be the best way to
In order to save time at the pressing plant, the CD and DVD come in one
package. If you ordered one, you got both. If you ordered both, we threw
in A T-shirt. Lastly, the CD booklet was printed with the pages out of
order turning my poetic lyrics into a strange collage. This is what a
DIY project done by two people in a garage looks like!!!
I wanted to thank y'all for hanging in there with me for so long. We
still have a couple packages to ship, so if there are any discrepencies
with your order, fire off a message and let me know!!! Hoka hey!!!", CJ
Ramone wrote in June 24, 2013, few days before he forwarded to
Visit CJ's Pledge
Music site here.
4) BACKGROUND OF ALBUM AND IT'S TRIBUTE
Album is a real tribute and thank for our Joey Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone
Johnny Ramone, with CJ's songwriting style, there are no
straight "copies" of Ramones songs. But more CJ's headbanging with a
Already 2009 etc. CJ played at live (see here
tour story) great song called Three Angels On
Shoulder, what is second tune titled Three Angels in Reconquista. CJ
explained of song earlier and refers to original Ramones line-up:"
- "I wrote Three Angels On My Shoulder song as a tribute to Johnny,
Dee Dee and Tommy. It was my moment of thanking them for everything they
did before I came along and for all the great times I had in my life as
Here are details of earlier moves in 2012. CJ Ramone wrote in March,
2012, three-four months before release date:
- "Wanted to let you know I will be recording my new album Reconquista
very soon. This album is my tribute to Johnny, Joey, and Dee Dee so I
am putting everything I have got into it.".
And songs really has lot tribute kind of lyrics and he does mention
their names many time in songs.
More of his tribute feelings... In early October, 2011, CJ explained
this way how record is going to be:
- "The album really is a tribute to The Ramones. I did not sit down and
say, "I am going to write Ramones sounding songs."" It is a lot like a
record. It has everything from the Joey and Dee Dee type of pop love
to more of the hardcore style stuff. These are songs that I have written
over the course of the last couple of years and I am really excited to
it finished up and get it out. That is
kind of how I see this album. It is me kind of taking back a little bit
of my musical life. I have not liked any new music for a long time.",
explained CJ Ramone in October, 2011.
In late May 2012,
CJ Ramone contacted
Soto from the Adolescents and soon they had a
studio set up in Orange County, CA, USA. CJ Ramone told for Media Mikes
/ Adam Lawton in June:
- "We (CJ and Soto) had
gotten Jose Medeles who we had both worked with before to play drums.
We recorded with Jim Monroe who was the owner/engineer of the studio we
were using. We had a slew of Orange County musicians come in and play
on this record. Jay (Bentley) from Bad
Religion, Jonny Two Bags from Social Distortion and Billy Zoom from X
all played on the album. Within 3 weeks we had the record recorded and
we are now just waiting on final mixes and mastering. We are hoping to
have everything done by July. It's going to be released under C.J.
Ramone and this is going to be really the first album that I did
everything. It's totally my vision. Steve Soto and Jim Monroe did a
great job with the production but this is the first one I am doing as
C.J. Ramone. If I had to describe the sound it is like Rocket To
Russia (Ramones album, 1977) meets End Of The Century (Ramones album,
1980)", said CJ Ramone in June, 2012.
One planned version of cover is cartoon cover, created by cool
Argentinean artist Gonzalo Facio.
Few words about one recording session after Bad Chopper (2007) and
Reconquista (2012). CJ Ramone said in December, 2010,:
- "Been in the
Daniel Rey and Michael Stamberg. We recorded two songs for Mosrite
Records and we started on my new album."
Those songs/ versions were not published, until title song Reconquista
was included to South American version of Reconquista album.
5) SOME BACKGROUND OF CJ'S BANDS SINCE 90'S IN
RAMONES BEFORE RECONQUISTA GOT PUBLISHED
In the early part of the 90's, CJ Ramone formed his band Los
when the Ramones were still performing.
He formed Warm Jets in 2000.
Warm Jets released a debut 7' single by Acme Records in late 2000.
In September 2001, I was the first person to publicly announce the name
change to Bad Chopper.
Chopper information here, like about times when
the Bad Chopper finished
recording their debut full length
January 2007. USA version of it was released in CD format in December
2007 and in vinyl version in February, 2008 by Acme Records. Rockaway Records
released Argentinean pressing of the album in August, 2008.
Later in 2008 CJ Ramone started to play with
Daniel Rey (Ramones
producer who also co-wrote many later Ramones classics). Last Bad
shows were played in 2008. CJ has said Bad Chopper was officially
over when founding member Mark Sheehan passed away on October 1,
Shows in 2009 and in January-February, 2010, CJ and Daniel played with
the Brant Björk (from the fame of Kyuss and Fu-Manchu). After
Brant drummer became Michael Stamberg.
CJ Ramone and Daniel Rey had first shows with Michael in March-June,
2010. I asked from CJ
how he knows with Michael. CJ wrote to me in April 27, 2010: "Michael
Stamberg is a local guy from Long Island, New York. I met him when Los
Gusanos (CJ's early band) was playing in NYC and Long Island. Our bands
shared a bill a few times."
Later with CJ Ramone and Michael Stamberg was playing Steve Dawson 9-10
months (not Daniel Rey anymore). First shows with Dawson were in Canada
in October, 2011. Michael wrote background of Dawson in
"Steve Dawson is a great fit with the band. His musicianship and
professionalism are enhanced by his life long love of the Ramones. I've
known him since high school and it is an absolute pleasure to be working
Steve Dawson had to quit band just before shows in Italy and Portugal in
July 2012. Steve Soto became guitarist, who also produced Reconquista.
Read more details
Line-up in early 2013 is:
CJ Ramone: singer-bassist.
Steve Soto: guitar.
Dan Root: guitar.
Michael Stamberg: drummer.
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