It’s not every day that you get snowed in with a Ramone in Philadelphia but the denizens of these streets turned up slipping and sliding to the doors of The Barbary for Guitar Army with only their pent up energy to keep them warm. I snatched a free button off the bar that said “I partied with Richie Ramone,” checked the settings on my camera, and waited for the show to begin.

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Neil Young once said Rock and Roll will never die. I know this is true because of the passion and hard work that our six-string forefathers continue to put in, not content with sitting back and fading away. The immortals of the Rock pantheon continue to tour and remind us every day to be hard, fast, and full of life. Their lyrics are a gospel in the New Testament of Kick Ass. An inspiration to the new generation of rockers that load up their vans for determined cross-country venue hopping.

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When Richie and his band took the stage everyone crowded up and danced. He belted the lyrics out from a microphone by his drum set before running to the front of the stage, singing some more, and then back again. Wild and crazy and inspiring to everyone there, a reminder that we can never rest in the face of austerity, a call to arms and a return to abnormalcy.

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At the end of the set everyone rushed for the door, not to leave but to see if there was enough snow to keep Richie here just a little bit longer. We joked about a sleepover at The Barbary with a Ramone before laughing, but behind the chuckles was a disappointment that that was not going to happen. DJ EBGIII stepped into the DJ booth like a king returning to a throne and put needle to vinyl.

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The rest of the night we danced, screamed, drank, and rocked as we’ve all done a thousand times at Guitar Army and will continue to do so as long as Rock and Roll lives.

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Skinny Pete