January 1, 2005

A benefit concert and memorial rolled into one, the Be Well: Ramones Beat on Cancer event in New York on October 8, honored the Ramones' legacy and raised money for the Cedars-Sinai Cancer Research Center and the Lymphoma Research Foundation. The Strokes, Sonic Youth, Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, Joan Jett, Blondie, Suicide's Alan Vega-as well as bassist CJ Ramone and producer Daniel Rey-were all on hand for the fundraiser, which guitarist Johnny Ramone had begun planning before his death from prostate cancer on September 15. An exhibition of Ramones memorabilia was also set up, which included Johnny's white Mosrite. . . .Bebop jazz guitarist Bruce Forman has taken a totally new and different approach to touring. He and his swing/bebop group, Cow Bop (a five-piece featuring his wife, Pinto Pammy), took a week out in October and cruised down Route 49-which runs through California's gold country-asking unsuspecting club owners for gigs. The purpose was to raise money and awareness for JazzMasters Workshop, a jazz education program founded by Forman in 2000. Last May, the Cow Boppers made a similar journey down Route 66, and it was a smashing success, raising $10,000 for the workshops. For more info, and news about the next legendary freeway they'll tackle, click to

. . .Looking for that special piece of gear porn, but don't know where to find it? sells high quality photos of all your favorite classic guitars, as well as abstract "art based on guitars." Site founder Dave Carter said: "I figured if car enthusiasts would hang quality photos of Ferraris, why wouldn't guitar enthusiasts want to put similar high quality photos of classic guitars on their walls?"

. . .The much anticipated Nirvana box-set, With the Lights Out, was released on November 22. The four-disc set includes 81 tracks, 68 of which have never been released. The set also includes a DVD with all kinds of rare footage, plus a 60-page booklet with liner notes penned by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore.

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