New York (November 12, 2004)–One of the catchiest classics the Ramones ever cranked out was “I Wanna Live.” Despite the losses of both Joey and Johnny to cancer in recent years, that sentiment burned bright as ever recently when the surviving bandmembers got together with some high-profile friends and held a benefit concert, with sound supplied by Masque Live.
“Be Well, Ramones Beat on Cancer,” held at the Manhattan nightclub Spirit featured The Strokes, Blondie, Sonic Youth, Rob Zombie, Mickey Lee, Tommy Ramone, Joan Jett and David Johansen, all contributing their talents and energy to the goal of raising $100,000 for Cedars-Sinai Research Center and the Lymphoma Research Foundation.
“This was a fantastic night–very touching and very exciting at the same time,” said Masque Live director Lucas “Rico” Corrubia, Jr. “The club was packed to the gills. There were a lot of bands on the schedule, and they were all extremely happy with their sound.”
Aided by Masque Live’s Mitch “Bubbles” Keller who toured with The Ramones as their FOH mixer for many years, Corrubia kept things moving. “During these fast changeovers, the key is making sure that each band has definitely checked each mic so it comes up on the channel it’s supposed to be on in our Midas Heritage 3000 console,” Corrubia said. “That way, if a guitar starts banging at 125 dB, I know it’s in the right channel and I can move quickly to control it. I always take a couple of extra minutes during the changeovers to tell people, ‘This is your vocal mic, please don’t go to another mic!’
“Consistency in the monitors is critical to a band’s performance,” Corrubia added. “We used the Yamaha PM1D digital console backstage, so we could program the monitors during soundcheck for bands like The Strokes and Blondie.”Masque Live’s collection of proprietary gear, including Valvotronic tube mic pres and gain rider tube compressors, made a big impression on many of the bands and their engineers. “More than one of them said, ‘We’d love to take you on tour and use your gear,'” Corrubia reported. “Our mic pres are custom-made for us by Rob Derby. Masque Live went from the rock and concert world into Broadway, and now coming from the Broadway world, our attitude is that our gear is not your standard, off-the-shelf equipment. The same holds true for our proprietary wireless systems, which are manufactured by our in-house, Professional Wireless Services division.”
Supported by a dynamic sound mix courtesy of Masque Live, a bevy of rock stars playing their hearts out to an SRO house, “Be Well, Ramones Beat on Cancer” was a fitting tribute to Joey and Johnny Ramone. “We want to thank everyone who donated their time and energy to this incredible event,” Keller concluded. “Even though it had a sad backbeat, it was an evening that was amazing, magical and uplifting.”