Marky Ramone, longtime drummer of The Ramones, was slated to play a set Wednesday night alongside DJ Skribble for a private party at Manor (343 W. Erie St.). “We rented the drum set for him,” Manor co-owner Mike Bisbee told me, nodding toward the Yamaha kit resting near one of the lounge’s corner VIP booths, “but he wouldn’t play.”
That’s because the twosome didn’t have much time to practice, what with Skribble’s wife having a C-section the day before - not that it kept the DJ from coming to town for the gig. Priorities! (According to his MySpace page, Marky insists on Pork Pie-brand drums for all of his U.S. shows. Maybe that was the real problem.)
Instead, Ramone grabbed the mic from Skribble and took to the turntables himself, spinning old Ramones tunes for a crowd of about 200; let’s just say his DJ skills are debatable. Dave Navarro, of bands Jane’s Addiction and The Panic Channel, hosted the event, which apparently meant hanging out in a corner booth all night, sans alcohol - he told the staff he didn’t drink - and posing for photos with fans.
After 10 p.m., Manor opened up to the public, and that’s when the girls started pouring in. After a brief departure, Navarro and a shaggy-haired Marky returned to reclaim their corner booth. I sat down with Navarro, clad in his signature fedora and tattoo-revealing tank top, to ask about his new Internet talk-show gig on Mania TV, but all I got was a thumbs-up. “It’s too loud in here to talk; we’ll discuss it over the phone,” he told me, keeping his arm around the lovely young lady seated next to him. You can see Navarro’s “avant-garde Internet talk show focusing on the arts and the human condition,” according to the website description - hey, he wouldn’t tell me anything - airing live tonight, Thursday, at 7 p.m. Chicago time.
In other celebrity sightings, actors Tim Robbins and John Cusack partied at Donnie Kruse’s gastropub BB’s (22 E. Hubbard) last Friday night, along with the Cubs’ Ryan Dempster. And last Sunday, Bear Brian Urlacher and Cubs Rich Hill and Matt Murton hung out at Kruse’s other spot, Stanley’s Kitchen and Tap, during the bar’s popular Sunday night karaoke session.
And finally, happy birthday, Avenue M. The bar hosts its first-anniversary party tonight, Thursday. The party is open to the public and kicks off at 7 p.m. - but 1,500 revelers have already RSVP’ed, so expect a line. Or tune in Tuesday (Last Girl Standing is off Monday for Memorial Day) and read all about it here.