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Remembering Joey Ramone (May 19, 1951 - April 15, 2001)

Joey Ramone
Joey Ramone
Courtesy Photo

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the death of punk rock pioneer Joey Ramone. Born Jeffry Hyman in Queens, New York in May 1951, he would go to form the Ramones with fellow band mates John Cummings and Douglas Colvin. Calling themselves The Ramones, the members all adopted stage names and used “Ramone” as their stage surname.

A strange lanky youth with long dark hair and glasses. Joey Ramone had an unorthodox singing style, with no formal training which helped propel The Ramones into the limelight as the forerunners in the emerging world of punk rock. Forming in 1977, The Ramones released fourteen studio albums throughout their career and helped pioneer the burgeoning punk rock movement. A new musical genre at the time, punk rock was created as a direct reaction to the elaborate and over indulgent excesses of the disco era, and would inevitably inspire a legion of fans across the United States to form their own bands, igniting an era ofpunk rock-garage bandsthat still continues today.

The allure of The Ramones was their simplicity and straight ahead approach to rock music. The Ramones basic power chord structure and lyrics about teen angst and sniffing glue helped spread punk rock across the globe and cemented them as figureheads of the movement. After releasing their final album, Adios Amigos! in 1995, a subsequent farewell tour ensued, bringing the band to San Diego for their final performace on November 7, 1995 where they opened up for Pearl Jam at The San Diego Sporta Arena.The Ramones disbanded after playing their final show on August 6, 1996 at The Palace in Hollywood, California.

On April 15, 2001, Joey Ramone succombded to a 7 year-battle with lymphoma at New York Presbretyrian Hospital.

A year after Joey’s death, The Ramones were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, by Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder. In the landscape of popular music, The Ramones are regarded as one of the most important bands in American music, inspiring a legion of fans to take up the punk rock D.I.Y aesthetic and form bands that set out to create their own brand of music free of restrictions or main stream appeal. Joey Ramone was just 49 years old at the time of his death.

R.I.P. Joey Ramone (May 19, 1951 - April 15, 2001)