Joey Ramone and The Ramones: Pioneers of Punk

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Written on May 19th, 2004. Joey's 53rd Birthday.

Joey Ramone, Lead Vocalist for one of the original (if not the first) punk bands ever: The Ramones. Born May 19th 1951 and died April 15th (Easter Sunday) 2001 die to Lymphatic cancer.

Joey started his Punk Career in 1976 at C.G.B.G's, a club in New York City. Some say, the first Ramones set was the birth of Punk. They (the Ramones) showed up, got on staged and didn’t know what song, if any, they were going to play. They argued and then stormed off. After 15 minutes they came back and Tommy (the drummer) yelled "1, 2, 3, 4!" and they broke into 'Blitzkrieg Bop'. Magic. They then played something like, 15 songs in 20 mins and stormed off in anger. Despite this display of talent, or lack thereof, The Ramones would go on to become on the most well known and appreciated bands of all time. The name apparently came from the last name Paul McCartny used when singing into motels to avoid being noticed, this cam from the fact that his name in the band "silver beatles" was Paul Ramone. As you can tell, the band were big Beatles fans.

After they got some money together they recorded their first album. "The Ramones", it got great reviews but not many people were into the Queens accent driven, Grunge-like Punk tunes of this Garage band. It is also important to mention that originally Joey was going to be the drummer for the band, and have DeeDee and singer. After everyone realised that DeeDee couldn't sing they shifted Joey to singer and got Tommy as a drummer.

The sound of the Band changed from album to album they got better or worse and became more or less mainstream. Songs like "howling at the moon" and "rock n roll high school" seem quite pop in comparison to songs like "I wanna be Sedated" and "Its not my place". Regardless, the Ramones, were and will always be; A punk band.

After 3 albums (The Ramones, leave home, rocket to Russia) Drummer Tommy Ramone left the band due the the pressure of touring and song writting and a new (possibly better) drummer joined, Marky Ramone (now drumming for Misfits). The new alum was "Road to Ruin" and was full of more Ramones classics including the song that changed a generation "I wanna be sedated". It wasn’t long until The Ramones Stared in a movie entitled "Rock 'n Roll High School" where they took over an anti-rock high school. Its an enjoyable movie yet insanely clichéd, which was their point. It launched another album of the same name. It had about 7 Ramones songs and a bunch of other school themed songs, such as "school's out for summer" as well as others. A live album was then released simply called "its Alive!".

"End of the century" followed after that and had the great song "Do you remember rock n roll radio" and had fan and critical acclaim. "Pleasant Dreams" was the name of the next album (and the first to not have the band on the cover) followed which had the funny and punk song "the KKK took my baby away" and the band was now touring all over the planet. "Subterranean Jungle" followed and many great songs.

Marky Ramone left the band at this point due to constant drinking and drug abuse and a new Ramone (Richie Ramone) was initiated with a new album "Too Tough To Die". The title of course referring to Marky leaving and Johhny nealry being killed in a bar fight. This album of course had the song "Daytime Dilemma" and the synthesised song "Howling at the moon". The Synthesised sound was trying to appeal to a bigger audience; a bad move. After the albums "Animal Boy" and "Halfway to Sanity" Richie Ramone's reign as drummer had ended as Marky long awaited return was met with open arms. It was at this time the first Ramones 'Best of' was released. "Ramones Mania".

Marky's Return was marked with a great album title "Brain Drain" which had the hauntingly cool song "Pet Cemetery". The first 2 Ramones albums plus B-Sides were then released onto an album called "All the stuff and more Vol. 1" Albums 3 and 4 were released onto vol. 2. This was unfortunately DeeDee's last album with the band and he left soon after "All The Stuff" was released. The reason in unclear but his wife says it has osmething to do with the pressure of song writting and touiring.

To Replace DeeDee, the Ramones got C.J Ramone who was a great bassist and the album "Loco Live" was released which is quite obviously, a live album with some great hits. A new studio album "Mondo Bizarro" marked the Ramones entrance to the 90s and had the great song "Censorshit" on it. "Acid Eaters" was another album, which was good, but not great. They then went out with a bang with the excellent album "Adios Amigos!" Aptly titled, the Ramones then stoped making studio albums. Amigos had the superb anthem song "I Don't Wanna Grow up".

"Greatest Hits LIVE" was, as the name suggests, The Ramones greatest hits all done in a LIVE fashion, it was recorded in 1996, marking 20 years of the band! The following album was another 'best of' live CD entitled "We're Outta here!" released in 1997. The next 'Best of' album is the Best of the Best, entitled "Hey Ho: Lets go! Anthology" had every released single on it on 2 CDs. Totalling over 2 and a half hours.

In 2001, a tragedy fell upon us all. Joey Ramone succumb to Lymphoma on Easter Sunday, April 15. Tributes went up all over the earth and news bullitens were covering it like "it was as if the President Died"1. He passed before the final mixing of his Solo Album "Don't Worry about me" which has the awesome cover of the song "What a Wonderful World". The album was later released in 2002 to Fan and critical success. This is Joey Ramone at his best. Its very hard to listen to this CD and not be happy, yet sad at the same time.

2002 saw the remaining members admitted into the "Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame". Later that year, DeeDee passed on. No Doubt DeeDee and Joey are up in heaven and partying with Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain.

Next was a 2 CD collection called "Loud Fast Ramones" with the first CD being a normal best of and the 2nd CD being an 8 song LIVE CD. In 2003, the Ramones Tribute album was released "We're a Happy Family" with band doing covers of Ramones songs. The line-up includes KISS, Metallica, The Offspring, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and more. Tommy Ramone is currently working on a Ramones musical entitled "Gabba Gabba Hey" in Australia

For more information on the Ramones visit the official site Ramones.comand Official Ramones.comas well as Joey Ramone.comfor information on Joey Ramone.

Love them, hate them or the poor deaf people who can't hear the magic; There is no Denying (to quote the Late Great Joey Ramone) "The Ramones were, and ARE a great f*****g band!"

Complete Discography

Ramones (1976, Remastered 2001)
Leave Home (1977, Remastered 2001)
Rocket to Russia (1977, Remastered 2001)
Road to Ruin (1978, Remastered 2001)
Rock n Roll High School (1979)
Its Alive! (1979)2
End of The Century (1980, Remastered 2002)
Pleasane Dreams (1981, Remastered 2002)
Subterranean Jungle (1983, Remastered 2002)
Too Tough to Die (1985, Remastered 2002)
Animal Boy (1986)
Halfway to Sanity (1987)
Ramones Mania (1988)
Brain Drain (1989)
All The Stuff and more! Volume 1 (1990)
All The Stuff and more! Volume 2 (1990)
Loco LIVE (1991)
Mondo Bizarro (1992)
Acid Eaters3(1993)
Adios Amigos (1994)
Greatest Hits LIVE (1996)
We're Outta Here (1997)
Hey Ho Lets Go! Anthology (1999)
Loud, Fast Ramones: Their Toughest Hits (2002)

(Joey Ramone)-Don't Worry about me (2002)
We're a Happy Family (2003)4

Band Lineup

Joey Ramone (born Jeff Hyman, 1951-2001): Lead Vocals

Johnny Ramone (born John Cummings, 1951-): Guitar

Dee Dee Ramone (born Douglas Colvin, 1952-2002): Bass (from 'Ramones' to 'Brain Drain'(1976-1989))

Tommy Ramone (born Thomas Erdelyi, 1952-): Drums (from 'Ramones' to 'Rocket to Russia' (1976-1977))

Marky Ramone (born Marc Bell, 1978-): Drums (from 'Road to Ruin' to 'Subterrean Jungle' (1978-1983) and then from 'Brain Drain' onwards (1989-))

Richie Ramone (born Richie Reinhardt, 1957): Drums (from 'Too Tough to Die' to 'Halfway to Sanity' (1985-1987)

C.J. Ramone (Born Christopher Joseph Ward, 1965-): Bass5'Loco Live' onwards (1991-)
1QUOTE:Markey Ramone2Its Alive! was recorded when Tommy was drummer3Acid Eaters is an album of covers.4We're a happy family was a tribute album5C.J. provided the vocals for the japanese edtition of Adios Amigos were R.A.M.O.N.E.S was an extra track.

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