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The Ramones were an American rock band that formed in Forest Hills, Queens, New York in 1974 and are often cited as the first punk rock group.[1][2] Despite achieving only limited commercial success, the band was a major influence on the punk rock movement both in the United States and the United Kingdom.

All of the band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname "Ramone", though none of them were actually related. They performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for 22 years.[2] In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played a farewell show and disbanded.[3] By a little more than eight years after the breakup, the band's three founding members—lead singer Joey Ramone, guitaristJohnny Ramone, and bassist Dee Dee Ramone—had all died.[4][5][6]

Their only record with enough U.S. sales to be certified gold was the compilation albumRamones Mania.[7] Recognition of the band's importance built over the years, and they are now cited in many assessments of all-time great rock music, such as the Rolling Stone lists of the 50 Greatest Artists of All Time[8] and VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.[9] In 2002, the Ramones were ranked the second-greatest band of all time by Spinmagazine, trailing only The Beatles.[10] On March 18, 2002, the Ramones—including the three founders and drummers Marky and Tommy Ramone—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[2][11]

1974-1996

  • Joey Ramone (Jeffry Hyman) vocals
  • Johnny Ramone (John Cummings) guitar
  • Dee Dee Ramone (Doug Colvin) bass 1974-1989
  • Tommy Ramone (Tom Erdelyi) drums 1974-1978
  • Marky Ramone (Marc Bell) drums 1978-83, 1987-1996
  • Richie Ramone (Richard Reinhardt) drums 1983-1987
  • Elvis Ramone (Clem Burke) drums 1987 (for only two shows)
  • CJ Ramone (Chris Ward) bass 1989-1996


Most of their songs are about 2 minutes long - partly because they didn't do guitar solos. In concert, when a song ended, they did a 1,2,3,4 count-in and went right into the next one. Joey Ramone died of lymphatic cancer in 2001. He was 49. They were one of the first successful and influential Punk Rock bands. They were regulars at the club CBGB's in New York City. CBGB stands for Country, Bluegrass, Blues. In 1979, they starred in the movie Rock And Roll High School. In the film, students try to get tickets to a Ramones show and end up taking over the school. Joey was an avid online stock trader in the late '90s. He was a big fan of cable network CNBC, and wrote a song named after his favorite anchor, Maria Bartiromo. There were plans to have him sing it on her show, but he never recovered from his cancer. In 2002, they became the first Punk band inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Some Punk bands that were eligible that year but did not get in include The Clash and The Sex Pistols. When Joey Ramone died, the surviving members vowed to never perform together again. Most, if not all of the Ramones' songs were hugely inspired by the '60s girl group The Ronettes. Joey Ramone even did a duet with Ronnie Spector for a solo album. (thanks, Jeff - Kendall Park, NJ) Dee Dee died of a heroin overdose in 2002. Johnny Ramone died of prostate cancer in 2004. They appeared on an episode of The Simpsons where they perform at Mr. Burns' birthday party. They sing Happy Birthday to him and afterwards, Mr. burns says to Smithers: "Have the Rolling Stones killed!" (thanks, Tom - Trowbridge, England) One of the reasons The Ramones ended was because Johnny said that he didn't want to be one of those bad old bands. He loved The Rolling Stones but said that in their older days, The Stones failed to play as they once did in a land filled with LSD and hippies. (thanks, Josh - Rockaway, NJ) Marky Ramone was fired in 1983, shortly before completion of Subterranean Jungle album. He was replaced by Richie Ramone until 1987. Richie wanted T-shirt sales money, and Johnny refused. He was replaced for a few disastrous shows by Clem Burke of Blondie (as Elvis Ramone), before Marky rejoined. (thanks, Glen - Hollywood, CA) In 1997 four species of trilobites were named after members of the band: Mackenziurus johnnyi, Mackenziurus joeyi, Mackenziurus deedeei, and Mackenziurus ceejayi. When Joey died, The Misfits removed their own content from their website and replaced it with a picture of Joey. Social Distortion did likewise, displaying a photograph of Mike Ness and Joey Ramone as tribute. (thanks, Katie - NSW, Australia, for above 2) When Dee Dee quit the band, he released a few rap albums under the name "Dee Dee King." He raped in German on one song. (thanks, Josh - Rockaway, NJ) The band name came from Paul Ramon, which was a fake name Paul McCartney used. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France) Joey Ramone suffered from Marfan Syndrome, which results in elongated limbs.

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