Posted by themusicsover on April 15, 2010
Joey Ramone (Born Jeffrey Hyman)
May 19, 1951 – April 15, 2001
At 6′-8″, Joey Ramone towered, both literally and physically, over the punk rock world as the leader of the Ramones. His early life was a exemplified of that cliche of the awkward kid who doesn’t fit in, and needs the escape that only rock ‘n’ roll can provide. He found refuge in records by the Beatles, the Who and Phil Spector’s “wall of sound.” In 1974, he co-founded the Ramones, who many consider to be the the first real punk band. Beneath Joey’s vocal barrage and the band’s assault of bass, drums and guitar, lay some of the most beautiful melodies rock music has ever heard. And they told more in two minutes than many bands can say across an entire CD. The Ramones were the blue print. When discussing his awesome Underground Garage channel on Sirius Satellite, Little Steven Van Zandt describes the programming as “groups that inspired the Ramones, groups inspired by the Ramones, and the Ramones.” The ’80s found the band struggling to survive due in part to internal substance abuse problems, and an audience that was defecting to more mainstream guitar rock. They took one last shot at crossing over with the 1995 release of Adios Amigos, which in effect launched their farewell tour. The Ramones went out on top as evident by their inclusion in the 1996 Lollapalooza Festival Tour where they floored a new generation of fans that were likely not even born during the band’s heyday. In his final years, Joey suffered from Lymphoma, which took his life on April 15, 2001 at the age of 49.
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