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Joey Ramone

Joey Ramone

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Also Known As: Jeffrey Ross Hyman Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
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Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Famed just as much for his leather jacket, ripped jeans, giant sunglasses and mop of dark grungy hair as his youthful bleat, Joey Ramone became the archetypal street punk as the frontman of rock and roll revolutionaries The Ramones. Widely acknowledged as the Godfather of the genre, Ramone initially began his career as a drummer before replacing Ramones bandmate Dee Dee on vocals in a move which would eventually help propel the group from the underground clubs of New York to the periphery of the mainstream. Although the group never reached any higher than No. 44 on the Billboard charts, their raucous energy, infectious three-chord songs and rapid-fire live performances unarguably defined the punk movement. Making the most of his limited vocal range, Ramone was an integral part of their cult success, his effortlessly cool and melodic croon providing a welcome alternative to the more abrasive snarls favoured by the countless punk rockers who followed in his wake. Alongside guitarist Johnny, Joey was the only Ramone to last the entire course of the band's 22-year-run, and later achieved critical acclaim as a solo artist with two posthumous records released after his untimely death in 2001.Born in Forest...

Famed just as much for his leather jacket, ripped jeans, giant sunglasses and mop of dark grungy hair as his youthful bleat, Joey Ramone became the archetypal street punk as the frontman of rock and roll revolutionaries The Ramones. Widely acknowledged as the Godfather of the genre, Ramone initially began his career as a drummer before replacing Ramones bandmate Dee Dee on vocals in a move which would eventually help propel the group from the underground clubs of New York to the periphery of the mainstream. Although the group never reached any higher than No. 44 on the Billboard charts, their raucous energy, infectious three-chord songs and rapid-fire live performances unarguably defined the punk movement. Making the most of his limited vocal range, Ramone was an integral part of their cult success, his effortlessly cool and melodic croon providing a welcome alternative to the more abrasive snarls favoured by the countless punk rockers who followed in his wake. Alongside guitarist Johnny, Joey was the only Ramone to last the entire course of the band's 22-year-run, and later achieved critical acclaim as a solo artist with two posthumous records released after his untimely death in 2001.

Born in Forest Hills, NY in 1951, Jeffrey Ross Hyman grew up listening to The Beatles, The Who and the Phil Spector-produced girl groups of the '60s as a means of escapism from his parents' divorce. After taking up the drums at the age of 13, he joined his first band, the glam-punk outfit Sniper, under the name Jeff Starship in 1972. Two years later, he would adopt another more familiar moniker, Joey Ramone, when he became a founding member of punk pioneers The Ramones. Originally serving as the group's drummer, Ramone was soon promoted to lead vocalist when Dee Dee Ramone (Douglas Colvin) realised his talents would be better suited to the bass. With guitarist Johnny (John Cummings) and new sticksman Tommy (Thomas Erdelyi) in tow, The Ramones soon landed a residency at the Bowery club CBGB where alongside the likes of Patti Smith and Television, they became the darlings of the underground New York scene. After signing to Sire, they then released their seminal 1976 self-titled debut album, a thrilling collection of two-minute primitive rock tracks recorded for just $6000 in just two days, which Time magazine called "the ultimate punk statement."

The Ramones continued to establish a reputation as America's most exciting new act with three further equally lauded LPs (1977's Leave Home and Rocket To Russia, 1978's Road To Ruin), which paved the way for the likes of The Sex Pistols, The Clash and X-Ray Spex, not to mention a string of singles which became bona-fide punk anthems ("Sheena Was A Punk Rocker," "I Wanna Be Sedated," "Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment," "Do You Wanna Dance?"). However, despite their significant influence on a whole generation of guitar bands, commercial success proved to be frustratingly elusive. The group did occasionally threaten to break through to the mainstream â¿¿ their cover of The Ronettes' "Baby I Love You" peaked inside the U.K. Top 10, its Phil Spector-produced parent LP, End Of The Century, reached the U.S. Top 50, while they also played a pivotal role in Allan Arkush's musical comedy, "Rock 'n' Roll High School" (1979). But perhaps hampered by the constant line-up changes throughout the '80s, various personal issues â¿¿ both Joey and Marky Ramone (Marc Bell) underwent treatment for alcoholism in the early 90s, while Joey and Johnny barely communicated following the latterâ¿¿s marriage to the former's ex-girlfriend â¿¿ and refusal to deviate from their back-to-basics formula, the band remained a cult concern for the majority of their career, with 1988 compilation Ramones Mania their only release ever to achieve gold status.

After vowing to call it a day if 1995's Adios Amigos failed to reverse their commercial fortunes, The Ramones stayed true to their word when it could only peak at a lowly No. 142 on the Billboard 200; following a live farewell on the Lollapalooza tour, the group officially disbanded in 1996. Ramone, whose only notable ventures outside the group had been a 1994 three-track E.P. with brother Mickey Leigh under the guise of Sibling Rivalry, and a guest appearance on Helen Love's 1994 album, Love and Glitter, Hot Days and Music, wasted little time in making his next move, headlining Arizona's alternative festival Rock The Reservation later that year with a new band, Joey Ramone & The Resistance. However, apart from a handful of hosting gigs at various New York clubs and guest spots on Howard Stern's morning radio show, Ramone largely shied away from the spotlight in the wake of the band's split. Instead, he opted to pursue various behind-the-scenes roles including a brief stint as manager of punk rock outfit The Independents and production duties on Ronnie Spector's She Talks To Rainbows, a 1999 E.P. in which he also co-wrote its opening title track and duetted with the former The Ronettes star on original composition, "Bye Bye Baby."

Following a seven-year battle with lymphoma, Ramone died from the illness at New York's Presbyterian Hospital in April 2001, just a month before his 50th birthday (May 19), a date which would later be declared as National Joey Ramone Day by the U.S. Congress. Shortly after his passing, Navajo punk rock trio Blackfire released their debut album, One Nation Under, which featured Ramone's final recordings ("What Do You See," "Lying To Myself"), while in 2002, a track he co-wrote for Youth Gone Mad, "Meatball Sandwich," was released as a split 7" single with "False Alarm." Featuring covers of Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World" and The Stooges' "1969," a guest appearance from The Damned's Captain Sensible and several previously unreleased tracks which sat comfortably alongside The Ramones' best work, Ramone's first solo album, Don't Worry About Me, arrived in the same year, shortly before the surviving members of The Ramones were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Pieced together from various home recordings and demos by brother Mickey Leigh and producer Ed Stasium, a second posthumous collection of tracks also featuring the likes of Steven Van Zandt, Joan Jett and Holly Beth Vincent, Ya Know?, further cemented Ramone's iconic status in 2012.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Final Rinse (1999)
3.
 Punk (1995) Himself
4.
 Lifestyles of the Ramones (1990) Himself
5.
 Roadkill (1989)
6.
 Rock 'N' Roll High School (1979) Himself
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Milestones close milestones

1974:
Co-founds The Ramones.
1976:
Debut album <i>Ramones</i> is released, featuring signature song "Blitzkrieg Bop"
1979:
Stars in Allan Arkush's comedy "Rock 'n' Roll High School"
1980:
Phil Spector-produced <i>End of the Century</i> is released, featuring the single "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?"
1982:
First recording outside the Ramones, a cover of Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe" recorded with Holly Beth Vincent, is released as a single.
1996:
Ramones broke up
2002:
First solo album <i>Don't Worry About Me</i> was released posthumously
2012:
Ramones were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
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