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Johnny Ramone

Johnny Ramone

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Also Known As: John William Cummings Died: September 15, 2004
Born: October 8, 1948 Cause of Death: prostate cancer
Birth Place: New York, New York, USA Profession:

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With his 'buzzsaw' downstroke technique and antipathy towards the showboating solos favored by the rock elite, guitar hero Johnny Ramone not only defined The Ramonesâ¿¿ primitive sound, but also gave hope to a generation of musicians whose passion perhaps outweighed their ability. Ramone might not have been the most technically gifted guitarist, but his no-nonsense direct approach was undeniably a pivotal part of the New Yorkers' rise from underground unknowns to celebrated punk pioneers. One of only two Ramones to last the entire course of their influential 22-year-career, Johnny appeared on each of their 14 studio albums and played every single one of their 2263 shows, before their official split in 1996, while also occasionally dabbling in film. Ramone kept a low profile in the eight years up until his untimely death in 2004, but his signature speedy and simplistic style remains just as prevalent in todayâ¿¿s rock scene as in the band's late 70s heyday.Born in Long Island in 1948, John William Cummings grew up in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens, New York where he immersed himself in the greaser subculture and first played guitar in a band named The Tangerine Puppets with future Ramone...

With his 'buzzsaw' downstroke technique and antipathy towards the showboating solos favored by the rock elite, guitar hero Johnny Ramone not only defined The Ramonesâ¿¿ primitive sound, but also gave hope to a generation of musicians whose passion perhaps outweighed their ability. Ramone might not have been the most technically gifted guitarist, but his no-nonsense direct approach was undeniably a pivotal part of the New Yorkers' rise from underground unknowns to celebrated punk pioneers. One of only two Ramones to last the entire course of their influential 22-year-career, Johnny appeared on each of their 14 studio albums and played every single one of their 2263 shows, before their official split in 1996, while also occasionally dabbling in film. Ramone kept a low profile in the eight years up until his untimely death in 2004, but his signature speedy and simplistic style remains just as prevalent in todayâ¿¿s rock scene as in the band's late 70s heyday.

Born in Long Island in 1948, John William Cummings grew up in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens, New York where he immersed himself in the greaser subculture and first played guitar in a band named The Tangerine Puppets with future Ramone Thomas Erdelyi. Following stints as a plumber and construction worker, he joined Erdelyi (Tommy), Douglas Colvin (Dee Dee), and Jeffrey Hyman (Joey) to form The Ramones, a no-nonsense rock and roll band inspired by the likes of The Stooges and MC5, where he adopted the guise of Johnny Ramone. Although his guitar skills were rudimentary at best, his rapid downstroke technique perfectly suited the band's punky aesthetic, particularly during the short and sharp 20-minute sets at Bowery club CBGBs which transformed the quartet into the darlings of the New York scene.

After signing to Sire Records in 1976, The Ramones released a number of seminal albums, including their self-titled debut, 1977's Rocket To Russia and 1978's Road To Ruin, which essentially set the blueprint for the punk movement. But with the exception of 1980's cover of The Ronettes' "Baby I Love You," a top ten hit in the U.K., and its Phil Spector-produced parent album, End Of The Century, which peaked at No. 44 in the U.S., the group failed to translate their obvious influence and critical kudos into sales. However, despite their lack of mainstream success and the increasing tension between Johnny and lead vocalist Joey over the former's relationship and eventual marriage to the latter's ex-girlfriend Linda, the band remained a constant presence on the live circuit up until they disbanded in 1996.

Ramone also played himself several times on the big screen during the band's 22-year-run, most notably with his bandmates in Allan Arkush's musical comedy "Rock 'n' Roll High School" (1979) and in cop comedy "Car 54, Where Are You" (1994), and also appeared as Lowell in the sci-fi drama "Stranded" (2001). But unlike his fellow Ramones, Johnny expressed no interest in pursuing a music career following their split and eventually sold the majority of his guitars and amplifiers before announcing his retirement from the industry. Regarded as one of the punk community's most conservative figures, Ramone became more renowned for his political views during his later years, most notably when he thanked President Bush in his speech at the band's 2002 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Sadly, following a six year battle with prostate cancer, Ramone died from the illness in 2004, just a month short of his 56th birthday.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Lifestyles of the Ramones (1990) Himself
3.
 Rock 'N' Roll High School (1979) Himself
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TLS ( 2006-05-03 )

Source: The Stars of Hollywood Forever: 1901-2006

Lead guitarist of ‘The Ramones,’ he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. The Ramones were the first punk band to ever sign with a record label and their albums were bigger sellers in Britain than they were in the states. The band broke up in 1996 and Ramone moved to Los Angeles.

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