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Johnny Ramone dies

9/15/04 Entertainment Magazine

The lead guitarist of the punk rock band the Ramones, Johnny Ramone, died Wednesday, September 15, 2004.

He struggled with a five-year battle of prostate cancer. Johnny was reported to have died peacefully in his sleep at his Los Angeles home. He was born as John Cummings.

Ramone Biography

The Ramones first burst onto the New York Club scene in 1974 at West Village nightclub called CBGB. They decked themselves out as 1950s rock stars in sunglasses, denim pants and leather jackets.

They each took the surname Ramone, after a stage name (Ramon) that was used by Paul McCartney during the Beatles early days. They played their music rapidly so the audience couldn't tell that they were playing only about four chords.

The group signed with Sire Records in 1976 and their sound became an international standard. They toured Britain with huge success.

Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee were Gotham natives from Forest Hills, Queens. Drummer Marky is from Brooklyn.

Joe Strummer, lead singer of the Clash called the Ramones
"..the daddy punk group of all time."
- Spin magazine.

Joey Ramone, credited as the founder of the Ramones and lead singer, died of cancer at the age of 49 on April 15, 2001 from lymphoma, which he had battled for about seven years. Joey Ramone was born as Jeffrey Hyman on May 19, 1951. An online memorial to Joey Ramone.

Dee Dee Ramone, the founding member of the band, was found dead of a possible drug overdose in his Hollywood home on June 5, 2002. Douglas Glenn Colvin, Dee Dee's real name, died at age 50. Drug paraphernalia was found nearby. Dee Dee Ramone left the band in 1989 to pursue a career in rap. After that failed, he formed his own band, Chinese Dragons. His autobiography, "Lobotomy: Surviving The Ramones," Dee Dee described his struggle with alcohol and drug abuse.

Dee Dee's death followed the band's induction into the 2002 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 11 weeks earlier. The three- Johnny, Marky, Dee Dee and Tommy reunited onstage and paid tribute to Joey.

Marky Ramone was born Marc Bell. He has a Web site for his new band: The Marky Ramone and the SpeedKings. A new CD will be released soon. Nov. 2001 interview with Marky.

The Ramones broke up in 1996.


(top) The Ramones l to r) Johnny, Richie, Joey and Dee Dee. Taken in March 1983 for Sire Records

(second from top): The Ramones, taken in August 1982 by Danny Clinch for radioactive records.

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