The Ramones Biography
The Ramones were a punk music group that was founded in 1974 in Queens, New York, in the United States. They are frequently credited as the original punk band. The group had a significant impact on the punk rock movement in both the US and the UK while having only modest economic success.
Despite not being related, each member of the band chose a moniker that ended in “Ramone”. They went on tour for 22 years, doing 2,263 performances. After a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival in 1996, the group called it quits and performed a final gig. The band’s three original members—lead singer Joey Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone, and bassist Dee Dee Ramone—had passed away by a little more than eight years following the band’s dissolution. The only remaining original member, drummer Tommy Ramone, passed away in 2014.
Ramones Mania, a compilation album, was the only one of their records to achieve sufficient U.S. sales to earn gold certification. However, as the band’s significance became more widely acknowledged over time, they are now frequently mentioned in appraisals of the greatest rock music of all time, including the Rolling Stone list of the 50 Greatest Artists of All Time and VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Spin magazine voted the Ramones as the second best band of all time in 2002, just behind The Beatles. The Ramones, together with all three founding members and drummers Marky and Tommy Ramone, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on March 18, 2002. The trio received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.
In and around the middle-class Forest Hills area in the Queens region of New York City, the band’s founding members first met. Between 1966 and 1967, John Cummings and Tamás Erdélyi were both members of the Tangerine Puppets, a high school garage band. Douglas Colvin, who had recently immigrated from Germany to the area, and Jeffry Hyman, the original lead singer of the glam rock band Sniper, which was formed in 1972, became their friends.
Early in 1974, Cummings and Colvin persuaded Hyman to join them in a band as the Ramones were beginning to take shape. Colvin provided the main vocals and rhythm guitar for the band’s first lineup, along with Cummings on lead guitar and Hyman on drums. Colvin was the first to use the name “Ramone,” referring to himself as Dee Dee Ramone and quickly shifted from rhythm guitar to bass. Paul McCartney‘s adoption of the alias Paul Ramon during the Silver Beatles era served as his inspiration. The Ramones was the band’s proposed name, which Dee Dee persuaded the other members to adopt. Hyman and Cummings later changed their names to Johnny and Joey Ramone.
The band’s buddy Monte A. Melnick, who would eventually serve as their tour manager, assisted in setting up a time for them to rehearse at the Performance Studios in Manhattan, where he was employed. Erdélyi, a previous bandmate of Johnny’s, was going to manage them. Dee Dee quickly learned that he couldn’t sing and play bass guitar at the same time, and with Erdélyi’s support, Joey took over as the band’s main singer.
However, Dee Dee would continue to count off the beat of each song with his trademark rapid-fire cry of “1-2-3-4!” Joey quickly came to the same realization that he couldn’t play the drums and sing at the same time and quit being the drummer. Erdélyi would frequently play the drums and play through the songs while interviewing potential successors. He joined the band as Tommy Ramone after it became clear that he could perform the group’s music better than anybody else.
On March 30, 1974, at Performance Studios, The Ramones performed in front of a crowd for the very first time. Most of the songs they played were under two minutes in length and were played very quickly. Around this time, two clubs in downtown Manhattan, Max’s Kansas City and the more well-known CBGB (sometimes referred to as CBGB’s) became the core of a new music scene that was developing in New York. On August 16, The Ramones had their first show at CBGB. Legs McNeil later reflected on the effect of that performance and co-founded Punk magazine the following year “These black leather jackets were what they were all donning. And this song was counted off. and all you could hear was this noisy wall. They appeared extremely impressive. They weren’t hippies, these men. This was a brand-new experience.”
By the end of the year, the band had performed at the club 74 times, quickly establishing themselves as regulars. Seymour Stein of Sire Records signed the trio to a recording contract in late 1975 after the group attracted significant attention for their performances, which typically lasted seventeen minutes from start to finish. Stein’s wife, Linda Stein, saw the band perform at CBGB; she and Danny Fields would eventually co-manage them. At this point, the Ramones were acknowledged as the pioneers of the emerging scene that was coming to be known as “punk.” The band’s unique frontman played a significant role in their appeal. Dee Dee clarified, “All the other singers were emulating Mick Jagger and David Johansen. Joey, though, was utterly distinctive.”
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Frequently Asked Questions
The Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City borough of Queens in 1974.
Why Did The Ramones Break Up?
The Ramones officially broke up in 1996, although the members had been inactive for several years prior. There were many factors that contributed to the break-up, including creative differences, financial problems, and personal issues.
How Did The Ramones Get Their Name?
The Ramones were named after Paul McCartney’s alias, “Ramone.” The name was originally suggested by Tommy Ramone (then known as Tommy Erdelyi), who had been a roadie for the New York Dolls.When the band was looking for a new name, Erdelyi suggested “Ramone” as a way to pay tribute to Paul McCartney, who had used the name as an alias when he was with the Beatles. The name stuck and the Ramones were born.