Punk Features

The Ramones: 50 Facts About the Punk Rock Pioneers

Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy changed the face of music in the early '70s. Here are 50 facts about the Ramones. Hey! Ho! Let's Go!

As one of the most iconic bands in the history of punk rock, the Ramones left an indelible mark on the music industry. This New York-based band, known for their fast, catchy tunes and unique style, has a wealth of interesting facts and hidden stories attached to their legacy.

1. The Ramones, hail from Forest Hills, New York, formed in 1974.

2. The band’s name was inspired by Paul McCartney’s pseudonym, Paul Ramon, used during his early Beatles days.

3. The original line-up included Joey Ramone (vocals), Johnny Ramone (guitar), Dee Dee Ramone (bass), and Tommy Ramone (drums).

4. Joey Ramone’s birth name was Jeffrey Ross Hyman, born on May 19, 1951.

5. Johnny Ramone, the oldest member of the band, was born John William Cummings on October 8, 1948.

6. Douglas Glenn Colvin, known as Dee Dee Ramone, shared the same birth year as Joey, 1951.

7. Tommy Ramone, born Thomas Erdelyi on January 29, 1949, originally hailed from Budapest, Hungary.

8. The band’s first-ever concert took place on August 16, 1974, at the famous New York punk club CBGB.

9. The Ramones’ fast-paced, three-chord sound was a direct response to the disco and progressive rock dominating the music scene at the time.

10. The Ramones played their first show with Tommy Ramone on drums, even though he initially joined the band as their manager.

11. The second drummer to join the band was Marky Ramone, born Marc Steven Bell on July 15, 1956.

12. The third drummer, Richie Ramone, was born Richard Reinhardt on August 11, 1957, in New Jersey.

13. Elvis Ramone, real name Clement Bozewski, was the fourth drummer. His tenure lasted only two live gigs.

14. Following Dee Dee Ramone’s departure, C.J. Ramone (Christopher Joseph Ward) joined as the new bassist.

15. C.J. Ramone, born on October 8, 1965, was the youngest member of the band.

16. Cheap Trick were being considered for being the band in the movie Rock ‘N’ Roll High School before the Ramones were given the role.

17. After leaving the band, Tommy Ramone continued to work as a record producer and engineer, contributing to albums by bands like the Replacements and Redd Kross.

18. Over their career, the Ramones released a total of 14 studio albums.

19. Their debut self-titled album, “Ramones”, was released in 1976.

20. The band’s final studio album, “¡Adios Amigos!”, was released in 1995.

21. “Mondo Bizarro” (1992) was titled in Italian, translating to “bizarre world”.

22. Phil Spector pulled a gun on the band during a recording session for End of the Century when Johnny didn’t play a guitar riff the way he wanted him to.

23. The Ramones were prolific, releasing two albums, “Leave Home” and “Rocket to Russia”, in 1977.

24. The longest gap between albums was between “Brain Drain” (1989) and “Mondo Bizarro” (1992), spanning three years.

25. The band’s longest album was “Mondo Bizarro”, lasting 37 minutes and 25 seconds.

26. Conversely, their shortest album was their debut, “Ramones”, clocking in at just 29 minutes and 4 seconds.

27. The band published a total of 177 songs, providing nearly 8 hours of non-stop punk rock.

28. The band’s first song was ‘Blitzkrieg Bop,’ and their last was ‘Born to Die in Berlin.’

29. The Ramones’ song “Blitzkrieg Bop” was featured in the opening scene of the movie “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017).

30. The band toured continuously for 22 years performing at 2,263 concerts.

31. Their 1976 tour of England was a major influence on the burgeoning punk rock scene in the UK.

32. In 2002, the Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

33. In 2011, they received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

34. The Ramones inspired countless bands and musicians around the world, including Green Day, the Offspring, and Nirvana.

35. Dee Dee Ramone quit the band to record a rap album.

36. Sadly, all original members of the band have passed away.

37. Joey Ramone was the first to pass, succumbing to lymphoma in 2001.

38. Dee Dee Ramone passed away the following year due to a heroin overdose.

39. Prostate cancer claimed the life of Johnny Ramone in 2004.

40. Tommy Ramone was the last original member to pass, dying from bile duct cancer in 2014.

41. The band’s three subsequent full-time members — Marky, Richie, and C.J. — are still alive and well.

42. Dee Dee Ramone, despite being the bassist, was the main songwriter for the band. He continued to write for the band even after he left.

43. Dee Dee Ramone wrote “Pet Sematary” in Stephen King’s basement.

44. The Ramones’ hit song “I Wanna Be Sedated” was written in response to their rigorous touring schedule.

45. Singer Joey and guitarist Johnny didn’t like each other in part because of their opposing political beliefs.

46. When Johnny started dating Joey’s ex Joey wrote ‘The KKK Took My Baby Away’ – a dig at Johnny’s conservative leanings.

47. The Ramones never had a song reach the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100.

48. The band continued to tour and perform non-stop for 22 years until they disbanded in 1996.

49. Dee Dee, Marky and C.J. reunited to form the Ramainz, a tribute to their previous band.

50. Joey suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder. On numerous occasions the band had to wait for Joey whilst he obsessively touched walls, doors and kerbs before finally agreeing to leave.

In the annals of rock history, few bands have made as significant an impact as the Ramones. With their raw energy, distinctive sound, and unapologetic attitude, they helped shape the punk rock movement and left a legacy that continues to inspire musicians and fans alike. These facts only scratch the surface of the Ramones’ rich history and enduring influence. Hey! Ho! Let’s go, indeed.

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