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  • The Ramones

    My favorite band! (Entire Report from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_ramones)
    Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit charity.

    They were formed in 1974 in Forest Hills, Queens, and New York. All the Band Members used stage names, with the last name “Ramone”, although none of them had any relation to each other. The performed 2,263 concerts, virtually touring nonstop for 22 years. In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played their final show and disbanded. The band’s three founding members- Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone, and Dee Dee Ramone died within eight years of the breakup.

    The Ramones failed to achieve much commercial success during their years of recording and performing. Their only album to reach certified gold status in the U.S. was their compilation album Ramones Mania. Appreciation of the band has grown since the 1980s, and now it is common to see them on “all-time greatest” lists, such as Rolling Stone Magazine‘s list of 100 Greatest Artists of all-time, The Rolling Stone Magazine‘s list of 25 Greatest Live Albums of all-time, VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock list, and Mojo’s list of 100 Greatest Albums. In 2002, The Ramones were voted the second greatest Rock and Roll Band ever in Spin Magazine, trailing only the Beatles. On March 18, 2002, they were finally inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.

    Pre-History

    Most of the members had been in various bands since the late 60s. Johnny and Tommy had both been in a high school garage band circa 1966-1967 known as the Tangerine Puppets, and Joey was in the short-lived early 1970s band Sniper. The initial version of the Ramones included Jeffrey Hyman on drums, John Cummings on guitar, and Douglas Colvin on bass and lead vocals. Colvin was the first the use the stage name Ramone, as he called himself Dee Dee Ramone. He was inspired by the fact that Paul McCartney(in his “Silver Beatles” days) used the pseudonym Paul Ramon. he convinced the other members that they should invent stage names like his, and call the band The Ramones. Hyman and Cummings would become Joey Ramone and Johnny Ramone.

    1974-1979

    The Band held their rehearsals at a New York City Studio managed by a friend of the band, Thomas Erdeyli (a.k.a. Tommy Ramone) who would become the Band’s Manager, and Monte A. Melnick who would become the Band’s Tour Manager. Soon after the band was formed, Dee Dee realized that he could not sing and play bass at the same time, so Joey became the band’s lead vocalist. (Dee Dee would continue, however, to count off each song’s tempo with his signature rapid-fire shout of “1-2-3-4!”, listen for it in most of their songs!) Joey would also realize that he could not sing and play drums at the same time and left the position of drummer. While auditioning new drummers, manager Thomas Erdelyi would often take to the drums and demonstrate to auditioners how to play the songs. It became apparent that he was able to play the group’s songs better than anyone else, and he joined the band as drummer Tommy Ramone. Coincidental, huh?

    The band played their first concert on March 30, 1974, at Performance Studios in New York. The songs they played were very fast and very short; most clocked in at under two minutes. In the early 1970s, a new music scene emerged in New York when many bands started to play in clubs on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, such as Max’s Kansas City and most famously CBGB.

    After garnering considerable attention for their performances at CBGB’s, the group was signed to a recording contract in Autumn 1975 by Seymour Stein of Sire Records, whose wife Linda Stein had seen them play at CBGB’s and would later co-manage the band with Danny Fields. They soon recorded their debut album, Ramones on an extremely low budget, about $6,400. The band was plagued by hostile audience reactions outside of New York City. It wasn’t until they made a small tour of England that they began to see the fruits of their labor: a performance at The Roundhouse in London on July 4, 1976 (second-billed to the Flamin’ Groovies), which Linda Stein had organized, was a huge success. Their appearance galvanized the burgeoning UK punk rock scene, inspiring future punk stars, including members of The Clash, The Damned, and the Sex Pistols. The Flamin’ Groovies/Ramones double-bill was successfully reprised at The Roxy in Los Angeles the following month, which also inspired local Los Angeles musicians.

    On December 31, 1977, the Ramones recorded It’s Alive, a live concert double album, at the Rainbow Theatre, London, which was released in April 1979. The title is a reference to the 1974 horror movie of the same name. Their next two albums, Leave Home and Rocket to Russia were released in 1977. Dave Marsh wrote in Rolling Stone Magazine that Rocket to Russia was “the best American rock & roll of the year”. Both records were co-produced by Tony Bongiovi, the second cousin of Jon Bon Jovi. Tommy, tired of touring, left the band and was replaced by Mark Bell, who became Marky Ramone.
    In 1978 the band released their fourth album, and first with Marky, Road to Ruin. The album included some new sounds like acoustic guitar, several ballads, and songs over three minutes, but still failed to chart highly.

    1980-1989

    After the band’s movie debut in Roger Corman’s Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979), the legendary producer Phil Spector became interested in the Ramones and produced their 1980 album End of the Century. During the recording sessions, Spector pulled a gun on Dee Dee, and forced him to repeatedly play a riff. The band would later consider this one of their “not-so-great” albums, crediting tensions between the producer and the artists. Johnny recalls that he was disappointed with the outcome of End of the Century. When asked in interviews, Johnny would indicate that he favored the band’s more aggressive punk material. (He also conveyed this feeling with the title and track selection of the post-breakup collection CD that he compiled: Loud, Fast Ramones: Their Toughest Hits.) In contrast, End of the Century material such as the syrupy, string-section laden Ronettes cover “Baby, I Love You” is entirely lacking the guitarist’s trademark “buzzsaw” sound

    After the band’s movie debut in Roger Corman’s Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979), the legendary producer Phil Spector became interested in the Ramones and produced their 1980 album End of the Century. During the recording sessions, Spector pulled a gun on Dee Dee, and forced him to repeatedly play a riff.[20] The band would later consider this one of their “not-so-great” albums, crediting tensions between the producer and the artists. Johnny recalls that he was disappointed with the outcome of End of the Century. When asked in interviews, Johnny would indicate that he favored the band’s more aggressive punk material. (He also conveyed this feeling with the title and track selection of the post-breakup collection CD that he compiled: Loud, Fast Ramones: Their Toughest Hits.) In contrast, End of the Century material such as the syrupy, string-section laden Ronettes cover “Baby, I Love You” is entirely lacking the guitarist’s trademark “buzzsaw” sound.[21]

    In 1981 the Ramones released Pleasant Dreams, which continued the trend established by End of The Century of diluting the rawer punk sound showcased on the band’s initial four albums. Instead, slick production was again featured, this time provided by Graham Gouldman of UK pop act 10 cc. Johnny would contend in retrospect that this direction was a record company decision and represented a continued futile attempt to get airplay on American radio. On August 1 of that year, however, while promoting the album, they did become the first band to be interviewed on the newly formed cable video station MTV, which temporarily provided a more receptive outlet for the band’s music than FM. After the release of the 1983 Subterranean Jungle, Marky Ramone was fired from the band because of his alcoholism and was eventually replaced by Richard Reinhardt (under the name Richie Ramone). The first album the Ramones recorded with Richie was Too Tough to Die in 1984, produced by former drummer Tommy Ramone. The album was largely considered a return to form after the non-flattering pop-production techniques characterizing the previous three full-length releases. Some rock critics contend that it represents their final high quality album.

    In 1987, the band recorded their last album with Richie, Halfway to Sanity. Halfway to Sanity was the first collaboration with producer and former Shrapnel (another late 1970s NYC punk band) guitarist Daniel Rey. Richie left in August 1987, upset that after being in the band for five years, the other members would still not give him a share of the money they made selling t-shirts.
    Richie was replaced by Clem Burke (Elvis Ramone) from Blondie. According to Johnny, the shows with Burke were a disaster. He was fired after two shows because his drumming could not keep up with the rest of the band. Marky, now clean and sober, returned.
    Dee Dee Ramone left after 1989’s Brain Drain and was replaced by Christopher Joseph Ward (C.J. Ramone), who performed and recorded with the band until their break-up. However, Dee Dee did continue contributing to the music of the Ramones by lending his lyrics for use in later songs. Dee Dee left to pursue a brief solo career as a rapper, adopting the name Dee Dee King.

    1990-1996

    After 16 years at Sire Records, the band moved to new label Radioactive Records with their 1992 album Mondo Bizarro, which also reunited them with producer Ed Stasium. Mondo Bizarro was followed the next year with Acid Eaters, an album made entirely of cover songs.

    In 1993 the Ramones appeared on an episode of The Simpsons (“Rosebud”). They were booked to sing “Happy Birthday” at Mr. Burns’s birthday party, where they showed their distaste for the gig, shouting, “I’d just like to say this gig sucks!” (Joey), “Hey, up yours, Springfield!” (Johnny), and “Go to Hell, you old bastard!” (C.J.); though Marky quipped, “Hey, I think they liked us!” Afterwards, Mr. Burns mistakenly ordered Smithers to “have The Rolling Stones killed.”

    In 1995 they released what would be their last studio album, ¡Adios Amigos!. After a spot in the 1996 Lollapalooza festival, the Ramones went on a short club tour and then disbanded, reportedly due to ongoing personality clashes and frustration at not achieving commercial success commensurate with their influence.

    Their final show was on August 6, 1996, at the Palace in Hollywood. The show was recorded, and later released on video and CD as We’re Outta Here!. The show featured several special guests such as Lemmy from Motörhead, Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam, Tim Armstrong and Lars Frederiksen of Rancid, and Chris Cornell (then in Soundgarden).

    Breakup and Deaths
    On July 20, 1999, Dee Dee, Johnny, Joey, Marky, and Tommy appeared together at the Virgin Megastore in New York City for an autograph signing. This was the last occasion on which the ex-members of the group appeared together before Joey’s death. Joey Ramone died of lymphoma on April 15, 2001, in New York. Joey’s last partially finished works were compiled as a posthumous solo album, Don’t Worry About Me.

    In 2002, Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, Tommy, and Marky Ramone were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At the ceremony, the surviving inductees spoke on behalf of the band. Tommy spoke first, saying how honored the band felt, but how much it would have meant for Joey. Johnny thanked the band’s fans and blessed George W. Bush and his presidency, Dee Dee congratulated and thanked himself, while Marky thanked Tommy for influencing his drumstyle. This was one of Dee Dee’s last public appearances; two months later he was found dead at his Hollywood home on June 5, 2002, from a heroin overdose. Also at the ceremony, Green Day played “Teenage Lobotomy” and “Blitzkrieg Bop” as a tribute to the Ramones, showing the influence that the Ramones had on later post punk rock bands.

    In the summer of 2004, the Ramones documentary End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones was released in theaters. Johnny Ramone, who had been privately battling prostate cancer, died on September 15, 2004, in Los Angeles, California, almost exactly as the film was released.

    On the same day as Johnny’s death, (This is both sad and ironic) the world’s first and only Ramones Museum opened its doors for the public. Located in Berlin, Germany, the Ramones Museum Berlin features more than 300 original memorabilia items from the Ramones, including a pair of stage-worn jeans from Johnny Ramone, a stage-worn glove from Joey Ramone, Marky Ramone’s sneakers and CJ Ramone’s stage-worn bass strap. The Ramones were inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2007.

    In October 2007, a DVD was released containing live footage. It’s Alive 1974-1996 includes 118 songs from 33 performances over the span of the group’s career.

    Ramones Line-Ups

    1974

    • Dee Dee Ramone (Douglas Colvin)-Guitar, Lead Vocals
    • Johnny Ramone (John Cummings)-Guitar
    • Joey Ramone (Jeffry Hyman)-Drums

    1974

    • Joey Ramone-Drums, Lead Vocals
    • Johnny Ramone-Guitar
    • Dee Dee Ramone-Bass

    1974-1978

    • Joey Ramone-Lead Vocals
    • Johnny Ramone-Guitar
    • Dee Dee Ramone-Bass, Backing Vocals
    • Tommy Ramone (Tamás Erdélyi)-Drums

    1978-1983

    • Joey Ramone-Lead Vocals
    • Johnny Ramone-Guitar
    • Dee Dee Ramone-Bass, Vocals
    • Marky Ramone (Marc Bell)-Drums

    1983-1987

    • Joey Ramone-Lead Vocals
    • Johnny Ramone-Guitar
    • Dee Dee Ramone, Bass, Vocals
    • Richie Ramone (Richard Reinhardt)-Drums, Vocals

    1987

    • Joey Ramone-Lead Vocals
    • Johnny Ramone-Guitar
    • Dee Dee Ramone, Bass, Backing Vocals
    • Elvis Ramone (Clement Bozewski)-Drums
    1987-1989
    • Joey Ramone-Lead Vocals
    • Johnny Ramone-Guitar
    • Dee Dee Ramone-Bass, Backing Vocals
    • Marky Ramone-Drums
    1989-1996
    • Joey Ramone-Lead Vocals
    • Johnny Ramone-Guitar
    • C.J. Ramone (Christopher Joseph Ward)-Bass-Vocals
    • Marky Ramone-Drums

    From Wikipedia, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_ramones

     

     

    The Ramones Logo, bases of the U.S. President's Great Seal.

    The Ramones Logo, bases of the U.S. President's Great Seal.

    Scott

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    One Response

    1. Oh, Thanks! Really funny. Big ups!

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