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The Ramones (live in Toronto, 1976. Left to right: Johnny, Tommy, Joey and Dee Dee Ramone)
The Ramones (live in Toronto, 1976. Left to right: Johnny, Tommy, Joey and Dee Dee Ramone)
General information
origin Queens , New York City , United States
Genre (s) Punk rock , pop punk
founding 1974
resolution 1996
Founding members
Joey Ramone (Jeffrey Hyman, † 2001)
Johnny Ramone (John Cummings, † 2004)
Dee Dee Ramone (Douglas Glen Colvin, † 2002) (until 1989)
Tommy Ramone (Tamás Erdélyi, † 2014) (until 1978)
Later members
Marky Ramone (Marc Bell)
(1978-1983, 1987-1996)
Richie Ramone (Richard "Beau" Reinhardt) (1983–1987)
Elvis Ramone (Clem Burke)
(1987 single concerts)
CJ Ramone (Christopher Joseph Ward) (1989-1996)

The Ramones were an American musical group from the borough of Queens in New York City . They were considered the prototype of the punk band , although the term punk as a genre designation only became popular later in connection with a British subculture. The Ramones in the mid-1970s created a new style of music rather unintentionally, as they had an aversion to the rock music produced at the time in the age of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin .

“When we started up in March of '74, it was because the bands we loved, the rock 'n' roll that we knew, had disappeared. We were playing music for ourselves. "

“When we started [performing] in March '74, it was because the bands we loved, the rock 'n' roll we knew were gone. We played music for ourselves. "

- Joey Ramone

Their music was based on a few role models such as The Who , the Kinks , the Beach Boys , the Stooges , MC5 and American rock 'n' roll of the 1950s. Simple harmonies and structures as well as the complete absence of solos , intros or transitions were typical . They thus form the total antithesis of styles such as art rock , progressive rock or fusion . Instead, the songs were characterized by extreme speed and volume. The texts were kept as simple as the composition, often reminiscent of nursery rhymes, but explicitly addressing the social problems and issues of the 1970s in their subject matter.

origin of the name

The members replaced their respective family names with Ramone and thus gave the observer the impression of a family relationship. The name "Ramone" is borrowed from the pseudonym Paul Ramon , which Paul McCartney used in the early days of the Beatles in 1960 for a tour of Scotland, which the group undertook under the name The Silver Beetles as a backing band for Johnny Gentle .


The Ramones were founded on January 28, 1974 in New York during a rehearsal at the Performance Studios run by Tamás Erdélyi (later known as Tommy Ramone ) and Monte Melnick , who later became tour manager. The first line-up consisted of John Cummings on guitar, Douglas Colvin on bass and vocals, and Jeffrey Hyman on drums. All three came from the New York borough of Queens. After a while, they began to use the popular stage names and became known as the Ramones. Colvin ( Dee Dee Ramone ) realized that he couldn't play bass and sing at the same time, so Jeffrey Hyman ( Joey Ramone ) became the new singer, but the need now was to find a new drummer. After testing some candidates, Tommy Ramone became the band's new drummer. They began to play their first concerts in New York, especially in clubs like the CBGB , where other groups of the time such as Blondie , Richard Hell & The Voidoids and the New York Dolls also played. These first concerts are described by contemporary witnesses as legendary, as the Ramones played louder and faster than all of their competitors; the concert lasted between 20 and 30 minutes. During this time the band also came into contact with the New York art scene; this brought her together with Seymour Stein , among others , who took her for the label "Sire Records" under contract, on the 1976 her debut LP Ramones was released.

In 1979 the Ramones played a role in the film Rock 'n' Roll Highschool by Roger Corman , to the score of which they contributed various pieces. At the end of it, during a concert by the band, the eponymous high school went up in flames. In the planning phase of the film there were considerations to underlay the film with disco music, but the decision was made in favor of the Ramones. Despite the participation in the film, the big breakthrough in the USA did not materialize. The Ramones continued to play in smaller clubs and sold relatively few records. After even the collaboration with the bombast producer Phil Spector for the album End of the Century did not show the desired success, they limited themselves to touring extensively in order to make a living.

Tommy Ramone left the group in 1978, because he did not like the ever-increasing tour activity and he preferred to concentrate on a job as a producer. He was replaced by Marc Bell ( Marky Ramone ), a well-known figure in the New York scene (including drummer for Richard Hell and the Voidoids). Health problems due to considerable alcohol consumption forced him to take a break, and Richard Beau ( Richie Ramone ) filled the gap in his salaried employment. He left the Ramones three albums later because of a dispute over participation in proceeds from t-shirt sales, and Marky Ramone, who was now abstinent, was reinstated. In the transition period Clem Burke , Blondie's drummer, played the drums for two appearances as Elvis Ramone.

Live performances by the band usually followed this pattern: Immediately before entering the stage, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly by Ennio Morricone was played by the band; then the concert began. Breaks were seldom taken; and if so, then only so that Dee Dee Ramone could count on the next song (“one-chew-free-far” instead of “one, two, three, four”). For the song Pinhead , Joey Ramone usually held a sign that read Gabba Gabba Hey! in the air, in addition, a roadie disguised with a mask jumped across the stage during the song.

There have been significant differences within the band for many years. Especially Joey and Johnny haven't spoken to each other for a long time. This was because Johnny thought Joey was a rather poor singer and Johnny's future wife Linda was originally Joey's girlfriend; but the political convictions of the two were also contradicting one another. Joey was rather liberal; Johnny supporters of the Conservative Presidents Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush . They could not settle these differences until their death.

Dee Dee Ramone left the band in 1989 to pursue a career as a rapper (Dee Dee King); but he remained connected to the Ramones as a songwriter. His successor was the previously unknown Christopher Joseph Ward ( CJ Ramone ), who reportedly first from the criminal arrest of States United Marine Corps to be released had to because he was AWOL from the army had. In the same year, the band contributed the song Pet Sematary to the soundtrack of the film adaptation of Stephen King 's novel of the same name (German title: Friedhof der Kuscheltiere ). The continued lack of great success at the time of bands like Nirvana , Pearl Jam and The Offspring , all of which were more or less influenced by the Ramones, meant that the band finally disbanded in 1996, after a total of twenty-two years of careers. One of the last concerts took place in Buenos Aires. The opening act played Iggy Pop and Die Toten Hosen , also the then little-known band was Rammstein between 23 and 30 January 1996 Germany eight concerts of Adios Amigos Tour of the Ramones as a special guest on stage. The last concert took place on August 6, 1996 at the Palace in Hollywood.

In 2001, Joey Ramone died of lymphatic cancer after a long illness ; before that he had the opportunity to finish his solo record Don't Worry About Me , which was released posthumously. In 2012 Joey Ramone released another “lost album” called … Ya Know! that demo recordings were used for. Dee Dee Ramone couldn't get his long-term drug addiction under control and died in 2002 of a heroin (Chinese Rock) overdose . Johnny Ramone died of prostate cancer in 2004 . Tommy Ramone died of biliary tract cancer on July 11, 2014 .


Many rock bands name the Ramones as one of their influences. Motörhead paid tribute to the Ramones in 1991 with RAMONES , many other bands have cover versions of the Ramones in their program. Several tribute sampler exist, the most famous is the published in 2004 collection We're A Happy Family - A Tribute To Ramones , where bands like Metallica , the Red Hot Chili Peppers , Rob Zombie , Kiss , U2 and Marilyn Manson are represented .

The group has also been extensively recognized by music journalists. For example, the Ramones found themselves in the February issue of the US music magazine Spin in second place in a list of the "Greatest Band of all Time", behind the Beatles and ahead of Led Zeppelin . The Ramones also appeared in the various lists of Rolling Stone magazine , including twice in the best albums of all time ( Ramones at number 33, Rocket to Russia at number 105) and at number 26 of the 100 greatest musicians of all time .

The Ramones Museum in Berlin

In 2002 the Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame . In September 2005 the world's first Ramones Museum opened in Berlin . On May 10, 2005, the Ramones musical Gabba Gabba Hey - A Lower East Side Love Story with Jürg Plüß and Katja Götz in the leading roles and Rolf Zacher in several supporting roles started in Berlin under the direction of Jörg Buttgereit .

In February 2011, the Ramones received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences .

Four representatives of an extinct trilobite genus were named after the Ramones: Mackenziurus johnnyi , M. joeyi , M. deedeei and M. ceejayi .

Stephen King is a fan of the band and often features the Ramones in his books; For the film adaptation (1989) of the novel Friedhof der Kuscheltiere the band composed the title song ( Pet Sematary ), for the sequel (1992) they contributed the song Poison Heart . Also for several other films, e.g. B. Bowling for Columbine (2002; What A Wonderful World ), Terminator: Genisys (2015; I Wanna Be Sedated ), Shazam! (2019; I Don't Want To Grow Up ), songs by the Ramones are used as film music.

In the animated series Oggy and the Cockroaches , the cockroaches were named after the band members.

In the Simpsons episode Rosebud (Eng. Title: Battle for Bobo ; season 5 ) the band has an appearance in which they sang a birthday serenade to Mr. Burns . In addition, pieces of music by the band will be recorded in further episodes of the series.



  • Steven Lee Beeber: The Heebie Jeebies at CBGB's. The Jewish roots of punk. Ventil Verlag, Mainz 2008, ISBN 978-3-931555-64-1 .
  • Jim Bessman: Ramones. An American Band. St. Martin's Press, New York 1993, ISBN 0-312-09369-1 (English).
  • Chip Rock Dayton: Ramones. Photographs by Chip Dayton. Omnibus Press, London 2004, ISBN 1-903399-81-5 (English).
  • Legs McNeil, Gillian McCain: Please Kill Me. The Uncensored History of Punk. Hannibal Verlag, Höfen 2004, ISBN 3-85445-237-3 .
  • Monte A. Melnick with Frank Meyer: On tour with the Ramones . Hannibal Verlag, Höfen 2010, ISBN 978-3-85445-327-7 (Original edition: On The Road With The Ramones )
  • Dick Porter: Ramones. The Complete Twisted History. Plexus Publishing, London 2004, ISBN 0-85965-326-9 (English).
  • Dee Dee Ramone, Veronica Kofman: Lobotomy. Surviving the Ramones. Thunder's Mouth Press, New York 2000, ISBN 1-56025-252-9 (English).
  • Dee Dee Ramone: Legend Of A Rock Star. The Last Testament Of Dee Dee Ramone. Thunder's Mouth Press, New York 2002, ISBN 1-56025-389-4 (English).
  • Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone: Heaven Needed A Lead Singer: Fans Remember Joey Ramone. Tmi Ramoniac, 2002, ISBN 951-98965-0-3 (English).
  • Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone: Rock In Peace: Dee Dee And Joey Ramone. Tmi Ramoniac, 2004, ISBN 951-98965-1-1 (English).
  • Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone: Ramones: Soundtrack Of Our Lives. Tmi Ramoniac, 2009, ISBN 978-951-98965-2-6 . (English).
  • Everett True: Hey Ho Let's Go. The story of the Ramones. Bosworth Music, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-86543-039-2 .
  • Marky Ramone, Richard Herschlag: Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone. Touchstone 2015, ISBN 978-1-4516-8775-0 (English).

Web links

Commons : Ramones  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Jason Heller: How 1978 Kicked Off the Explosion of Pop-Punk. In: vice.com. February 26, 2018, accessed June 9, 2020 .
  2. Porter: Ramones - The Complete Twisted History. P. 6 (English).
  3. Johnny Ramone: Commando: the autobiography of Johnny Ramone ,. Abrams Image, New York 2012, ISBN 978-0-8109-9660-1 , p. 42 (English).
  4. True: Hey Ho Let's Go - The Story of the Ramones. P. 14 (English).
  5. ^ Melnick: On the Road with the Ramones. S. 32. Interview with Johnny Ramone (English).
    Johnny Ramone kept a record of all significant events affecting the band.
  6. rammstein.de: History: Ramones-Tour 1996 , accessed on October 12, 2017.
  7. See text on the live album We're Outta Here .
  8. 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Rolling Stone , December 2, 2010, accessed August 8, 2017 .
  9. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ; Ramones in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (English).
  10. Ramones honored with lifetime achievement Grammy , www.torontosun.com, accessed October 10, 2011.
  11. The Ramones. Simpsonspedia, September 11, 2019, accessed September 16, 2019 .