Joey Ramone, 1951-2001
David Dalton, Gadfly, 19 April 2001
LAST SUNDAY Joey Ramone, lead singer of the Ramones, died of lymphoma, and so passed one of the originators of punk, the longest running fuck-you in rock. He was a month shy of his fiftieth birthday – impressive longevity for the primal punk. The Ramones themselves had an amazing run – twenty-two years, from 1974 to 1996 – and only then packing it in because of Joey’s illness and Johnny’s wish to hang up his rock ’n’ roll shoes. Pretty amazing for a group of dysfunctional teenagers who started a band without knowing how to play their instruments or even how to assemble the drum kit. "We tried to figure out some songs from records," Dee Dee recalled in Please Kill Me, "but couldn’t. I had no idea how to tune a guitar and only knew the E chord." Joey, unable to assemble the drum stool, spent their first rehearsal sitting on the spike.
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