Looking back at Punk icon Johnny Ramone

The Ramones guitarist died on this day in 2004

Looking back at Punk icon Johnny Ramone

Johnny Ramone was born John William Cummings on October 8th, 1948 in Queens, New York, as a teenager in the late 60’s he played in some bands while working as a plumber.He meet Dee Dee Ramone with whom he founded the Ramones in the early 70’s together with Joey Ramone and Tommy Ramone. The band became the most successful American Punk band having developed a cult worldwide during their early years that lasts to this day. They released their debut “Ramones” in 1976, their second album “Leave Home” and their third “Rocket To Russia” in 1977, these 3 records are considered seminal Punk Rock masterpieces and contains a string of Ramones best and most memorable songs such as “Blitzkrieg Bop”, “Beat On The Brat”, “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue”, “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment”, “Rockaway Beach”, “I Don’t Care”, “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” and “Teenage Lobotomy” among many others. The band released several studio albums throughout the late 70’s and 80’s until they broke up in 1996. In less than 4 years the 3 core members of the Ramones passed away, starting with Joey Ramone in 2001,Dee Dee Ramone in 2002 and Johnny in 2004 from cancer. Tommy Ramone, the only surviving founding member of the band passed in 2014. Johnny Ramone guitar technique, fast, high-energy guitar playing consisting of rapid downstrokes, power chords, and barre chord shapes, has been influential on several guitarists from different music styles such as the new wave of British heavy metal bands, like Iron Maiden. His style has also been an influence on many alternative rock bands, as well as on thrash metal performers such as James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett of Metallica, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth and Scott Ian of Anthrax. Johnny Ramone was inducted to the Rock N’ Roll Hall Of Fame in 2002 with the Ramones and he ranks number 28 on the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” list in the Rolling Stone magazine.

Watch the Ramones playing “Blitzkrieg Bop” live in London 1977

Listen to some of Ramones best songs compiled by Pop Expresso on Spotify

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