Joey Ramone

The late great American vocalist and songwriter Joey ramone (Jeffrey Hyman) was born 19th May 1951 in Queens, New York to a Jewish family. His parents are Charlotte (née Mandell) and Noel Hyman. The family lived in Forest Hills, Queens New York where Hyman and his future Ramones bandmates attended Forest Hills High School. Though happy, Hyman was something of an outcast, diagnosed at 18 with obsessive–compulsive disorder. He grew up with his brother Mickey Leigh. His mother, Charlotte Lesher, divorced her first husband, Noel Hyman. She married a second time but was widowed by a car accident while she was on vacation. Hyman was a fan of the Beatles, the Who, David Bowie, and the Stooges among other bands, particularly oldies and the Phil Spector-produced “girl groups”. His idol was Pete Townshend of the Who, with whom he shared a birthday. Hyman took up the drums at 13, and played them throughout his teen years before picking up an acoustic guitar at age 17.

In 1972 Hyman joined the glam punk band Sniper. Sniper played at the Mercer Arts Center, Max’s Kansas City and the Coventry, alongside the New York Dolls, Suicide, and Queen Elizabeth III. Hyman played with Sniper under the name Jeff Starship until early 1974, when he was replaced by Alan Turner.

In 1974, Jeffrey Hyman co-founded the punk rock band the Ramones with friends John Cummings and Douglas Colvin. Colvin was already using the pseudonym “Dee Dee Ramone” and the others also adopted stage names using “Ramone” as their surname: Cummings became Johnny Ramone and Hyman became Joey Ramone. The name “Ramone” stems from Paul McCartney: he briefly used the stage name “Paul Ramon” during 1960/1961, when the Beatles, still an unknown five-piece band called the Silver Beetles, did a tour of Scotland and all took up pseudonyms; and again on a 1969 Steve Miller album where he played the drums on one song using that name. Joey initially served as the group’s drummer while Dee Dee Ramone was the original vocalist. However, when Dee Dee’s vocal cords proved unable to sustain the demands of consistent live performances, Ramones manager Thomas Erdelyi suggested Joey switch to vocals. After a series of unsuccessful auditions in search of a new drummer, Erdelyi took over on drums, assuming the name Tommy Ramone.

The Ramones were a major influence on the punk rock movement in the United States, though they achieved only minor commercial success. Their only record with enough U.S. sales to be certified gold was the compilation album Ramones Mania. Recognition of the band’s importance built over the years, and they are now regularly represented in many assessments of all-time great rock music, such as the Rolling Stone lists of the 50 Greatest Artists of All Time and 25 Greatest Live Albums of All Time, VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, and Mojo’s 100 Greatest Albums. In 2002, the Ramones were voted the second greatest rock and roll band ever in Spin, trailing only the Beatles. In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played their final show and then disbanded.

Sadly Little more than eight years after the breakup, the band’s three founding members—lead singer Joey Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone, and bassist Dee Dee Ramone—had died. Their only record with enough U.S. sales to be certified gold was the compilation album Ramones Mania. However, recognition of the band’s importance built over the years, and they are now cited in many assessments of all-time great rock music, such as the Rolling Stone list of the 50 Greatest Artists of All Time and VH1′s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. In 2002, the Ramones were ranked the second-greatest band of all time by Spin magazine, trailing only The Beatles. On March 18, 2002, the Ramones—including the three founders and drummers Tommy and Marky Ramone—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2011, the group was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

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