Joanne Catheral (The Human League)

Joanne Catherall one of the two female vocalists of the veteran English synthpop band The Human League was born 18 September 1962. Catherall started out as an unknown 18-year old school girl when she and her best friend Susan Ann Sulley were discovered in Sheffield’s Crazy Daisy Nightclub In October 1980 by Philip Oakey, the lead singer and a founder member of English Electroni Synth Pop band The Human League. At short notice she and Sulley were invited to join the band’s European tour that was in crisis after the original group had split. The pair then joined Oakey in forming a new and commercially successful line-up of The Human League, in turn making an international pop star of Catherall.

The Human League were formed in Sheffield in 1977. The band had an early hit with “Being Boiled”, but achieved greater fame after a membership change in 1980. Dare (1981), the band’s most popular album, yielded the single “Don’t You Want Me”, a No. 1 hit in the pop charts of UK, US and many other countries. Other international hits include: “Love Action”, “Open Your Heart”, “Mirror Man”, “Fascination”, “The Lebanon”, “Human” (a US No. 1) and “Tell Me When”.

The only constant band member since 1977 is vocalist and songwriter Philip Oakey. Originally an avant-garde all-male synthesizer-based group, The Human League evolved into a commercially successful synthpop band under Oakey’s leadership. Since 1987, the band has essentially been a trio of Oakey and long-serving female vocalists Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley (who joined the ensemble in 1980).Since 1978, The Human League have released nine studio albums, four EPs, 30 singles and several compilation albums. They have had five albums and eight singles in the UKTop Ten and have sold more than 20 million records. Catherall has remained in the band ever since, working constantly over the previous 30 years. Today, she is a joint business partner in the band, which continues to record and tour.

Dee Dee Ramone

Dee Dee Ramone, (Douglas Colvin) bass player and one of the founding members of one of the worlds most influential Punk Rock Band The Ramones was born September 18th 1952 in Fort Lee, Virginia, USA. He was the son of an American soldier and a German woman. As an infant, his family relocated to Berlin, Germany, due to his father’s military service. His father’s military career also required the family to relocate frequently. These frequent moves consequently Douglas had a lonely childhood with few real friends. His parents separated during his early teens, and he remained in Berlin until the age of 15, when he, along with his mother and sister Beverley, moved to Forest Hills, New York, in order to escape Dee Dee’s alcoholic father. There he met John Cummings and Thomas Erdelyi (Johnny and Tommy Ramone), then playing in a band called the Tangerine Puppets, named after a Donovan song. Bassist Monty Colvin from the progressive metal band Galactic Cowboys is one of Dee Dee’s cousins.

The Ramones were Formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974 and are often cited as the first punk rock group, and despite achieving only limited commercial success, the band was a major influence on the punk rock movement both in the United States and the United Kingdom. All of the band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname “Ramone”, though none of them were related. Colvin, later Dee Dee, and Cummings, later Johnny, quickly became friends, as they were both social outcasts in their heavily middle-class neighborhood. After an unsuccessful guitar audition for Television, Johnny convinced Dee Dee to form their own band with then-drummer Jeffrey Hyman, later Joey Ramone, in 1974. Joey took over vocal duties after Dee Dee decided that he could not sing lead vocals for longer than a few songs as his voice shredded. Dee Dee would continue, however, to count off each song’s tempo with his signature rapid-fire shout of “1-2-3-4!” Dee Dee first suggested naming the band the Ramones, after reading that Paul McCartney often signed into hotels under the alias “Paul Ramon”. He added an ‘e’ to the end of that surname and the band members all agreed to adopt the surname “Ramone” as a means of conveying their unity.

Dee Dee wrote or co-wrote much of the Ramones’ repertoire, such as “53rd and 3rd” (a song about male prostitution at 53rd Street and 3rd Avenue in Manhattan, allegedly based on personal experience), “Glad to See You Go” (written about his then-girlfriend, a stripper and fellow drug user with a volatile personality), “It’s a Long Way Back”, “Chinese Rocks” (originally recorded by Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, as guitarist Johnny Ramone was not enthusiastic about the Ramones doing songs about drugs) and “Wart Hog” (a song Dee Dee wrote in rehab). After he quit the Ramones, Dee Dee continued to write songs for them, contributing at least three songs to each of their albums. According to Mondo Bizarro’s liner notes, for example, the Ramones once bailed Dee Dee out of jail in exchange for the rights to his songs “Main Man”, “Strength to Endure” and “Poison Heart”, which would become a minor hit for the band. The band’s final studio album, 1995’s ¡Adios Amigos!, features several of Dee Dee’s solo songs, such as “I’m Makin’ Monsters for My Friends” and “It’s Not for Me to Know” from his album I Hate Freaks Like You.

Dee Dee was present when the Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, the first year they were eligible and Dee Dee humorously congratulated himself at the induction.
In total The Ramones performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for 22 years. In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played a farewell concert and disbanded. Sadly Though Little more than eight years after the breakup, the band’s three founding members—lead singer Joey Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone died and bassist Dee Dee Ramone passed away 5 June 2002. Thier 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.