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Johnny Ramone :: Blog

Today in Rock: Remembering Johnny Ramone

Thursday, September 15: 10 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
(l-r) Johnny Ramone, Tommy Ramone, Joey Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone

With his trademark stance – head down, eyes focused, legs shoulder-width apart, right arm furiously strumming a low-slung Mosrite guitar – Johnny Ramone became a punk icon. He was the ultimate guitar antihero, shying from gratuitous solos and obscure voicings, preferring deliberate playing over the more familiar guitar histrionics of the late-1970s. Torn jeans, T-shirt and black leather jacket were staples of a look that became his understated hallmarks, a far cry from the flamboyant stage outfits that predominated popular music. His rapid-fire, down-stroked barre chords fostered a style that owed little in the way of influence to any other musician or group. For decades, his "buzzsaw" technique was the blaring force behind the Ramones' sound, spurring songs such as “Blitzkrieg Bop,” “Glad to See You Go,” “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker,” “Rockaway Beach,” “I Wanna Be Sedated,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School,” and “Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio?” On September 15, 2004, Johnny Ramone passed away after a prolonged battle with prostate cancer. He was 55.

Born and raised in New York City, Johnny Ramone found kindred spirits in bassist Dee Dee Ramone, singer Joey Ramone and drummer Tommy Ramone. The brash quartet hailing from Queens ignited the punk-rock ...

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