The Ramones

An interesting study in contrasts, the Ramones: an oft' acclaimed first punk rock band whose nom d' play paid homage to those slicked back, t-shirt sleeved greaser rockers of the '50s. Fifties in name but stripped down in sound, the Ramones led the way for bands from The Sex Pistols to Green Day and The Offspring and managed to outlive not a few of their early musical competitors while enjoying steady if not walloping success in both the States and U.K.. Emerging from Forest Hills, Queens as a trio about to become a quartet in 1974, The Ramones lingered 20 years in the limelight and managed to change their style very little over time. From club dates to first album, Ramones, released in 1976, the band toured and recorded a series of records including Pleasant Dreams in '81, Halfway to Sanity in '86 and Acid Eaters in '94 that chased mainstream popularity. Adios Amigos, in '95, launched a long farewell tour punctuated finally by an invitation on the sixth Lollapalooza tour. Dependable stars of the seventies through the nineties, the early years of the 21st century were not kind to The Ramones. Three of the four original members, Joey, Dee-Dee and Johnny, died in their early 50s, leaving Tommy, un-Ramoned since 1977, the last first punk.

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