Johnny Ramone, guitarist for the Ramones, died Sept. 15 at the age of 55. Johnny died in his sleep after a five-year fight with prostate cancer. The Ramones have lost three members in the last five years. Singer Joey Ramone died in 2001 from lymphatic cancer and bassist Dee Dee Ramone died the following year from a drug overdose.
In addition to being one of the first punk guitarists ever, Johnny was also the only strait-edge punk of the Ramones; he was in excellent health up until his diagnosis six years ago. Johnny’s machine-gun guitar playing and on-stage craziness helped the Ramones become immortal to rock n’ rollers everywhere. They are cited as the originators and grandfathers of punk rock.
Founded in 1974 in Queens, N.Y., the band collectively received that recognition in 2002 with its induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This past Sunday marked the 30th anniversary of the Ramone’s first show. To commemorate this date, there was a cancer research benefit in Los Angeles. Rob Zombie, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Henry Rollins, Rancid and Eddie Vedder were some of the performers to both remember the Ramones and to immortalize their achievements.