The Ramones

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The Ramones

The splitting up of the Ramones gives us the opportunity to draw a definitive profile and to give some kind of sense to the frenetical life lived by one of the greatest bands of the rock history.
Some might say that we're exaggerating.
How can we consider a group that never changed anything since its start as "big"?
What credibility these old rockers dressed in black leather have at the beginning of the new millenium? These are the two criticisms that are usually made concerning the four "Big Apple Men", and that are denied by irrefutable facts: more than 2.000 concerts; about 20 albums of great quality, 3 of which are part of the rock history; thousands of groups have tried to imitate them; a look which crossed the whole world and which these days, is considered a transgression; their logo which appeared on the t-shirts of such group as Metallica, Guns 'N' Roses, Sonic Youth (who also covered their Beat On The Brat) and specially the recognition by a prestigious magazine which considered them one of the seven greatest Rock 'N' Roll bands along with Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Sex Pistols and Public Enemy while other specialized reviews defined them as "The most influential band of the last twenty years".
Blitzkrieg Bop
Even if the Ramones are part of the punk generation, they began their work a couple of years before the historical groups of the last rock 'n' roll revolution. They lived on a middle class suburban area of New York, Queens and lived the usual life of the kids living in a big metropolis; boredom in the day time, drinks, drunkeness and concerts in small clubs at night. Jeff Hyman (later known as Joey Ramone) was part of this reality. He was born on the 19th of May 1951, although for a long time he claimed he was born on '52, the same day of the Who's leader Pete Townshend (one of his favourite bands), who he saw in concert and which he considered to be one of the most important experiences of his musical life.
When he was 13 years old his musical and lifestyle model was Keith Moon, he liked him so much that his first instrument was a drum kit. The Beatles, Stones, Who, Slade, Sweet and T. Rex were his first important musical influences. Alice Cooper was another important influence on Joey, not for his vocal qualities, but for his very theatrical approach to music.

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