Goddamn It, another Ramone has passed away. I'd seen these guys so many times in the 80's..I can't believe 3/4 of the band is now gone.
So Long Johnny: Gabba Gabba Hey..we accept you...one of us.
US punk pioneer Johnny Ramone dead at 55
Thu Sep 16, 3:37 PM ET Add Entertainment - AFP to My Yahoo!
LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Johnny Ramone, centrepiece of legendary punk band The Ramones that inspired a generation of rock musicians, has died after losing a five-year battle against prostate cancer.
Slideshow: Musician Johnny Ramone Dies at 55
Johnny Ramone of 'The Ramones' Dies at 55
The guitarist, who was 55, died Wednesday in his Los Angeles home, according to the group's website, leaving just one surviving member of one of the most influential punk rock outfits.
"Our dear friend Johnny has died," said the announcement on www.ramonesworld.com
. "Johnny passed away on Wednesday, September 15, at 3:03 pm at his home in Los Angeles."
The guitarist was the third founding member of the band to die in three years, following singer Joey Ramone's 2001 death from lymphatic cancer and bass guitarist Dee Dee Ramone's death from a drug overdose a year later.
"We are immensely saddened by this terrible loss," said the announcement.
Johnny Ramone, born Johnny Cummings, co-founded The Ramones in New York in 1974 along with singer Joey, whose real name was Jeffrey Hyman, Dee Dee, or Douglas Colvin, and drummer Tommy Ramone, the lone survivor.
The group, known for their leather jackets, tight jeans, and mop of long black hair that covered their eyes, split up in 1996 after releasing the appropriately titled "Adios Amigos" album.
The Ramones had a distinctive frantic punk style -- with Johnny Ramone's raw guitar playing at the heart.
Their biggest 1970s and 80s hits -- including "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue," "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker", "Blitzkrieg Bop" and "I Wanna Be Sedated" -- never topped the charts, but later saw them enshrined as the fathers of punk.
As the 1980s began, the Ramones tried working with noted pop producers Phil Spector and Graham Gouldman, a former member of the 10cc group, but major commercial success eluded them.
Johnny was considered the leader of the Ramones, the group's "center of gravity," according to the website, which said he provided "the balance and stability that kept the band, its support crew and the entire Ramones organization together and in rocking shape."
While under-appreciated at their peak, the band is credited with influencing a generation of rockers, including the Sex Pistols, grunge rockers Nirvana and Ireland's U2, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame in 2002.
Johnny performed with the quartet from its maiden concert in New York on March 30, 1974 to its 2,263rd and final show in August 1996.
Following the final performance, Johnny Ramone gave up his guitar for good.
"I just didn't want to go up there and perform at a level below what the kids had grown to expect," he was quoted as saying by Rolling Stone magazine.
"Having fond memories to me was more important. "I'm not going to fool myself and think I'm as good (as I was). Even if we were still good, I wanted to get out with some dignity."
The artist waged his battle with cancer very privately after falling ill in 1999, and news of his ordeal only emerged in June this year when he was rushed to hospital after lapsing briefly into a coma.
The band's foursome, who were not related, became cult heroes to music fans over the three decades since their launch.
They were devastated when Dee Dee Ramone, who was addicted to heroin for 14 years but had claimed to have stopped using drugs, died in of an overdose Hollywood at the age of 49 two years ago.
A documentary about the group entitled "The Ramones: End of the Century," released in August in the United States, cast an unflattering light on the musicians, who appeared paranoid and immature.
"They were like kids in a playground, name-calling. I usually toned it down," Johnny Ramone said in the film.