Happy Birthday Joey Ramone

The world is worse off without the presence of Joey Ramone. Eight years ago (8!) last month, Joey lost his battle with lymphoma – he didn’t even see his 50’s, and that’s a tragic shame. I think often about how strange it is to live in a world without Joey Ramone and Joe Strummer. It just doesn’t seem right, does it?

May 19th is Joey’s birthday, and like a lot of people around the world, I’m marking the occasion by blasting the Ramones. Much like we hold artists like Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven in such high esteem today, our descendants 100-200 years down the road will study and enjoy the works of one Jeff Hyman and his band of “brothers”: the Ramones – inventors of Punk. What a legacy. What a body of work to unleash upon the world. And the world needed it.

Here are a few from my favorite Ramones album, Pleasant Dreams, a 1981 record produced by 10cc’s Graham Gouldman. Johnny Ramone wasn’t crazy about the production, calling it “too slick”. But as I’ve mentioned before around these parts, I love every song. It may be polished compared to early Ramones, but the melodies & hooks are great, and it’ll always be a favorite.

The KKK Took My Baby Way (mp3)

7-11 (mp3)

This Business is Killing Me (mp3)

All from:

Visit: Joey – and if you’re in NYC, head down to the Joey Ramone Birthday Bash Tuesday noght at the Filmore @ Irving Plaza (see web site for details).


  • Gonzo

    “KKK” remains one of my favorite Ramones tunes, and one that we even covered in one of my high school bands. The good old days.

    I’m sure you’ve seen “End of the Century,” but man – what a great doc that a) drives the importance of the Ramones home, and b) ends on a terribly sad note.

    We are in fact, worse off with the loss of Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee. But we’re so much better off being able to bask in their musical legacy than we’d be in a world absent those records.

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