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Posted on Tue, 06/09/2015 - 11:30pm
by Ron Wallace

Member since: Sat, 01/24/2015

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Early life

Born Jeffrey Ross Hyman to Noel Hyman and his wife Charlotte (née Mandell), they lived in Forest Hills, Queens, New York, where Hyman and his future Ramones bandmates attended Forest Hills High School. Though happy, Hyman was something of an outcast. When he was 18 years old, he was diagnosed with obsessive–compulsive disorder. He grew up with brother Mickey Leigh. His mother Charlotte Lesher divorced her first husband, Noel Hyman. She married a second time but was later widowed due to a car accident while she was on vacation.

Hyman was a fan of The Beatles, The Who, David Bowie, and The Stooges among other bands (particularly oldies and the Phil Spector-produced "girl groups"). His idol was Pete Townshend of The Who (with whom he shared a birthday). Hyman took up drums at 13, and played throughout his teen years. Before he joined the Ramones, he was the singer in a band called Sniper.


In 1972 Hyman joined the glam punk band, Sniper. Sniper played at the Mercer Arts Center, Max's Kansas City and the Coventry, alongside the New York Dolls, Suicide, and Queen Elizabeth III. Hyman played with Sniper under the name Jeff Starship. Mickey Leigh: "I was shocked when the band came out. Joey was the lead singer and I couldn't believe how good he was. Because he'd been sitting in my house with my acoustic guitar, writing these songs like 'I Don't Care', fucking up my guitar, and suddenly he's this guy on stage who you can't take your eyes off of." He continued playing with Sniper until early 1974, when he was replaced by Alan Turner.


In 1974, Jeffrey Hyman co-founded the punk rock band Ramones with friends John Cummings and Douglas Colvin, Colvin was already using the pseudonym "Dee Dee Ramone" upon which point all three adopted stage names using "Ramone" as their surname: Cummings became Johnny Ramone, Colvin became Dee Dee Ramone, and Hyman became Joey Ramone. The name Ramone stems from a story that Paul McCartney briefly used the stage name "Paul Ramon" during the Beatles early days when the band used the name The Silver Beetles.

Joey initially served as the group's drummer while Dee Dee Ramone was the original vocalist. However, when Dee Dee's vocal cords proved unable to sustain the demands of consistent live performances, Ramones manager Thomas Erdelyi suggested Joey switch to vocals. After a series of unsuccessful auditions in search of a new drummer, Erdelyi took over on drums, assuming the name Tommy Ramone.

The Ramones were a major influence on the punk rock movement in the United States, though they achieved only minor commercial success. Their only record with enough U.S. sales to be certified gold was the compilation album Ramones Mania. Recognition of the band's importance built over the years, and they are now regularly represented in many assessments of all-time great rock music, such as the Rolling Stone lists of the 50 Greatest Artists of All Time and 25 Greatest Live Albums of All Time, VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, and Mojo's 100 Greatest Albums. In 2002, the Ramones were voted the second greatest rock and roll band ever in Spin, trailing only The Beatles.

In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played their final show and then disbanded.

Vocal style

Ramone's voice was within a tenor range and it was unorthodox in that he had no formal training in an era when vocal proficiency was arguably the norm for most rock bands. His signature cracks, hiccups, snarls, crooning and youthful voice made his one of punk rock's most recognizable voices. claims that "Joey Ramone's signature bleat was the voice of punk rock in America." As his vocals matured and deepened through his career, so did the Ramones' songwriting, leaving a notable difference from Joey's initial melodic and callow style—two notable tracks serving as examples are "Somebody Put Something in My Drink" and "Mama's Boy".

Other projects

In 1985, Ramone joined Steven Van Zandt's music industry activist group Artists United Against Apartheid, which campaigned against the Sun City resort in South Africa. Ramone and 49 other recording artists – including Bruce Springsteen, Keith Richards, Lou Reed and Run DMC — collaborated on the song "Sun City", in which they pledged they would never perform at the resort.

In 1994, Ramone appeared on the Helen Love album Love and Glitter, Hot Days and Music, singing the track "Punk Boy". Helen Love returned the favor, singing on Ramone's song "Mr. Punchy".

In October 1996, Ramone headlined the "Rock The Reservation" alternative rock festival in Tuba City, Arizona. 'Joey Ramone & the Resistance' (Daniel Rey on guitar, John Connor on bass guitar and Roger Murdock on drums) debuted Ramone's interpretation of Louis Armstrong's "Wonderful World' live, as well as Ramone's choice of Ramones classics and some of his other favorite songs; The Dave Clark Five's "Any Way You Want It", The Who's "The Kids are Alright" and The Stooges' "No Fun."

Ramone co-wrote and recorded the song "Meatball Sandwich" with Youth Gone Mad. For a short time before his death, he took the role of manager and producer for the punk rock band The Independents.

His last recording as a vocalist was backup vocals on the CD One Nation Under by the Dine Navajo rock group Blackfire. He appeared on two tracks, "What Do You See" and "Lying to Myself". The 2002 CD won "Best Pop/Rock Album of the Year" at the 2002 Native American Music Awards.

Ramone produced the Ronnie Spector album She Talks to Rainbows in 1999. It was critically acclaimed, but was not very commercially successful. The title track was previously on the Ramones' final studio album, ¡Adios Amigos!.



  • Don't Worry About Me (2002)
  • Ya Know? (2012)


  • In a Family Way – Sibling Rivalry (1994)
  • Ramones: Leathers from New York – The Ramones and Joey Ramone (solo) (1997)
  • Christmas Spirit...In My House (2002)


  • "I Got You Babe" – (1982) (Duet with Holly Beth Vincent)
  • "What a Wonderful World" (2002)
  • "Rock And Roll Is The Answer" / "There's Got To Be More To Life" (2012)

Memorial books

  • Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone (2002). Heaven Needed A Lead Singer: Fans Remember Joey Ramone. TMI Ramoniac. ISBN 978-951-98965-0-2.
  • Jari-Pekka Laitio-Ramone (2004). Rock in Peace: Dee Dee And Joey Ramone. (self published). ISBN 978-951-98965-1-9.
  • Mickey Leigh (2009). I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir. Touchstone. ISBN 978-0-7432-5216-4.


Joey Ramone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : taken from -