Death and influence

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By Tony from Paterson NJ, US (Joey Ramone, Godfather of Punk Rock) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Posted on Wed, 06/10/2015 - 3:04pm
by Ron Wallace

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Joey Ramone died of lymphoma at New York-Presbyterian Hospital on April 15, 2001, after a seven-year battle, a month before he would have turned 50. He was reportedly listening to the song "In a Little While" by U2 when he died. This was during U2's Elevation Tour, and from that point on during shows Bono would introduce the song as a tune that was originally about a lovestruck hangover but that Joey turned it into a gospel song. In an interview in 2014 for Radio 538, Bono confirmed that Joey Ramone's family told him that Ramone listened to the song before he died.

His solo album Don't Worry About Me was released posthumously in 2002, and features the single "What a Wonderful World", a cover of the Louis Armstrong standard. MTV News claimed: "With his trademark rose-colored shades, black leather jacket, shoulder-length hair, ripped jeans and alternately snarling and crooning vocals, Joey was the iconic godfather of punk."

On November 30, 2003, a block of East 2nd Street in New York City was officially renamed Joey Ramone Place. It is the block where Hyman once lived with bandmate Dee Dee Ramone, and is near the former site of the music club CBGB, where the Ramones got their start. Hyman's birthday is celebrated annually by rock 'n' roll nightclubs, hosted in New York City by his brother and, until 2007, his mother, Charlotte. Joey Ramone is interred at Hillside Cemetery in Lyndhurst, New Jersey.

In 2001, the Ramones were named as inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, prior to the ceremony held early the following year.

Several songs have been written in tribute to Joey Ramone. Tommy, CJ and Marky and Daniel Rey came together in 2002 to record Jed Davis's Joey Ramone tribute, "The Bowery Electric". Other tributes include "Hello Joe" by Blondie from the album The Curse of Blondie, "Don't Take Me For Granted" by Social Distortion, "Here's To You" by Minus3, "You Can't Kill Joey Ramone" by Sloppy Seconds, Joey by Raimundos, "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone" by Sleater-Kinney, "Red and White Stripes" by Moler and "Joey" by The Corin Tucker Band, "I Heard Ramona Sing" by Frank Black on his self-titled first solo album, "Joey had to go" by The Hanson Brothers on their album My Game and Amy Rigby's "Dancin' With Joey Ramone," released in 2005. In addition, Rammstein also ended several shows of their Mutter tour in 2001 with a cover of "Pet Semetary" in honor of the passing of Joey Ramone. As the tour went on it become a regular show ender and guests joining the band on stage, including CJ Ramone, Marky Ramone, Clawfinger vocalist Zak Tell, and Jerry Only of The Misfits.

In September 2010, the Associated Press reported that "Joey Ramone Place," a sign at the corner of Bowery and East Second Street was New York City's most stolen sign. Later, the sign was moved to 20 feet above ground level. Drummer Marky Ramone thought Joey would appreciate the fact that his sign would be the most stolen adding "Now you have to be an NBA player to see it."

After several years in development, Ramone's second posthumous album was released on May 22, 2012. Titled Ya Know?, it was preceded on Record Store Day by a 7" single re-release of Blitzkrieg Bop/Havana Affair

The 2013 film CBGB, about the club of the same name, includes a portrayal of Ramone by Joel David Moore.

The opening track of U2's 2014 album Songs of Innocence is called "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)", paying tribute to the Ramones' influence on U2 from a show which the young bandmembers had attended in the late 1970s. Lead singer Bono claimed that it was Joey Ramone who showed him how to sing.



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