Punk Legend Johnny Ramone Dies

Johnny Ramone, guitarist and co-founder of the seminal punk band the Ramones, has died at the age of 55. Ramone died in his sleep Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 15) at his Los Angeles home surrounded by friends and family, his publicist said. He had battled prostate cancer for five years, and was hospitalized in June at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Ramone, born John Cummings, was one of the original members of the Ramones, whose no-nonsense, three-chord rock’n’roll influenced a generation of future bands. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Lead singer Joey Ramone (real name: Jeff Hyman) died in 2001 of lymphatic cancer. Bassist Dee Dee Ramone, who was born Douglas Colvin, died from a drug overdose in 2002.

Ramone was too ill to attend a tribute concert and cancer research fund-raiser held Sunday in Los Angeles to celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary. It featured performances by Los Angeles punk band X, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Henry Rollins and Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder.

A similar event is on tap for Oct. 8 at New York’s Spirit club, featuring the Strokes and Blondie.

Along with his wife, Linda Cummings, Ramone was surrounded at his death by Vedder and Rob and Sherrie Zombie. Other friends who gathered at his Los Angeles home included Lisa Marie Presley, Pete Yorn, Vincent Gallo and Talia Shire.

Ramone was said to have been working on his memoirs with Washington Times reporter Steve Miller.

Source: Billboard.com

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