Friday, April 15, 2011

Joey Ramone, gone 10 years today

The iconic frontman of the Ramones passed away 10 years ago today. When I heard the news, I was a senior in high school, and a somewhat obsessive fan of what I still consider to be one of the greatest bands of all time. A teacher's aid at my school would always talk to me and my friends about music during lunch (we were the weirdo punk kids in the cafeteria), and she also happened to be a close friend of Joey. She informed us months before his passing that he was in the hospital and things were looking grim. I remember telling her to tell Joey we were thinking of him (I don't know if she ever actually did).

When I found out, it also happened to be my birthday, and it was pretty upsetting. It happened on a Sunday, and the following Monday, it was pretty much all we talked about. Of course by that point it wasn't exactly shocking, but it was still the first death of a celebrity I can think of that actually had an effect on me (I was a little too young to have been profoundly moved by Kurt Cobain's passing). Not that I could really listen to the Ramones any more than I already did, but I remember listening to them pretty much non-stop for a few weeks after that.

Here are some of my favorite Joey Ramone songs and moments.

This is just hilarious. From Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979).

The banter before this extremely early 1974 performance of "I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement" at CBGB is great.

A short interview with Joey.

One of the greatest Simpsons guest appearances.

I don't care what anyone says, I love this song.

More animated Ramones.

Ramones covering The Chambers Brothers' "Time Has Come Today."

Rock 'n' Roll High School is god awful, but I always loved this video.

Joey Ramone R.I.P. (1951-2001)

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