Happy birthday Johnny Ramone!
John William Cummings (October 8, 1948—September 15, 2004), better known as Johnny Ramone, was the rhythm guitarist for the American punk rock band The Ramones. He is remembered for coining the loud, short bursts of reverberated guitar that came to define the punk genre.
Cummings was born in Long Island, New York and raised in Queens, New York. His father was a plumber, and he worked for a plumber before The Ramones became famous. He grew up listening to rock and roll.
As a teenager, he played in a band called The Tangerine Puppets. When he was working as a dry cleaning delivery man, Cummings met Douglas Colvin, later called Dee-Dee Ramone. The two bought a guitar and a bass, respectively. Before long, they were collaborating with Jeffry Hyman, who would come to be called Joey Ramone. Soon, Tommy Erdelyi—who had been Cummings' bandmate in The Tangerine Puppets—joined the group, and they became known as The Ramones. (Image source)
The Ramones were notable for the abruptness of their music. A live set, particularly early on, rarely lasted more than a half hour.
Their first four albums have remained the touchstones of their influence: Ramones (1976), Leave Home (1977), Rocket to Russia (1977), Road to Ruin (1978). Some of their most popular songs include "Blitzkrieg Bop," "Glad to See You Go," "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker," "Rockaway Beach," "I Wanna Be Sedated," "Rock 'n' Roll High School," and "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?"
Over the course of 20 years, they released 21 studio, live, and compilation albums. They also performed 2,263 concerts.
A longstanding feud with Joey Ramone was sparked when Commings dated and later married Joey's ex-girlfriend. It is said that this was the basis for Joey writing the songs "The KKK Took My Baby Away" and "She Belongs To Me."
Cummings was an outspoken conservative and he insisted that punk was an inherently conservative movement. He said in an interview, "I think Ronald Reagan was the best President of my lifetime."
Cummings died of prostate cancer at the age of 55.
- Birthday Date: Wednesday, 08 October 2014