Joey Ramone

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Joey Ramone (born Jeffry Ross Hyman) (May 19, 1951 – April 15, 2001) was a vocalist and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist in the punk rock band the Ramones. Joey Ramone's image, voice and tenure as frontman of the Ramones made him a countercultural icon.[1]



Early life

Joey grew up in Forest Hills, Queens, New York.[2] He and his future bandmates attended Forest Hills High School. During his youth, he was by general accounts something of an outcast and had a dysfunctional family life, which inspired the song "We're A Happy Family." His parents divorced in the early 1960s. His mother, Charlotte Lesher (1926–2007), who survived him, encouraged an interest in music in both him and his brother Mitchell, (Mickey Leigh). His father, Noel Hyman was born April 24, 1919 and passed away on October 20, 2000. Joey was a fan of The Beatles,[3] 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. He took up drums at 13, and played throughout his teen years.


In 1974, Jeffry Hyman co-founded the Ramones with friends John Cummings and Douglas Colvin, upon which point all three adopted stage names using "Ramone" as their stage surname. Cummings became Johnny Ramone, and Colvin became Dee Dee Ramone, with Hyman adopting the name Joey Ramone, despite the fact that none of them were related. He initially served as the group's drummer. Dee Dee Ramone was the original vocalist. However, Dee Dee proved to be unsuited for the lead vocal position as he shredded his vocal cords after the first few songs recorded, so manager Tommy Erdelyi (who adopted the name Tommy Ramone) suggested Joey switch to vocals and he would step in and take over on drums.[1]

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