May 19, 1951 – April 15, 2001
Published on April 18, 2011 By Larry Kuperman In Music

A little bit late, but I didn't want this to be forgotten.

This past Friday, April 15th, 2011, marked the 10th anniversary of the death of Jeffry Ross Hyman, better known as lead singer Joey Ramone of The Ramones. On Sunday, I dedicated my Adult Education lecture at the JCS of Ann Arbor (http://www.jewishculturalsociety.org/) celebrating the contributions of "Jews In Punk Rock" to his memory.


The class lecture traced the contributions of Jewish social commentators beginning with the Beat Generation poet Alan Ginzberg ("Howl") to Lenny Bruce (born Leonard Alfred Schneider) to Tuli Kupferberg (The Fugs in the early Sixties) to Lou Reed (Velvet Underground in the late Sixties) to The Dictators ("I knocked 'em dead in Dallas / And I didn't pay my dues / Yeah, I knocked 'em dead in Dallas / They didn't know we were Jews ...")and then to the Ramones. We continued on the second generation of Punk with bands like The Dead Kennedys and the contributions on Jewish women to Riot Grrrl rock.


Not only covering US bands, we looked at the contributions of Mick Jones of the Clash and Malcolm McLaren, manager of the New Dolls and the Sex Pistols.


Joey and bands like the Ramones continued the Jewish tradition of opposing social injustice through parody and sarcasm. MTV News summed up his contributions as follows: "With his trademark rose-colored shades, black leather jacket, shoulder-length hair, ripped jeans and alternately snarling and crooning, hiccoughing vocals, Joey was the iconic godfather of punk."


The City of New York has renamed the corner of Second Street and Bowery, near the former location of Hilly Kristal's CBGB club,where the Ramones and so many other bands got their start, "Joey Ramone Place." As Marky Ramone commented, Joey would be proud that is the most often stolen street sign in New York.

Joey died of lymphoma in 2001, but he will be remembered as long as we listen to his music.

 

Hey Ho, Lets Go!  

 


Comments
on Apr 18, 2011
A friend of mine claims to have been the band's chief bodyguard/security dude for a year or so back in the day. Has a few stories, as they say.
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