April 15, 2001

On this day in 2001, Joey Ramone passed away after a seven year battle with lymphoma. He died in New York, New York, at the New York Presbyterian Hospital.

He had been repeatedly listening to U2’s song, ‘In A Little While’ when he passed.

Ramone was often ill as a child and wore thick glasses due to extremely poor eyesight. He started his musical life on the drums that his mother bought him, but quickly switched to guitar. His mother would find lyrics scribbled all over the house on everything from the bathroom mirror to shopping bags; she was happy to see him so passionate about something.

Ramone was bullied as a youngster and as a teenager; he had a frail frame and was exceptionally tall, standing at 6’5″ by his teenage years. He was shy and polite, often kept to himself, and suffered bouts with depression, as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder. but was able to recover after some therapy.

Once he had formed the Ramones and changed his given name from Jeffry Ross Hyman to Joey Ramone, his whole world began to change. The Ramones started in Queens, New York, in 1974. They would go on to tour for 22 years, and record 14 studio albums, as well as seven live albums.

The group has been extremely influential in the music industry for their rock-and-roll/punk sound, as well as their tight black jeans, t-shirt and leather jacket look, still worn around the world today. In 1996, the Ramones would play their last show (due to Joey’s illness) and then called it quits.

Ramone did not want to give up on music that quickly and so he and a friend started to work on recording a solo album in his friend’s home studio. It was a mix of old and new songs that Ramone had written. They were released posthumously in 2002, featuring the beautiful cover of Louis Armstrong’s ‘What A Wonderful World’.

Joey was buried in Hillside Cemetery in Lyndhurst, New Jersey.

On November 30, 2003, a block of East 2nd Street in New York City was officially renamed Joey Ramone Place. The block is where Ramone once lived with bandmate Dee Dee Ramone, and is near the former site of the famous music club, CBGB’s.

In 2001, the year Ramone passed, the Ramones were named as inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, though the actual ceremony was held the following year.

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