There’s a pretty good chance you are at least familiar with the name the Ramones. They may be well-known as pioneers of the American punk rock scene, but how much do you really know about them? To help educate you we’ve put together a list of 10 things you might not have known about this iconic band. Expand your knowledge below.
1. All the members shared the same last name Ramone, but that wasn’t actually their surname and none of them were related. Dee Dee was inspired by Paul McCartney’s use of the pseudonym “Paul Ramon” during his Silver Beetles days, and came up with the idea of the other members adopting “Ramone” as their last name.
2. In their 22 year career, the Ramones performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop through all these years.
3. The Ramones’ 1976 self-titled debut album was certified gold by the RIAA 38 years after its release. That album and their 1988 compilation album Ramones Mania are the band’s only releases to be certified at least gold in America.
4. In 1993, they appeared in the Simpsons episode “Rosebud,” where they sang happy birthday to Mr. Burns and bassist C.J. Ramone famously told him, “Go to hell, ya old bastard.”
5. Tony Bongiovi, who produced the Ramones’ second and third albums (Leave Home and Rocket to Russia), is the second cousin of Jon Bon Jovi.
6. According to Joey, “The KKK Took My Baby Away,” the third track from the Ramones’ 1981 album Pleasant Dreams, was written about Johnny, who was accused of stealing Joey’s then-girlfriend Linda, who would become Johnny’s wife. This incident was also the result of a personal feud between Joey and Johnny, which would last until the band’s breakup in 1996.
7. Although he quit the band in 1989 and never rejoined, Dee Dee continued writing music for the Ramones. He co-wrote three songs on their 1992 album, Mondo Bizarro (“Poison Heart,” “Main Man,” and “Strength To Endure”), and six on the 1995 follow-up, ¡Adios Amigos! (“Makin Monsters for My Friends,” “It’s Not for Me to Know,” “The Crusher,” “Take the Pain Away,” “Cretin Family,” and “Born to Die in Berlin”, the latter of which features Dee Dee on vocals).
8. The band’s logo was created by New York City artist Arturo Vega together with the Ramones. Vega was a longtime friend who had allowed Joey and Dee Dee to move into his loft. Vega produced the band’s T-shirts, their main source of income, basing most of the images on a black-and-white self-portrait photograph he had taken of his American bald eagle belt buckle which had appeared on the back sleeve of the Ramones’ first album. He was inspired to create the band’s logo after a trip to Washington, D.C..
9. Joey was reportedly a fan of Green Day and The Offspring, who have both cited the Ramones as a major influence.
10. “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker,” the sixth track from Rocket to Russia, was actually an outtake from the band’s previous album, Leave Home. The song replaced “Carbona Not Glue” on US editions of the album to avoid a potential lawsuit from the manufacturers of Carbona cleaning fluid.