Ramones may well be one of the most influential acts of rock history. The group inspired countless other acts with their back to basics approach and DIY ethos. They were, in many ways, the archetypal punks. The leather jackets and ripped jeans were one thing but the band needed tunes to pull it all together. For that, they often turned to their empirical leader, Johnny Ramone.
Johnny was the creative force behind much of that imperious three-chord work with the Ramones, the controversial guitarist created a career out of thrashing through razor blade riffs to his latest moment of adolescent discontent revisited. He, along with his adopted family of snot-nosed bratty brothers, in many ways invented the punk genre as we know. Alongside a few others that emerged from the depths of New York’s underground scene, the Ramones were pioneers. Below, in celebration of Johnny’s birthday, we’re bringing you 10 of his best tracks.
Joey Ramone may well have been the voice of the band and, in turn, a generation, but Johnny Ramone laid the groundwork and provided the stage and the microphone with which to speak. Simply put, Johnny Ramone’s riffs are what makes punk the buzzing, spewing and violent genre we all love to this day, it can be heard in all of the band’s songs and is certainly present in the ten tracks below.
Ramone wasn’t exactly a wholly-loved figure in music. His brash style, uncompromising attitude and right-wing conservatism (the man had a list of his