By: Ane Taylor
Punk rock legend Joey Ramone, born Jeffrey Hyman on May 19, 1951 in Queens, NY, would have celebrated his 62nd birthday today.
Joey, along with the rest of the Ramones, was known for transforming rock music and giving it the edge many music fans were craving.
His musical career began after the divorce of his parents, Noel Hyman and Charlotte Lesher, which led him to use music as an outlet. As a result, he cofounded the Ramones with John “Johnny Ramone” Cummings and Douglass “Dee Dee Ramone” Colvin in 1974.
Two years later, the Ramones released their self-titled debut album, after which they toured the UK and released their follow-up album, Ramones Leave Home, within the same year.
The Ramones are known for putting punk rock on the map, releasing a 14 studio albums and performing 2,263 concerts before going their separate ways for good in 1996.
Once the band split, Joey Ramone hosted a radio show and attempted to start a solo career, which was unfortunately cut short by his death from Lymphoma on April 15, 2001.
One month later, the U.S Congress named May 19 “Joey Ramone Day” in his honor.
Like the true rock star he is, Ramone didn’t leave quietly. His music resurfaced in 2002 with the release of Don’t Worry About Me, recorded before his death, which made the Top Internet Albums chart and reached #109 on the Billboard 200.
Fans got one more taste of Ramone’s original music in 2012 with the release of …Ya Know?, a collection of his unreleased demos, again making the Billboard 200.
To celebrate Ramone’s birthday and musical success, “The Joey Ramone Birthday Bash” is held every year on May 19 in support of the Joey Ramone Foundation for Lymphoma Research.
This year, the bash will be held at The Bowery Electric in New York City, and will feature performances from CJ Ramone, The Independents, the Joey Ramone Tribute Band and more.
For more information on Joey Ramone and his annual birthday bash, head to his official website, and don’t forget to leave your thoughts on Ramone’s iconic career in the comments section below!