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Today marks the 8 year anniversary of the death of legendary New Yorker, Punk Rocker, and Rock N Roll Hall of Famer Joey Ramone.

Joey (real name Jeff Hyman) lost his battle to Lymphoma on April 15, 2001.  He was just shy of turning 50 years old on May 19th.

Losing Joey was my first real experience in losing someone I idolized; who truly made a difference in my life.  Sure, I remember the day Kurt Cobain died and Shannon Hoon and Layne Staley, and even when Mark Sandman of Morphine passed on July 3rd, 1999.  I’m a HUGE fan of Morphine.  I was upset, sure but something about the death of Joey signified, for me the true end of my adolescence (even though I was 23 at the time.)

For me, discovering The Ramones was how I broke out of my shell at 14.  It was a life changing experience.  I bought all their albums, posters, t-shirts, saw them live 6 or 7 times, and even started wearing ripped jeans, striped t-shirts, a motorcycle jacket, and a long bowl cut like them.  Yes, it’s true.

Joey’s legacy will always live on through his music and his impact on the city of New York including a small, but significant street sign on the corner of Bowery and E 2nd Street near the now defunct CBGB.

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Thank you Joey!

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www.joeyramone.com

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~Sam

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