The Ramones were an American rock band often regarded as the first punk rock group. Formed in Forest Hills, Queens, New York in 1974, all of the band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname “Ramone”, though none of them were actually related.
They performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for 22 years. In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played a farewell show and disbanded. A little more than eight years after the breakup, the band’s three founding members—lead singer Joey Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone, and bassist Dee Dee Ramone—were dead.
The Ramones were a major influence on the punk rock movement both in the United States and the United Kingdom, though they achieved only minor commercial success. Their only record with enough U.S. sales to be certified gold was the compilation album Ramones Mania. Recognition of the band’s importance built over the years, and they are now cited in many assessments of all-time great rock music, such as the Rolling Stone lists of the 50 Greatest Artists of All Time and VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. In 2002, the Ramones were ranked the second greatest band of all time by Spin magazine, trailing only The Beatles. On March 18, 2002, the Ramones—including the three founders and drummers Marky and Tommy Ramone—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.