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Ramones

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Queens, New York, United States (1974 – 1996)

The Ramones were a band that formed in Queens, New York, United States, in 1974. They are often cited as the first punk group. Despite achieving only limited commercial success, the band was a major influence on the punk rock movement both in the United States and the United Kingdom.

All of the band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname “Ramone”, though none of them were 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 concert and disbanded. By 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—had died. Drummer Tommy Ramone, the last surviving original member, died in 2014.

Their only record with enough U.S. sales to be certified gold was the compilation album Ramones Mania. However, 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 list 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. In 2011, the group was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Formation: 1974–1975

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