(if 10% of the shit i hear on the radio today had half the energy and unique style of these guys: )
Punk guitarist Johnny Ramone dies
Johnny Ramone, guitarist in punk band The Ramones, has died at the age of 55 following a long fight against cancer.
He passed away at his Los Angeles home on Wednesday, surrounded by friends and family, said the band's artistic director Arturo Vega.
Johnny Ramone, real name John Cummings, battled prostate cancer for five years.
A public tribute is being organised and he will be cremated on Thursday at a private service. The Ramones were one of the most influential bands in rock.
Johnny Ramone is the third member of the band to die in the past few years, leaving Tommy Ramone as the only surviving member of the original line-up.
Singer Joey Ramone, whose original name was Jeff Hyman, died in 2001 from lymphatic cancer.
Bass player Dee Dee Ramone, real name Douglas Colvin, died of a drug overdose the following year.
Vega, who worked with the band for 30 years, paid tribute to Johnny's devotion to the band. "He was the guy with a strategy," he said.
"He was the guy who not only looked after the band's interest but he also was their defender."
News of Johnny's cancer fight emerged in June when he was admitted to the Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles for an infection related to the illness.
There was optimism that he would recover after beginning an experimental therapy treatment. But he died in his sleep on Wednesday afternoon.
Among those at his bedside were his wife Linda Cummings and friends Eddie and Jill Vedder and Rob and Sherrie Zombie.
Also there for his final moments were Lisa Marie Presley, actress Talia Shire, director Vincent Gallo and musician Pete Yorn.
A cancer research fundraising event was held on Sunday to mark The Ramones' 30th anniversary, with performances from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Henry Rollins.
During the gig, a letter written by Johnny was read to the crowd by host Rob Zombie, who then telephoned him at his home live on stage.
Johnny had been working on his memoirs with the help of Washington Post reporter Steve Miller, telling of his experiences being in one of history's most influential rock bands.
"The Ramones never ever lost their image, their aura of being the ultimate underdog, the voice of the angry young man," said Vega.
The Ramones, who had hits with Sheena is a Punk Rocker and Baby I Love You, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
The band formed in 1974, with all the members taking the Ramone surname, quickly building up a cult following.
Although they were never commercially successful, their unique sound helped shape rock music and are often cited as inspirations to new generations of musicians.
"The Ramones had it rough," said Vega. "The band almost had to be protected from people who were taking advantage of them. There was never any money made."
Original article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3661434.stm