Tomorrow, September 15th, marks the seven year anniversary of punk rocker Johnny Ramone’s death. Ramone was 55 years old when he died, losing a five year battle to prostate cancer. As the lead guitarist of The Ramones, one of the 70’s most seminal and iconic punk bands, Johnny Ramone’s fast and furious chord progressions and rejection to soloing was a key ingredient that shaped the punk rock sound. Ramone was a true visionary and has received considerable critical acclaim over the years. He has been included alongside many of the all-time greats in Time’s “10 Greatest Electric-Guitar Players” and Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”
The Ramones appeared on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert on September 19, 1977 to give one of the show’s most historic performances. The Ramones hit the stage, opening with “Sheena is a Punk Rocker” and burned through a set of four songs, ending with “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Just before cutting to commercial, a bombed out battlefield was shown and amidst it, a sole G.I. sat. As the camera zoomed in, the soldier quipped, “Would you believe this is what’s left of the studio after The Ramones.” The band returned to perform four more songs that evening including “Rockaway Beach” and left a mark as one of Rock Concert’s most memorable guests.