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Joey Ramone Ditches the Kit – Moments That Nearly Destroyed Rock

Evening Standard, Hulton Archive

As true Ramones fans will tell you, Joey Ramone wasn’t always the singer of the iconic NYC band. The gangly fellow born Jeffry Hyman started out on drums, holding down rudimentary beats while Douglas Colvin, soon to be known as Dee Dee Ramones, handled vocals.

This lineup might have stuck, but Dee Dee couldn’t play bass and sing at the same time. Enter Thomas Erdelyi, a friend of the group who had been slated to take over as manager. Erdelyi, subsequently known as drummer Tommy Ramone, convinced Joey to step up to the mic. We’re glad he did. Without Joey’s bleat, the Ramones don’t break, punk doesn’t explode and alt-rock never happens in America.

Next Moment: Marring a Legacy

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