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Johnny Ramone Dead at 55

 

JOHNNY RAMONE DEAD AT 55

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Johnny Ramone, guitarist and co-founder of the seminal punk band "The Ramones," has died. He was 55.

Ramone died in his sleep Wednesday afternoon at his Los Angeles home surrounded by friends and family, his publicist said. He had battled prostate cancer for five years, and was hospitalized in June at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Ramone, born John Cummings, was one of the original members of the Ramones, whose hit songs "I Wanna be sedated" and "Blitzkrieg Bop," among others, earned the band induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

The band’s singer, Joey Ramone, whose real name was Jeff Hyman, died in 2001 of lymphatic cancer. Bassist Dee Dee Ramone, who was born Douglas Colvin, died from a drug overdose in 2002. Johnny Ramone founded "The Ramones" in 1974 with Joey Ramone, DeeDee Ramone and Tommy Ramone, the only surviving member of the original band.

A tribute concert and cancer research fund-raiser was held Sunday in Los Angeles to celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary. It featured performances by Los Angeles punk band X, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Henry Rollins and others.

Along with his wife, Linda Cummings, Johnny Ramone was surrounded at his death by friends Eddie and Jill Vedder, and Rob and Sherrie Zombie. Other friends who gathered at his Los Angeles home included Lisa Marie Presley, Pete Yorn, Vincent Gallo and Talia Shire.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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