May 19 is a rather auspicious day in music history: In previous posts, I celebrated the birthdays of trailblazing artists — The Who‘s Pete Townshend and Grace Jones. The legendary godfather of punk Joey Ramone — born Jeffrey Ross Hyman — would have celebrated his 70th birthday today.
As a native Queens boy, who grew up not far from here Joey and his bandmates grew up and I’d often take a bit of pleasure in knowing that I walked on the same streets that they all did. Plus “Rockaway Beach” has a different meaning to me: when I was a boy, my family used to go to Rockaway Beach to cool off.
Joey Ramone and his bandmates have an oversized influence on punk rock and on rock in general — and from this live footage, there’s an obvious reason why: they were really fucking good.
Happy birthday Joey! Happy birthday, wherever you are!