The cover photo features (from left to right) Johnny, Tommy, Joey and Dee Dee Ramone, staring at the camera with blank faces. They are all wearing ripped/faded blue jeans and leather jackets, standing upright against the brick wall of a private community garden called Albert’s Garden, located in the Bowery neighborhood of New York City between Bowery Street and Second Street. The stance of the group members in the photograph would influence their future cover designs as well, with the majority of their succeeding albums using a picture of the band on the front cover. The cover was photographed by Roberta Bayley.
The Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. They are often cited as the first true punk rock group. Despite achieving only limited commercial success initially, the band was highly influential in the United States, Argentina, Brazil and most of South America, as well as Europe, including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Belgium.
All of the band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname "Ramone", although none of them were biologically related; they were inspired by Paul McCartney of the Beatles, who would check into hotels as "Paul Ramon". The Ramones performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for 22 years. In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, they played a farewell concert in Los Angeles and disbanded. By 2014, all four of the band's original members had died lead singer Joey Ramone (19512001), bassist Dee Dee Ramone (19512002), guitarist Johnny Ramone (19482004) and drummer Tommy Ramone (19492014). The remaining surviving members of the Ramonesbassist C. J. Ramone (who replaced Dee Dee in 1989 and stayed with the band until its dissolution) and drummers Marky Ramone, Richie Ramone and Elvis Ramoneare still musically active.
Recognition of the band's importance built over the years, and they are now mentioned in many assessments of all-time great rock music, such as number 26 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" and number 17 in VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock". In 2002, the Ramones were ranked the second-greatest band of all time by Spin, trailing only the Beatles. On March 18, 2002, the original four members and Tommy's replacement on drums, Marky Ramone, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility, though Joey had died by then. In 2011, the group was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
The original members of the band met in and around the middle-class neighborhood of Forest Hills in the New York City borough of Queens. John Cummings and Thomas Erdelyi had both been in a high-school garage band from 1965 to 1967 known as the Tangerine Puppets. They became friends with Douglas Colvin, who had recently moved to the area from Germany, and Jeffrey Hyman, who was the singer for the glam rock band Sniper, founded in 1972.
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