The Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. Despite achieving only limited commercial success, the band was a major influence on the punk rock movement in both the United States and, perhaps to a greater extent, in the United Kingdom.
All of the band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname “Ramone”, although none of them were related. They performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for 22 years. In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played a farewell concert and disbanded. Only a little more than eight years after the breakup, all three of the band’s founding members—lead singer (and, at the time of founding, drummer) Joey Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone, and bassist Dee Dee Ramone—had died.
Their only record with enough U.S. sales to be certified gold was the compilation album Ramones Mania. However, 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 the Rolling Stone list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. In 2002, the Ramones were ranked the second-greatest band of all time by Spin magazine, trailing only the Beatles. On March 18, 2002, the Ramones—the three founders and drummers Tommy and Marky Ramone—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2011, the group was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award