Jeffrey Ross Hyman, known professionally as Joey Ramone, was an American musician and singer-songwriter, lead vocalist of the punk rock band the Ramones. Joey Ramones image, voice, and tenure as frontman of the Ramones made him a countercultural icon, Jeffrey Ross Hyman was born on May 19,1951, in Queens, New York to a Jewish family. His parents are Charlotte and Noel Hyman, the family lived in Forest Hills, Queens New York where Hyman and his future Ramones bandmates attended Forest Hills High School. Though happy, Hyman was something of an outcast, diagnosed at 18 with obsessive–compulsive disorder and he grew up with his brother Mickey Leigh. His mother, Charlotte Lesher, divorced her first husband, Noel Hyman and she married a second time but was widowed by a car accident while she was on vacation. Hyman was a fan of the Beatles, the Who, David Bowie, and the Stooges among other bands, particularly oldies and his idol was Pete Townshend of the Who, with whom he shared a birthday. Hyman took up the drums at 13, and played throughout his teen years before picking up an acoustic guitar at age 17. In 1972 Hyman joined the punk band Sniper. Sniper played at the Mercer Arts Center, Maxs Kansas City and the Coventry, alongside the New York Dolls, Suicide, Hyman played with Sniper under the name Jeff Starship. Mickey Leigh, I was shocked when the band came out, Joey was the lead singer and I couldnt believe how good he was. Because hed been sitting in my house with my guitar, writing these songs like I Dont Care, fucking up my guitar. Hyman continued playing with Sniper until early 1974, when he was replaced by Alan Turner, in 1974, Jeffrey Hyman co-founded the punk rock band the Ramones with friends John Cummings and Douglas Colvin. Colvin was already using the pseudonym Dee Dee Ramone and the others also adopted stage names using Ramone as their surname, Cummings became Johnny Ramone, Joey initially served as the groups drummer while Dee Dee Ramone was the original vocalist. However, when Dee Dees vocal cords proved unable to sustain the demands of consistent live performances, Ramones manager Thomas Erdelyi suggested Joey switch to vocals. After a series of auditions in search of a new drummer, Erdelyi took over on drums. The Ramones were an influence on the punk rock movement in the United States. Their only record with enough U. S. sales to be certified gold was the compilation album Ramones Mania, in 2002, the Ramones were voted the second greatest rock and roll band ever in Spin, trailing only the Beatles. In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, Ramones voice was within a tenor range, and it was unorthodox in that he had no formal training in an era when vocal proficiency was arguably the norm for most rock bands
Joey Ramone in c. 1985
Jeff Hyman aka Joey Ramone 2nd grade class photo 1959 PS196 Queens, NY (back row center)
Joey Ramone was honored with the creation of "Joey Ramone Place" outside the address of CBGB in New York City.