Los Angeles – A bronze statue honoring late punk guitarist Johnny Ramone was unveiled before hundreds of celebrities and cheering fans at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Ramone, co-founder and guitarist of The Ramones, was 55 when he died of prostate cancer in September at his Los Angeles home. The $100,000 statue sits near the grave of bandmate Dee Dee Ramone, who died of a drug overdose in 2002.
Grammy-winning producer Rick Rubin said at the Friday unveiling that The Ramones were as influential on the world of rock ‘n’ roll as the Beatles.
“There was the music before them and the music after,” he said.
Tommy Ramone, the only surviving member of the original band, said the memorial symbolized the spirit of The Ramones’ music.
“He wanted the fans to have a place to come and a way to feel in touch with this music that got so many things right,” he said.
Hollywood Forever is the final resting place for hundreds of Hollywood stars, including Rudolph Valentino, “Ten Commandments” producer Cecil B. DeMille and Bugs Bunny voice Mel Blanc.