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Ramones, Dee Dee, Made Impact On Modern Rock Heroes

Ramones bassist Dee Dee Ramone died of an apparent drug overdose in Hollywood on Wednesday (June 5). When the group was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in March, some of modern rock’s biggest stars tipped their hats to the legendary band and Ramone himself.

Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder said that the group’s arrival in the late-’70s was a monumental occasion. “They were visually aggressive, four working-class construction-worker delinquents from Forest Hills, Queens, who were armed with two-minute songs that they rattled off like machine-gun fire, and it was enough to change the earth’s revolution, at least the music of the time. It was an assault. Someone asked Johnny Ramone once why the songs were so short. He said, ‘They’re actually fairly long songs played very, very quickly.'”

Green Day performed songs at the induction event and also got to meet members of the Ramones backstage. Green Day’s Mike Dirnt and Billie Joe Armstrong revealed that on that night there was nothing cooler than Dee Dee Ramone. “He was the epitome of a guy who was growing older with such class, a punk with class in his later years. He looked awesome, man. He looked awesome,” Dirnt said.

Armstrong added, “Yeah. He’s 100 percent rock ‘n’ roll, you know what I mean? It was great.”

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