I knew he was sick, but I’m still blown away. Too busy (and sad) to write more. Some further thoughts and reminiscences this weekend, probably.
Thank you for everything, Johnny. We’ll miss you, man.
Gabba Gabba Hey.
Rest in peace.
Update: My Democrat wife sent me this, noting that he was “misguidedly conservative”. Johnny Ramone: Rebel in a Rebel’s World. The Conservative part I agree with.
The music is what really matters, but this is worth a mention, too:
Johnny Ramone was a fiercely Republican-voting, NRA-supporting musician in a milieu that is remarkable for its embrace of all things left. Johnny went worldwide public with his partisanship in 2002, when the Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At the microphone to give props to the people who made it all possible, he offered his own version of a Michael Moore moment. “God bless President Bush, and God bless America,” he said, clad in his trademark T-shirt, ripped blue jeans and leather jacket. “I said that to counter those other speeches at the other awards,” Mr. Ramone says in a phone interview. “Republicans let this happen over and over, and there is never anyone to stick up for them. They spend too much time defending themselves.”
He did it his way.