The Ramones, widely seen as the epitome of punk rock music, are to be honored with a Lifetime Acheivement Award at the Grammy Awards at the 2011 ceremony. Unfortunately, the band’s three founding members (Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee) all passed away before they could be honored with this award. In fact, there is only one remaining member still alive from the original Ramones lineup – Tommy. He, along with the other members who collectively formed The Ramones over the years they were active, will be accepting the award on their behalf when the time for the ceremony is upon us.
“It is a great honor to recognize and celebrate such a distinguished and dynamic group of honorees who have been the creators of such timeless art,” said Recording Academy President Neil Portnow upon the announcement of this honor. “These influential performers and brilliant innovators have been of great inspiration to our culture and industry.”
In my opinion, Portnow described the work of The Ramones any better; the band was (arguably) the first punk rock group to be formed, and definitely did not receive the credit they deserved during their career. The Ramones were an active group from 1974 to 1996, and despite their influence on punk rock and contemporary music as it stands, they only achieved what can be considered limited commercial success. While they did have one album become certified gold (Ramones Mania), that was a compilation album, a.k.a. greatest hits. Without a doubt, I can say that if The Ramones were active today, that number would definitely be greater, and would include albums other than greatest hits (After all, true fans don’t get those).
As an avid punk rock fan, I am very glad that The Ramones are receiving this award. To say they deserve it I feel is an understatement – I would go as far to say that this award was almost built for The Ramones (I feel like that makes the most sense, given their career as a whole).
Yes, The Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so in that sense they are beginning to see the credit they deserved for so long. I just see this as another piece to the puzzle, so to speak. I don’t think I’m being dramatic when I say that The Ramones changed the music scene as it was, and without them much of the punk rock scene and its offshoots might not be around. That may just be wishful thinking, but I doubt I’m the only one thinking that. If nothing else, it cannot be argued that The Ramones were revolutionary in every sense of the word.
The Grammy Awards will be held February 13 – be sure to tune in to see The Ramones be honored in all their glory. You might feel compelled to see the other awards as well…
You can find all of The Ramones music right here.