Johnny Ramone--the man credited with revitalizing Rock by adding Punk to it--is no more after a long battle with cancer. It wasn't just that unique but much copied staccato guitar sound that Johnny introduced to the world but an attitude that encouraged people who might not have realized that despite having no training their creations and ideas were just as valid as the next person's, maybe even better. Spending his creative and business life doing things his own way made for lots of enemies. Even among self-described Ramones fans, there are people who opted to note his passing on Wednesday by complaining that they couldn't like Johnny because he was a right winger or astute businessman or some other nonsense reason that had nothing to do with the music. Nice to know that people who should be thanking the Ramones and specifically Johnny for cracking open an increasingly insulated industry are themselves guilty of pushing out the iconoclasts who taught them everyone is valuable--but isn't that what always happens to revolutionaries?
Several years ago I was able to interview him. It was a great pleasure and honor. Thanks for everything Johnny and Godspeed.