The Ramones was a crucial band for the punk movement that started at the end of the seventies, with multiple influences and styles, some of which we can find in this chart:
Some of The Ramones influences that we will review are The Beach Boys, Iggy Pop & The Stooges, MC5 and The New York Dolls as well as The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. We will also take a look at the impact that The Ramones had in bands such as Sex Pistols, the Clash, Green Day, Metallica, Foo Fighters and so many others.
Which bands influenced The Ramones?
As we previously mentioned in our history time line about The Ramones, the band released their debut album in 1976. One of their first and most notable influences were The Beach Boys, with their upbeat tunes and surf inspired music. Their liking for the band lead by legend Brian Wilson is eviden on tracks like Rockaway Beacj (from Rocket to Russia, 1977). The Beach Boys are also mentioned on the song 7-11, from Pleasant Dreams, released in 1981. The Ramones coverd The Beach Boys Surfin’ Saffari in 1993.
Another band that were an influence on The Ramones was Slade, especially for singer Joey Ramone. His singing style was mainly inspired by Noddy Holder’s, who frequently used his expressive vocals in a really personal manner, a way that made his band really stand out.
The Who were another huge influence on The Ramones. Key to the Mod Momvement, with a powerful sound and a great pop sensitivity, the band were lead by Pete Townshend. The Who fue otra banda en la que The Ramones basó su estilo. Joey Ramone also mentioned that The Who were tha band that inspired him to start making music. The Ramones covered The Who on their covers album Acid Eaters (1993) with their classic song Substitute, which was also recorded with the participation of Pete Townshend himself.
Detroit highly influential band MC5, was another key inspiration for The Ramones. Especially at their beginnings, Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy based their image on the MC5.
All The Ramones members loved Iggy & The Stooges. It is no surprise that Iggy Pop is nicknamed “The Godfather of Punk”. Their high impact performances, with their powerful and raw sound was one of the main inspirations for the whole punk movement. The Ramones mentioned The Stooges influence as key to developing their sound.
As it is now widely known, the name “Ramones” comes from a pseudonim that Paul McCartney went by when registering at Hotels, during the peak of The Beatles popularity.
About The New York Dolls, this band was original from the same place as The Ramones. This is why we will reference them as their inmediate precedent, as they even played in the same venues: the historical CBGB. The New York Dolls were led by David Johansen and is credited as a key influence in the development of glam and punk, with a sound clearly influenced by The Rolling Stones. It is also worth mentioning that guitarist Johnny Thunders, member of the The New York dolls, was friends with Dee Dee Ramone.
Other influences that helped shape The Ramones style and we should mention are The Doors (they covered Take it as it comes in 1992), Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page was Jonny Ramone’s hero) and The Velvet Underground, band which especially Dee Dee Ramone was very fond of.
Which bands were influenced by The Ramones?
To review the artists that were influenced by The Ramones, we will start with the inmediate bands that popularized the punk movement at the end of the seventies in England. Especially two bands: Sex Pistols and The Clash.
Before becoming the first real big exposion of punk rock, the Sex Pistols were devoted followers of The Ramones and they frequently went to their live shows. The Clash’s frontman, Joe Strummer, mentioned how Johnny Ramone was the one that adviced them about the need to be creative, instead of being virtuosos on their instruments. The Ramones were the direct precedent for The Sex Pistols and The Clash to take british punk to the peak of it’s popularity.
Another highly influential band in punk and hardcore music, Black Flag, was influenced by The Ramones. Mainly, a key member of the band, guitar player Greg Ginn, cited The Ramones as an influence, while seeing them live in 1976. On his side, Henry Rollins, Black Flag’s vocalist, acknowledges The Ramones as an inspiration not only for him, but also for the whole punkand hardcore genres.
Heavy metal heroes, Metallica, are another act whose aggresive guitar sound was inspired by The Ramones. This is mainly attributed to guitarist Johnny Ramone: his fast paced “downstroke” playing style, was fundamental for trash metal music. In Howard Stern’s program, Metallica spoke about the influence of The Ramones, when James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammet talked about how important The Ramones are for them.
Next is a band that rose to popularity in the mid nineties as part of the punk rock revival that came from California. The have covered Ramones’ track Outsider and we can hear them referencing the classic “one, two, three, four” Dee Dee Ramone counting at the beginning of their track Jinx, recorded in 1997 as part of their album Nimrod.
Part of the grunge movement, one of the most relevant bands of that genre is Pearl Jam, who are highly influenced by The Ramones. The band fronted by singer Eddie Vedder has covered live in several occations their punk classic I Believe in Miracles. But mainly, their influeced can be heard in Pearl Jam’s more direct and aggresive tracks, such as Hail Hail in No Code (1996) or almost any track on Backspacer (2009).