There truly is no end to the influence that Paul McCartney and The Beatles have had on music. Together, the Fab Four shaped almost every facet of the industry in some way or another. While punk is one area that sits in a lane far away from the delicately crafted sound they forged, even the Ramones had the thank the Liverpudlian four-piece for a crucial part of their identity.
Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy were the original gang of brats that brought punk to the masses. Finding fame in New York, the city that had created them, the group initially struggled to make any waves outside of the Big Apple until they jumped on a ferry across the Atlantic and landed in Britain. It was here that the group truly took off and launched a thousand bands in their wake, an impact that sent ripples down the underground all around the world and firmly put punk on the map.
The band’s first-ever press release set the stall for what the future had for the group and alluded to a bright future, with the Ramones at the helm of a brave new dawning just like The Beatles did before them. “The Ramones are not an oldies group,” it read. “They are not a glitter group, they don’t play boogie music, and they don’t play the blues. The Ramones are an original Rock and Roll group of 1975, and their songs are brief, to the point and every one a potential hit single.”
The Ramones always felt like more than just a band. They represented a way of life and presented a brotherhood that anybody could be a part of, accepting all that joined the ride. Their name played a key part in their appeal, and the Ramones was the perfect summarization of America’s most rebellious, unconventional family.
As band names go, few are better than the Ramones, and like lots of the best things in the world, it comes from The Beatles. Johnny Ramone once revealed: “Paul would check into a hotel using the name Paul Ramon. Dee Dee was a big fan, so he changed his name to Dee Dee Ramone. We decided to call the band the Ramones.”
This glorious story that seems too good to be true has been backed up also by Marky Ramone, who recalled: “The Beatles used to tour… before they were The Beatles, they were called The Silver Beatles, and all the girls running after them, even the guys. So the next thing you know, Paul McCartney would sign into a hotel room as Paul Ramone. [Bassist] Dee Dee looked at this and said, ‘Let’s call ourselves The Ramones.'”
Marky quashed a long-standing rumour of how the New York punk pioneers got their name, which is considerably less poetic than the truth, in this rare instance. The drummer added: “There’s another story, too: they opened up the phone book and threw a dart at it – that didn’t happen,” he said.
“So it was from Paul Ramone, who used to check into a hotel room. But he should have gotten rid of the name Paul because immediately you go, ‘I wonder if he’s still doing that.’ So it should’ve been like Carl Ramone, or Bobby Ramone, you know what I mean, something like that. But it all worked out,” he added.
It’s exceptional that before The Beatles became superstars, McCartney was using pseudonyms when he checked into hotels, back when they were The Silver Beatles and were yet to release an album. Despite their small stature, fans were still going wild, which only provided an entree for what waited in store for them as Beatlemania swept the world. It’s a crying shame that not even for one night only, we got to witness the New York icons with the addition of the original Ramone; Paul.