johnny romone, paul mccartney, my brother and prostate cancer

penelope on the chattahoochee today

The names of bands influenced by Johnny Ramone, look at them, and then the fact that Romone was a pseudonym for Paul McCartney is something I did not know.

Here’s the tragedy… He was diagnosed late. What I see happening often with my patients and in casual conversation with others, men and women, is that the misconception that ” prostate cancer is slow-growing and that you die with it not of it,” is something applied across the board lowering the male’s guard, and the dual nature of the disease is not taken into account.

There is a bit of danger of touting surveillance too strongly. Not the concept of surveillance per se, but the misconception of how men perceive it.  I did a post on the fellow named Squarles who had a high PSA but was not going to have a biopsy because to paraphrase, ” Let that urologist get a hold of me.”  It’s surveillance to the extreme.

You have to be aware then  to be willing.(i.e. deem it necessary to make an appointment)

Your being willing needs to result in being checked.

You have to be checked to know.

You have to know( or be diagnosed) to know the specifics of your disease.

You have to have the specifics of the biopsy to decided what to do.

To decide what to do you have to be knowledgeable and ” aware.”

That your decision “pans out” invloves a bit of luck…

There are a long list of Romones and the medical course suggests that he was not having regular check ups prior to his diagnosis. I don’t know, I lost my brother Rushton to cancer way too early. He was creative and at the height of his musical career. Death coming too soon is always tragic… it seems it gets my attention a little more when it may not have been necessary and occurring  in the creative types.

Punk legend Johnny Ramone dies, Thursday 16 September 2004 14.21 BST

Article history

Johnny Ramone. Photograph: Kathy Willens/AP

Johnny Ramone, the co-founder of seminal punk band the Ramones, has died at the age of 55, it was announced today.

The guitarist, who had fought a five-year battle against prostate cancer, died in his sleep at his Los Angeles home yesterday afternoon. He was surrounded by family and friends, Arturo Vega, the band’s artistic director, said.

“He was the guy with a strategy. He was the guy who not only looked after the band’s interest, but he also was their defender,” Mr Vega told the Associated Press.

Ramone, whose real name was John Cummings, founded the band with the three other original members – singer Joey Ramone, bassist Dee Dee Ramone and drummer Tommy Ramone – in 1974.

They changed their surnames to Ramone when they joined the band, taking the name from Paul McCartney, who sometimes checked into hotels under the pseudonym Paul Ramone at the height of Beatlemania.

The Ramones created a punk sound that was characterised by raw, fast, short songs, and influenced a generation of rockers. Their songs included I Wanna Be Sedated, Blitzkrieg Bop, Beat on the Brat and Baby, I Love You. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Joey Ramone, whose real name was Jeff Hyman, died of lymphatic cancer in 2001. Dee Dee Ramone, whose real name was Douglas Colvin, died of a drug overdose in 2002. Tommy is the only surviving member of the original band.

With long black hair and clad in leather jackets, the Ramones began their career in legendary New York clubs such as CBGB and Max’s Kansas City, where they performed songs unlike anything else being played at the time.

After hearing the band play in London in 1976, future members of the Clash and the Sex Pistols picked up on the sound.

Following the release of their debut album in 1976, the Ramones struggled for commercial success but left a formidable imprint on the rock genre, with their sound influencing bands such as Green Day and Nirvana.

Bruce Springsteen wrote Hungry Heart for the Ramones after seeing them perform in Asbury Park, New Jersey, but his manager persuaded him to keep the song for himself and it became a hit single.

The Ramones worked with big names including the producer Phil Spector, who collaborated with them in 1980. Dee Dee Ramone later said Spector had pulled a gun on the band during the session.

“The Ramones had it rough,” Vega – who worked with them for 30 years – said. “The band almost had to be protected from people who were taking advantage of them. There was never any money made.”

Johnny Ramone, however, kept a close watch on the band’s budget, with Vega recalling that he would insist they drove non-stop between Boston and New York for shows rather than spending the night in a hotel.

In addition to his financial conservatism, the guitarist was politically conservative – the late Ronald Reagan was his favourite president, Vega said.

Fans have remained loyal to the Ramones, and the band also showed loyalty to their fans. In 1979, while shooting scenes for the film Rock’n’Roll High School, the Ramones – ignoring the director’s orders – played a concert-length session for fans who had paid to be extras.

“The Ramones never ever lost their image, their aura of being the ultimate underdog, the voice of the angry young man,” Vega said.

A tribute concert and cancer research fundraiser was held in Los Angeles on Sunday to mark the band’s 30th anniversary. It featured performances from Los Angeles punk band X, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Henry Rollins and others.

Along with his wife, Linda Cummings, friends including Pearl Jam rocker Eddie Vedder, singer Rob Zombie, Lisa Marie Presley, Pete Yorn, Vincent Gallo and Talia Shire were gathered at Ramone’s bedside yesterday.

He is survived by his wife and his mother, Estelle Cummings, and will be cremated in a private ceremony.


9 Replies to “johnny romone, paul mccartney, my brother and prostate cancer”

  1. Boy, Dr. McHugh – I can really relate to what you said. I lost a granddaughter to non hodgkins lymphoma 2 years ago. She was 19. My younger brother died of a massive heart attack when he was only 37. The hurt is terrible, and you never get over it. When I read your blog about that Squarles guy, I could not believe anybody would be so dumb! Sorry, but that’s how I feel. I think you are just playing with fire if you wait around. And the price is death! I wish all men would get on board with regular prostate exams, like women have with breast and cervical cancers.

    And that’s an interesting footnote about Sir Paul. (I love the beatles, too!)



  2. Thank you for your note. I read the Phil Spector book and in it there is the part where he is producing the Romones. He felt that they were the next really big thing, but that did not pan out. They were however a very influential band. Did you know that Spector produced ” Let it Be” the album? McCartney thought ” The long and winding road ” was over produced, i.e. Spector’s ” Wall of sound ” method was used, and that it was this feeling that the album was over produced that prompted the re release of ” Let it be-naked.” I am told the naked part really means, without all the spector over production, etc. The fact that Johnny Romone was influenced by the Beatles tells you how broad their influence was. My brother Rushton was a musician and introduced me to the Beatles at an early age. The first 8-track tape I ever heard was when I was in the seventh grade ( about 68) and it was the “White Album.” My son performed ” Rocky Raccoon” in a high school competition and now has a degree in Film and releases his first record June 15. It goes on and on. Now I have to find a more direct route and connection to prostate cancer and the Beatles. I’ll work on that today. Happy Mother’s Day! Ps…my favorite album?…Probably “Revolver.” Pss. Song? “She’s leaving home.” Bye….Bye……


  3. Mine is Abbey Road. I love how they tie in the seven songs “Sun King” through “The End”. And then there is always that little bit of double entender. (sorry for the spelling) “And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make.


  4. Reblogged this on Prostate diaries and commented:

    Why is it death seems more significant when it occurs to famous people? I said “seems.” Did you know that many physicians are nihilistic when it comes to prostate cancer? Yes…the good cancers will behave and the bad cancers are bad from the get go and will behave bad no matter what you do.


  5. I didn’t know any of this. They always say it’s a type of cancer that’s treatable with a huge survival rate, like breast or cervical cancer. A real cry’in shame. Sorry about your brother. Rock on Johnny and Rushton, wherever you two are.


      1. A brief evocative description, account, or episode…kinda like a blog post…just a small town southerner trying appear clever…or clever by half.
        on another note…”ate cake and tears rolled down my cheeks”( I missed the reason for the tears) as i know you know Hemingway said “show them everything tell them nothing” like in the sun also rises the main character was made impotent by a war injury but we were never really told that, it was inferred…a Hemingway technique. Also using few adjectives etc…Where you using that technique with the cake? BTW I saw the picture of you and the opened page and “the movable feast.” Just finished “men behaving badly” if you’ve not read i bet you’d enjoy. Murmuring my fears? you’ve got a knack.


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