The Ramones were a four-member New York punk band formed in 1975. All taking the adopted surname of "Ramone", original members were Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, and Tommy Ramone. Tommy was replaced by Mark Bell of the New York art-punk group The Voidoids, who became Marky Ramone. Dee Dee left the band in the mid 1980s and was replaced by C.J. Ramone.
Songs were typically introduced with a simple count of "1-2-3-4!" The band played extremely fast, with minimal ostentation. This set the stage for future punk acts, who took cues from the Ramones' utilitarian approach. Early on, the band's sets were rarely longer than 30 minutes, but they extended as songwriting improved.
The band's members varied widely in their personal philosophies: Joey was a hippie, whereas Johnny was a Republican former construction worker. In one instance, Johnny Ramone forced the retitling of "Bonzo Goes To Bitburg" having taken exception to its lambasting of popular American president Ronald Reagan. The song was eventually released as "My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down". The band used these differences constructively to generate a drive and energy that managed to transcend their sound's apparent simplicity.
Later in their career, the Ramones made surf-themed and psychedelic records, as well as developing a heavier, more metallic sound. They also featured in the film Rock'n'Roll High School (1979). Despite these new directions, they never abandoned their endearing no-nonsense approach and today are among the best-loved of all American bands, regularly placing highly in listener polls.