C.J. Ramone

In 1989, C.J. Ramone walked into one of the tougher jobs in the history of rock & roll -- he took over as bassist with punk rock icons the Ramones after Dee Dee Ramone, the band's most charismatic member, left the group. C.J. proved he was more than up to the task, and he helped the group survive and thrive in its final years. C.J. Ramone was born Christopher Joseph Ward on October 8, 1965 in Queens, New York (the Ramones' original stomping grounds), though he spent most of his childhood in Deer Park, New York. Ward had a passion for both old-school punk rock and heavy metal, and first recorded as a member of the group Axe Attack, a metal act who released two albums, Dead Soldier's Revenge (1985) and Nitemare (1986). However, neither album made a commercial impression, and Ward joined the United States Marine Corps. While he was in the service, Ward learned that the Ramones were looking for a new bassist and he had a chance to audition. Johnny Ramone told Ward he had the right look and sound for the Ramones, and in the fall of 1989 Ward ended his military career, playing his first show with the Ramones in Leicester, England, on September 30, 1989.

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