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Street Corner In Front Of Forest Hills High School Renamed To Honor The Ramones

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The Ramones were honored Sunday with an honorary street name in Forest Hills, Queens.

As WCBS 880's Mike Smeltz reported, the intersection in front of Forest Hills High School, at 67th Avenue and 110th Street in Queens, will now be known as Ramones Way.

The new street sign was unveiled on Sunday. The original members of the Ramones all met at Forest Hills High School.

Hundreds came out dressed in black leather jackets and tight jeans to pay tribute to the Ramones – those four boys from Queens who changed music history.

"You know what? They became so big, but you know, they never forgot who they were," said Ritchie Kofler.

Kofler went to Forest Hills with the Ramones – back when they were known as John William Cummings Jeffrey Ross Hyman, Douglas Glenn Colvin and Thomas Erdelyi rather than Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy Ramone, respectively.

"I remember even with Jeff Hyman – Joey Ramone – once again in the dean's office looking at each other. So here we are again," Kofler said.

Drummer Tommy Ramone co-founded the Ramones in 1974 in New York along with singer Joey Ramone, bassist DeeDee Ramone and guitarist Johnny Ramone. All four band members had different last names, but took the common name Ramone.

The band influenced a generation of rockers, and their hit songs "I Wanna Be Sedated," and "Blitzkrieg Bop," among others, earned them an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Clad in leather jackets and long black mops of hair, the group of motley misfits started out in legendary New York clubs like CBGB and Max's Kansas City, where they blasted their rapid-fire songs.

Since its debut album in 1976, the band struggled for commercial success, but they left a formidable imprint on the rock genre. Though they never had a Top 40 song, the Ramones influenced scores of followers, including bands such as Green Day and Nirvana.

Even Bruce Springsteen was moved. After seeing the Ramones in Asbury Park, N.J., Springsteen wrote "Hungry Heart" for the band. His manager, however, swayed him to keep the song for himself and it became a hit single.

The Ramones' best-known songs reflected their twisted teen years in Queens: "Beat on the Brat," "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue," "Teenage Lobotomy," "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker."

The Ramones disbanded in 1996 after a tour that followed their final studio album, "Adios Amigos." A live farewell tour album, "We're Outta Here!", was released in 1997.

All four original members of the Ramones have since died.

Johnny Ramone died in 2004 of prostate cancer. Joey Ramone died in 2001 of lymphatic cancer. Dee Dee Ramone died from a drug overdose in 2002. Tommy Ramone died in 2014 at the age of 65.

As one school put it, despite several other famous alumni, Forest Hill High School will forever be known as "Rock 'n' Roll High School."

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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