THE Ramones guitarist Johnny Ramone has lost his battle with prostate cancer at the age of 55.

The New York legend, real name JOHN CUMMINGS, has been fighting the disease for five years and died in his sleep at his Los Angeles home yesterday afternoon (15SEP04) in the company of his friends and family.

He will be cremated at a private ceremony today (16SEP04).

Drummer TOMMY RAMONE is now the only surviving member of the original line-up, after singer Joey Ramone lost his battle with lymphatic cancer in 2001and bassist DEE DEE RAMONE died of a drug overdose the following year (02).

Johnny was first admitted to Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles for an infection connected to the disease in June (04) and was optimistic about his recovery.

He was writing his memoirs with WASHINGTON POST newspaper reporter STEVE MILLER before he died, recounting his life in the influential rock band, which formed in 1974 and had hits with I WANNA BE SEDATED and BLITZKRIEG BOP, before being commemorated in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2002.

16/09/2004 14:06