News has emerged that Colin, the little known 5th Ramone has died at his home in Chiswick, aged 63.
Colin, who was at the time a moderately successful draughtsman for a small architects' firm in Brentwood, joined the band in 1975 after meeting them at the infamous punk venue The Flob and Strangle in February of that year.
Colin used the opportunity to impress the band with his playing, luckily having his piano accordion with him at the time. Initially, Joey and Tommy were reluctant to include the reedy timbre of the accordion to their fast paced shredded guitar sound, but after Colin bought several bottles of Jack Daniels, two ounces of prime Afghani resin plus a couple of dozen pints of Worthington E for the band, their manager, road crew and the last of the skanky groupies that hadn't blown Johnny by that time, they finally agreed to allow him a stint in the studio to see how things panned out.
Delighted and excited, Colin spent the last of the money he'd been left when his mother had passed away to buy a one way ticket to New York aboard Laker Airways. The return ticket, he knew, could be purchased from the proceeds of the record sales and concert tickets that would no doubt follow.
He met the band at their Manhattan recording studio clutching his portfolio chock full of all the cutting edge punk rock songs he'd been writing specifically for accordion and crumhorn.
Dee Dee took the pile of papers and agreed that he and the rest of the band would start to work on arrangements while Colin went to the liquor store to buy beer and whisky to keep the band going for the 3 day recording session.
By the time he'd returned, the band had chosen a dozen of Colin's best songs to record, including "The RAC took my baby away", about the time Colin's car broke down on the North Circular near Cricklewood, "Sheena is a Financial Administrator", a song about a girl Colin had tried to ask out at a Christmas party some years earlier, "Do You Remember Big Band Radio", about Colin's love for old timey music and "I Wanna Be Reinstated"; a song he'd written after being sacked from his previous job for being falsely accused of the misappropriation of 4 HB pencils.
After a long hard weekend of recording, rewriting, rearrangement and for Colin, several more trips to the liquor store and the fried chicken restaurant two blocks down, the band announced that the recordings were complete and that Colin should return home while they went through the final mixing and added the occasional overdub.
Without the expected funds, Colin pawned his accordion and bought the ticket back to Heathrow, glowing with pride at the great music they'd made and confident of all the attention he'd be getting from Sheena in accounts now that thousands of pounds in royalties would be pouring into his Midland bank account.
The rest is of course history. The album was delayed for several years by a contractual argument between the band and their record company and eventually dropped in favour of later recordings as the punk era took firm hold of the music industry.
Many of Colin's songs did eventually emerge in the Ramones catalogue, albeit modified here and tweaked there to better fit into the sound of the New York punk scene. Of course, the rewrites did mean that Colin's royalties would have to be reduced somewhat and the ongoing legal delays prevented the royalty cheques from being issued as the band had wanted.
Colin Ramone died last Tuesday while listening to a worn out vinyl version of Rocket to Russia, following complications from a chest condition brought about by too much air accordion playing.
He leaves behind nothing.