The Ramones Artistic Director Passes Away at 65

No details about Arturo Vega's death are known.

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Arturo Vega, the artistic director of legendary Ramones, has died at the age of 65, NME reports.

Arturo worked with the band for 22 years, creating the band's albums art and stage designs. He is best known as the designer of the iconic Ramones logo. In addition, he also let Dee Dee and Joey Ramone live with him prior to the release of their first record.

Punk magazine co-founder Legs McNeil has issued the following statement on Arturo: "One of the best friends anyone could ever hope for. I knew and hung out with Arturo since 1976 - 37 f--king years, if my math is correct - and if it weren't for Arturo - Joey and I would've starved to death in those early years. Artie was so f--king fun - he made every thing into an adventure. The world just became a much colder and lonelier place - as if it wasn't getting that way already. F--k, I miss him so much already."

The iconic logo was inspired by the US presidential seal after Vega took a trip to Washington DC. "I thought, 'The Great Seal of the President of the United States' would be perfect for the Ramones, with the eagle holding arrows - to symbolise strength and the aggression that would be used against whomever dares to attack us - and an olive branch, offered to those who want to be friendly," Vega recalled in an interview with Jim Bessman for his 1993 Ramones book.

"But we decided to change it a little bit. Instead of the olive branch, we had an apple tree branch, since the Ramones were American as apple pie. And since Johnny was such a baseball fanatic, we had the eagle hold a baseball bat instead of the arrows."

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Road Cat
    I meet Arturo at Performance Studios here in NYC back in the early 70's when the Ramones were first starting out and developing their one of a kind music and look. In those days Arturo dressed pretty wildly in colorful mesh and stripped shirts, wide belts and large sunglasses. We both were there from the first days of the Ramones to over 22 years of touring with the band. The Ramones couldn't pay Arturo at first so he would make the tee shirts by hand and then sell them at the venues just to be able to tour with the band. Being a great artist helped him develop a unique look for the Ramones stage lighting when he became the bands lighting & artistic director. Of course he's most famous for creating the Ramones eagle logo now an iconic image. Arturo would create and hand paint most of the bands large backdrops and also that wonderfully quirky Pinhead sign (Gabba Gabba Hey!). He was a multi-talented guy and my very good friend ... Adios Amigo. Monte A. Melnick, Ramones Tour Manager & author of "On The Road with the Ramones"
    Well, my day just got a little darker. R.I.P Artie, you helped out the greatest band there ever was.
    Definition of a true friend and fan of a band. Not to mention one of the greatest bands known to man. Pretty ****in' cool that his visual contributions will be recognized and imitated for as long as music is around. RIP