June 10, 2013 12:22

Ramones artistic director Arturo Vega dies, aged 65

Vega designed the band's famous crest and apparently attended all but two of their 2,263 gigs

Ramones artistic director Arturo Vega dies, aged 65

Photo: Arturo Vega

Arturo Vega, longtime artistic director for the Ramones, has died at the age of 65.

Vega passed away early on Saturday (June 6), reports the San Francisco Bay Guardian. At present, no further details about his death are known.

Vega was born in Mexico but emigrated to New York in the '70s, where he became friends with the Ramones and at one point provided a home for singer Joey and bassist Dee Dee. He would go on to serve as the band's artistic director and lighting director for 22 years.

During that time, he claims to have attended all but two of the band's 2,263 gigs. He also designed the Ramones' famous crest, which appears at the top of this article.

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."

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