Ramones manager found murdered in Manhattan

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The Independent US

The former co-manager of the seminal punk band the Ramones has been found beaten to death in her New York apartment. Linda Stein was among the movement's pioneers and is credited with arranging the band's July 1976 performance at the Roundhouse in London, the gig that is believed to have lit the touchpaper of the British punk scene.

Ms Stein, 62, was found by her daughter lying face down in a pool of blood in the living room of her home in Manhattan on Tuesday night. Pathologists said she was killed by blows to the head and neck.

Police are treating her death as murder, and say they are mystified as to the motive. There were no signs of a break-in; they have not found the murder weapon, and have no suspects, officers said.

Ms Stein co-managed the Ramones with Danny Field in the 1970s, often touring with the band. Mr Field told The New York Times yesterday that his former colleague was "very tough, but very loving and generous", a temperament which made her perfect for the punk scene.

The Ramones used sheer noise and energy to blow the cobwebs from the stagnating New York pop scene of the mid-1970s with their brand of hard, fast, straightforward rock. Most of their songs were less than two minutes long. Formed in 1974, they released their first album in 1976. When they toured the UK, The Clash were among the bands that pricked up their ears.

By the time of their last performance, in Los Angeles in 1996, they had played 2,263 concerts. Tragically, three of the band's original members died in the following eight years.

Ms Stein had left them in 1980, and became New York's estate agent to the stars, including Sting, Billy Joel, Calvin Klein, Harrison Ford, Bruce Willis and Andrew Lloyd Webber. She was believed to have been the template for the pushy agent in the film Wall Street who tries to sell Charlie Sheen a flat.

Sir Elton John, with whom she sometimes went shopping for furs and jewellery, said: "I'm absolutely shocked and upset. She's been a friend for over 37 years and will be greatly missed. She did so much for breast cancer and was a huge supporter of my Aids foundation." Ms Stein had had breast cancer.

Ms Stein, who was born in Manhattan, was a teacher until a blind date with Seymour Stein, the boss of Sire Records, got her into the music business. Their marriage broke up after eight years. Mr Stein told Vanity Fair: "Our marriage for me was like eight years on a rollercoaster, and not always strapped in."

At the time of her death, Ms Stein was living alone. She had two daughters and a three-year-old granddaughter.

Rock'n'roll's cursed band

Linda Stein is the fourth person associated with the original band to die since the Ramones' last concert in 1996.

Joey Ramone, vocals, real name Jeff Hyman, died of lymphatic cancer on Easter Sunday 2001, shortly before the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was 49.

DeeDee Ramone, bassist, real name Douglas Colvin, fatally overdosed on heroin at his Los Angeles home in June 2002. He was also 49.

Johnny Ramone, guitarist, real name John Cummings, died of prostate cancer in September 2004, at the age of 55. A year to the day later, die-hard fan Florian Hayer opened the world's only Ramones museum in Berlin.