Arturo Vega, creative designer and lights operator for the de facto inventors of punk rock the Ramones, died this morning. He was 65.
Vega, a Mexican national who emigrated to New York in the ’70s, was the designer of the “Hey Ho Let’s Go” eagle/baseball bat/band member’s name logo that adorned their shirts for 20 plus years. He was also the band’s virtual lifeline in their formative years, providing a home for bassist Dee Dee and singer Joey in his Bowery loft.
He was a gentleman and a warm hearted, soft spoken genial man with a dry wit. He was also a champion of punk rock and its bands–when my first group (Thrills) first started playing CBGB and Hurrah, Arturo would store our gear for us at the Ramones loft and when off the road, always cheer us on–his approval meant a lot, because if Arturo thought you were OK, you were OK.
Later in his life, he became a fitness fanatic and chronicler of all things Ramone. Was always a joy to hear from him.
Like it was 1979 forever. We’ll miss you, Artie.