I was shocked and saddened to learn via Facebook this afternoon of the death of Arturo Vega. For those who might not recognize the name, Vega was essentially the fifth Ramone and primary design strategist for the band.`Twas Arturo who came up with the iconic seal below, that you see on countless t-shirts (and lamentably on several One Direction fans).
I actually met the man at the gym once (yes, I used to go to gymns). Thing was, I didn't even recognize him at first, but I was wearing a Ramones shirt at the time. "Where'd you get that?" he asked. It was black shirt with the cover art of PUNK Magazine's Ramones issue (with Joey on the street corner -- see below), and we started chatting. When he disclosed his identity, I practically had to pick my jaw up off the floor and assumed the "I'm not worthy" crouch. In any case, he was incredibly cool, humble and chatty. Just a great, stand-up guy who had plenty of time to discuss his time with the Ramones.
Circumstances surrounding his death are still uncertain, but he wasn't that old a gent. It's sad news, regardless. Pour one out for the man.