Saturday, July 12, 2014

Tommy Ramone dead at 65

Tommy Ramone – the last of the original Ramones – died Friday at his home in Ridgewood, Queens, New York following treatment for bile duct cancer.

He was 65.

“We are saddened to announce the passing of Tommy Ramone (nee Erdelyi), the original drummer for the Ramones, earlier today, 11 July 2014,” posted the band.

Formed in 1974, The Ramones helped define punk rock with rapid-fire guitar-driven anthems about youth and alienation.

Prior to the formation of the band, Tommy was in a high school garage band with Johnny from 1996-67 known as the Tangerine Puppets.

Tommy became manager of the initial Ramones lineup, which featured Dee Dee on rhythm guitar and vocals, Johnny on lead guitar and Joey on drums. Dee Dee soon switched to bass and, when Joey struggled to play drums and sing at the same time, Tommy moved Joey to lead vocals.

While auditioning drummers for the band, it became apparent that Tommy was the only one who could keep up with the band’s speed and he filled the drum spot while also handling managerial and producer roles.

Tommy was in the band from 1974 to 1978, playing on and co-producing their first three albums, 1976’s “Ramones”, and 1977’s “Leave Home” and “Rocket To Russia”, as well as the live album “It's Alive.”

He was replaced on drums in 1978 by Marky Ramone, but handled band management and co-production for their fourth album, "Road To Ruin"; he later returned as producer for their eighth album, 1984's "Too Tough To Die."

In the 1980s, Tommy produced the Replacements album “Tim”, as well as Redd Kross's “Neurotica.”

The Ramones took the inspiration for their both their individual and band names from Paul McCartney, who used the pseudonym Paul Ramon during his Silver Beatles days. Dee Dee adopted the name before convincing the other band members to do the same.

The Ramones disbanded in 1996.

Joey died from lymphoma in 2001, Dee Dee died from a heroin overdose in 2002, and Johnny died in 2004 of prostate cancer.

See also:

Rob Zombie to host 10th annual Johnny Ramone Tribute
The Ramones: 6-disc box set due this month
Joey Ramone’s record collection, memorabilia up for auction
Johnny Ramone autobiography due in April
Search The Ramones at hennemusic