Some sad news to wake up to on a Saturday morning, but it appears that the great Tommy Ramone, the last surviving original member of The Ramones has passed away. He was 65 years of age and was suffering from bile duct cancer.
Born Erdelyi Tamas which was changed to Thomas Erdelyi, he came to Forest Hills Queens by way of Hungary and would meet John Cummings (who you all know as Johnny Ramone) in High School and they played together in your typical garage band before forming The Ramones with Joey and Dee Dee. Fans might find it interesting to learn that Tommy was not initially supposed to be the drummer but he kept better time than Joey and clearly Joey would be the better front man for the seminal Punk Rock group.
Tommy Ramone would perform on the bands first three studio albums which were the self-titled “Ramones”, “Leave Home” and “Rocket To Russia” along with two live releases in “It’s Alive” and “NYC 1978”. Erdelyi was the producer on the first releases and also on “Too Tough To Die”. Having grown up on the music of The Ramones this one really saddens me and since I was also a drummer for many years, I am proud to say that Mr. Erdelyi was an early influence to my own playing. This came in handy when I had a short-lived musical project that delivered about 32 Ramones songs in a 75 minute set. To the younger fans that still might be exploring their sound, I can only say that you need these original albums and for sure the incendiary “It’s Alive” concert album. The live CD truly captures the band in their prime and delivers a leather jacketed punch to your musical psyche. There was truly no other band in NYC like The Ramones and now all four of their original command are reunited and booking gig after gig at crappy venues in the afterlife. Considering that CBGB’s is long gone, I can envision a residency being delivered there as well.
Thank you Tommy for the music and the influence that you gave to us over the years. May you Rest In Peace 🙁