Tommy Ramone, Ramones Drummer, Dies at 65
Born Erdelyi Tamas, he would go on to work as a producer after leaving the influential band.
Tommy Ramone, the last surviving founding member of the groundbreaking punk band The Ramones, has died. He was 65.
The Ramones official Twitter account announced the news, and New York Rocker Magazine publisher Andy Schwartz wrote on Facebook that Ramone died at 12:15 p.m. in Ridgewood, Queens. He had been in hospice care and was suffering from cancer of the bile duct.
Ramone was born Born Erdelyi Tamas in Budapest, Hungary in 1949. He immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1957 to Forrest Hills, Queens.
He formed The Ramones with singer Jeffrey Hyman (Joey Ramone) and bassist Douglas Colvin (Dee Dee Ramone). He recorded 1976's "The Ramones," 1977's "Leave Home" and "Rocket to Russia" with the band, and also co-produced 1978's "Road to Ruin," as well as the band's live double album "It's Alive" in 1979.
The Ramones turned out what are now classic anthems of the early punk years, including "Beat on the Brat," "I Wanna Be Sedated," "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue," "Teenage Lobotomy," and "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker." Despite their influence and critical acclaim, the Ramones never cracked the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. In fact, “Blitzkrieg Bop”- arguably their most famous song- never hit the Hot 100 yet stands as their best-selling download..Since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking digital sales in 2003, “Bop” has sold 565,000 of the group’s 1.85 million overall track sales.
"End Of The Century," a 1980 album recorded with legendary producer Phil Spector, was their best selling set, topping out at No. 44 on The Billboard 200. The band’s 1988 hits compilation album “Ramones Mania” stands as its best-selling set in the Nielsen SoundScan era (since 1991) with 654,000 units. During that time frame, the Ramones have sold 3.4 million overall albums.
With a career that spanned more than 20 years, the band's sound evolved little, although as teenage angst waned, the band occasionally addressed political topics, such as with 1985's "Bonzo Goes to Bitburg" -- an angry rant about U.S. President Ronald Reagan's visit to a German military cemetery.
Tommy Ramone left the band in 1979 and worked as a producer, where he notched up credits on The Ramones' 1984 album "Too Tough To Die" and The Replacements' 1985 album "Tim." Although strife within its ranks led the Ramones to officially disband in 1996, following a tour in support of "Adios Amigos," the band's final studio album, its members had joined together to promote the posthumous release of 1999's Rhino anthology "Hey Ho Let's Go."
Although strife within its ranks led the Ramones to officially disband in 1996, following a tour in support of "Adios Amigos," the band's final studio album, its members had joined together to promote the posthumous release of 1999's Rhino anthology "Hey Ho Let's Go."
Tommy Ramone landed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Ramones in 2002. He is survived by longtime partner Claudia Tienan, brother Peter; sister-in-law Andrea Tienan; and nephews Eric and David.