The Last Original Living Member of The Ramones, Tommy Ramone, Has Passed

Entertainment, Featured — July 12, 2014 at 10:05 pm by

A lot of people say that the Ramones invented punk rock.  Maybe they did. It’s more likely that the “invention” of punk rock is way more complex than just saying that the Ramones invented it.  But even if they didn’t invent punk rock music per se, they sure as shit were some original rock and roll dudes doing some original punk rock sounding stuff when their first album. Ramones, was released in 1976.  Their simple, hard-driving, and raw sound made them the center of what would become the punk rock movement from their headquarters at the legendary bar CBGB in the East Village, New York City.  The punk music sound and influence would travel from that New York epicenter across the United States and to England. By 1976 and 1977 the Ramones and the Sex Pistols were laying the punk foundation that would influence bands like The Clash, Bad Religion, Black Flag, D.R.I., The Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, Minor Threat, and even bands like 311 and Sublime.

Tommy Ramone, (Tom Erdelyi was his real name, but if you were a member of the Ramones, you changed your last name to Ramone. None of the band members were actually related.) played drums on the first three Ramones albums and was the last surviving member of the original punk quartet.  He passed away quietly at his home Friday in Queens.  The other three original members, Johnny, Joey, and Dee Dee, had all passed between 2001 and 2004.

Tommy Ramone left the band after The Ramones’ third album to concentrate on his successful music producing career. (Tommy Ramone would produce many bands and albums including reuniting with the Ramones to produce Too Tough To Die in 1984.)

   Tommy Ramone

I saw the Ramones in the early 90’s at a free show that they played on McKeldin Mall at my alma mater, The University of Maryland.  They started playing and after the first song, Joey Ramone said, “Hello, Uni-ver-si-ty of Mary–Land.” Then Dee Dee said, “1-2-3-4…..” and then the second song began.  They played for about an hour and then rolled out to a show that they were playing in D.C that night.  No frills, no bullshit, just leather jackets and punk rock.   It was fucking awesome.

Tommy’s drums became the drums for a whole new genre of music and for that alone his life should be celebrated by anyone who loves rock-n-roll.  We’ll celebrate Tommy Ramone’s life and the lives of his original band mates, Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee, with some of their patented punk rock tunes.
(For more on Tommy Ramone’s passing and the Ramones click here.)



One Comment

  1. I was just thinking of that show on campus when I heard he passed the
    other day. It was memorable because it was a freebie and the lead up was
    kinda low key. They sure had the mall rocking though in the Fall of

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