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Last Surviving Member of the Original Ramones Dies

By Genevieve Burgess | Music | July 12, 2014 | Comments ()


TommyRamone.jpg

Tommy Erdelyi, also known as Tommy Ramone, died at home on Friday after suffering from bile duct cancer. He was 62.

Tommy Erdelyi was the drummer for the band from 1974 through 1978 and helped handle their management and record production. He wrote “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” and co-wrote “Blitzkrieg Bop” with bassist Dee Dee Ramone. He had also been an assistant engineer on the Jimi Hendrix album Band of Gypsies and later went on to produce the Replacement’s Tim as well as Neurotica by Redd Kross. In more recent years he had been performing with Claudia Tienan as a bluegrass duo known as Uncle Monk.

Despite being part of the Ramones in the early years, Tommy was untouched by the kind of demons that plagued bandmates Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee. A lot of sources are mentioning that Tommy is the last of the “Original Ramones” to die, and this is true. However, the group went through a number of line-up changes over the years, so there are still surviving members of the Ramones from later years including drummer Marky Ramone (Marc Steven Bell) who joined the band in 1978.

When promoting the double DVD set It’s Alive: 1974-1996, Tommy said of his bandmates “They gave everything they could in every show. They weren’t the type to phone it in, if you see what I mean.”

Tommy Erdelyi was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1952 to Jewish parents who had recently survived the Holocaust. He grew up in Queens, NY where he met John Cummings (later Johnny Ramone) in high school.


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • JenVegas

    When we were expecting our kid my husband lobbied really hard to name him for one of The Ramones. In Uterus we referred to him as Baby Dee-Dee. Eventually we settled on Thomas (which was my grandfather's name.) But it also means that he's totally Tommy Ramone's namesake too. Born and raised in Queens. I've been a Ramones fan from the bad old days. The Ramones Are Dead. Long Live The Ramones!

  • ZombieMrsSmith

    Thanks, I feel old. I met The Ramones when they played at my Uni back in the 80s. Nicest guys ever. Watched Rock and Roll High School with my 13 y.o. daughter a few weeks ago. We bonded and she knows me a little bit better now. She was entranced by Joey and seemed genuinely sad when I told her not many of the Ramones were around any more.

  • Benny Gesserit

    Rock n Roll High School is on Netflix (US) if anyone wants to watch and pour out something.

  • emmalita

    I did watch Rock n Roll High School, even though Tommy wasn't in it.

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