Tommy Ramone, the last surviving original member of legendary punk act Ramones, who played drums on and co-produced the band’s classic first three albums (1976’s Ramones, 1977’s Leave Home and 1978’s Road to Ruin) and went on to produce The Replacements’ Tim, passed away earlier today, according to the Ramones’ Facebook page. He was 65.
He died at home in Queens, New York, where he was in hospice care after being treated for bile-duct cancer, according to a report from Variety.
Born Erdélyi Tamás in Budapest, Hungary, and later going by Thomas Erdelyi, Tommy was going to be the Ramones’ manager, but instead took over on drums when Joey Ramone became lead singer. Tommy played in the band from 1974 until 1978, when he left and was replaced by Marky Ramone. Nevertheless, Tommy stayed on co-produce the Ramones’ fourth album, Road to Ruin (1978).
His songwriting credits included “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend,” released as a single in 1976.
Later, during the ’80s, Tommy produced the ‘Mats classic Tim and Red Kross’ Neurotica. In more recent years, he had been playing with Claudia Tienan in the bluegrass-tinged duo Uncle Monk.
Tommy was preceded in death by Joey (2001), Dee Dee (2002) and Johnny (2004).
The tributes began pouring in immediately tonight:
RIP Tommy Ramone!
— Peter Hook (@peter_hook1) July 12, 2014
Sad to hear about Tommy Ramone/Erdelyi, the last of the original Ramones and producer of some great records. We are all huge fans of course.
— The Darling Buds (@theedarlingbuds) July 12, 2014
RIP The Ramones #1234
— modern english (@M0DERNENGLISH) July 12, 2014
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- Ramones’ first 6 albums collected in new ‘The Sire Years 1976-1981’ box set
- Vintage Video: Watch the Ramones rip through 25 songs in 50 minutes in Germany, 1978
- Arturo Vega, designer of the Ramones’ iconic logo, 1948-2013
- Ramones’ 1976 debut added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry
- Ramones reissuing first 4 albums on 180-gram vinyl with bonus blue-vinyl 7-inches