FORMER Punk rocker Tommy Ramone, the last surviving founding member of The Ramones, has passed away at the age of 62.
Born Erdelyi Tamas in Hungary, his family had immigrated to the United States in the 1950s.
He co-founded The Ramones with three high school friends in New York in 1974. They all decided to change their names to Ramone. Tommy had originally wanted to remain behind the scenes as a manager and producer, but he was drafted in as drummer between 1974 and 1978 when Joey Ramone decided to concentrate on lead vocals. Tommy co-produced the band’s first three albums (see below), as well as several others in later years, and also wrote or co-wrote some of their hits.
Although they never enjoyed massive commercial success, they were credited with being one of the pioneers of Punk Rock and were a major influence on many musicians who followed. The band had a strong following in the U.K. where they recorded their first live album, It’s Alive, at the Rainbow Theatre in London in 1977 (see below).
With their long hair, ripped jeans and loud, fast musical style, the band soon developed a cult following. Their hits included Blitzkreig Bop, Judy Is A Punk, Pinhead, Baby, I Love You (see below) and I Wanna Be Sedated (see below).
The Ramones, with occasional changes in the line-up over the years, went on to tour extensively before finally breaking up in 1996. The other co-founders of the band had all passed away by 2004 — Joey Ramone (Jeffrey Ross Hyman) died in 2001, Dee Dee Ramone (Douglas Glenn Colvin) died in 2002 and Johnny Ramone (John William Cummings) died in 2004.
The band was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 (see below) and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.
Tommy Ramone had been suffering from cancer and passed away at a hospice in New York.
To view an interview in which Tommy Ramone talked about The Ramone’s first two albums, click here.
To see footage from their 1977 performance at the Rainbow Theatre in London (for the recording of their album It’s Alive), click here.
To view archive footage of the band performing Baby I Love You, click here.
To view archive footage of the band performing I Wanna Be Sedated, click here.
To see footage of the band speaking at their induction into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, click here.
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