Farewell, Tommy Ramone
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Farewell, Tommy Ramone

Last man standing.

Tommy Ramone (born Thomas Erdelyi) was the last one to go. Out of the 4 original Ramones, scions of punk rock and arguably the founding fathers, Tommy Ramone passed away Saturday (July 12) at the age of 64 from bile duct cancer.

In the mid 70's these four kids from Queens, NY, who couldn't play any instruments, decided to start a band. Known for their staccato guitar riffs and haphazard melodies, The Ramones pulled their name and eventually adopting each members surname from the last name that The Beatles Paul McCartney used when checking into hotels. The Ramones popularity spread rapidly through the New York City club scene and eventually overseas to the U.K., garnering the band the title of the Godfathers of punk music.

Ramones

Tommy Ramone was the drummer for the band and became so because of Joey Ramone's inability to keep time with the bands blazing tempo. He also produced the band's music as well as being touted the most "normal" Ramone in the band. Dee Dee Ramone wrote with some resentment in his book about how Tommy had it "the most together" out of all of the members in The Ramones without being affected with the baggage and psychosis that comes with addiction. Aside from the production of The Ramones albums, Tommy Ramone was also the producer for The Replacements album, "Tim", released in 1985. This in itself was extremely influential due to the influence that The Replacements had on alternative rock music in the 90's until now.

The unconventional look of The Ramones was also extremely unconventional with the ripped jeans, tattered Converse All-Stars, leather jackets and pageboy haircuts. It wasn't long after their popularity began to rise that the number of copycat bands began to emerge all over the country, spawning a number of influential musicians and sounds that were predominant in the 80's and 90's.

Time passages.

Death is inevitable. I know that there will be a day when there are no more Beatles or no more Stones. With a passing of a musical icon, it always brings me a pang of nostalgia. Listening to the tracks, "Sedated" and "Blitzkrieg Bop", takes me back to the days of preteen years when the wonderment of music and new sounds were fresh and exciting. Little did I know that such music would influence me personally and professionally later in life.

So this is a short goodbye to Tommy Ramone. Thank you for being a part of something bigger than you ever dreamed it would be.


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