Tommy Ramone (aka Thomas Erdelyi; Born Erdélyi Tamás)
January 29, 1952 – July 11, 2014
Thomas Erdelyi, later to be more widely known by his stage name, Tommy Ramone, was the founding drummer for the highly influential rock band, the Ramones. Until he passed away, Erdelyi had been the last surviving member of the original foursome. Formed with former high school classmates, Douglas Colvin (Dee Dee Ramone), John Cummings (Johnny Ramone), and Jeffrey Hyman (Joey Ramone) in 1974, the Ramones were considered by many to be the first real punk band. When discussing his Underground Garage channel on Sirius Satellite, Little Steven Van Zandt described its programming as “groups that inspired the Ramones, groups inspired by the Ramones, and the Ramones.” Originally slated to be the band’s manager with Hyman on drums, Erdelyi was quickly moved behind the kit when Hyman realized he couldn’t keep up with the tempo of the songs they were writing. He pretty much became drummer by default since no one else wanted to. Erdelyi remained in the band until 1978. He played on and co-produced the band’s first three studio albums as well as their 1979 live album, It’s Alive. Erdelyi was also an accomplished producer as well, most notably of the Replacements‘ Tim album. He returned to the Ramones camp to produce their 1984 album, Too Tough To Die. Tommy Ramone was 62 when he died in hospice care following treatment for bile duct cancer.
Thanks to Harold Lepidus at Bob Dylan Examiner for the assist.