Tommy Ramone, the last surviving original member of the influential New York punk quartet the Ramones, has died.
“We are saddened to announce the passing of Ramones founding drummer, Tommy,” according to a post on the official Twitter page of the band, whose four original members all adopted pseudonyms ending with same surname. He was 62, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Tommy, who once said “we play short songs and short sets for people who don’t have a lot of spare time,” died yesterday in a hospice following treatment for bile-duct cancer, according to a report in Variety.
Formed in 1974, the Ramones emerged from New York’s underground rock scene to have a major impact on the punk movement worldwide, especially in the U.K., where the band’s tour in 1976 was attended by members of the Sex Pistols and the Clash.
“We were the first,” Tommy told the Guardian in an interview in 2005. “People forgot that for a long time. In the 70s and 80s, they didn’t know. A lot of other acts got much more publicity, more record-company support, more radio play.”
Tommy Ramone, born Erdelyi Tamas in Budapest, was originally the band’s manager before becoming the drummer and then producer. He wrote the singles “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” and “Blitzkrieg Bop.”
Guitarist Johnny Ramone died of prostate cancer in 2004 at the age of 55. Bassist Dee Dee Ramone was found dead at his Hollywood home in 2002, age 50. Lead singer Joey Ramone died in 2001 of lymphoma, at 49.
The Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
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