TOM ERDELYI A/K/A TOMMY RAMONE HAS DIED
Ramones’ Last Surviving Original Member
Succumbs to Cancer At Age 65
Thanks to Andy Schwartz for the report:
NEW YORK – Tom Erdelyi a/k/a Tommy Ramone -- the last of the four founding members of groundbreaking Seventies rock and roll band The Ramones -- died at 12:15 p.m. today (7.11.2014) at his home in Ridgewood, Queens. He was 65 and had been in hospice care following treatment for cancer of the bile duct.
As Alexis Petridis wrote in The Guardian in January 2005, Tommy Ramone was the first drummer of “what may well be the most important rock band of the past 30 years: the inventors of punk; the quartet who changed music forever by opposing everything mainstream mid–1970s rock stood for; whose influence over subsequent generations has been so strong that their eponymous debut album, which inspired the Sex Pistols and the Clash, still sounds weirdly current [decades] after its release.”
In the years prior to his death, Tom and his longtime partner Claudia Tienan performed and recorded as the acoustic duo Uncle Monk, playing old–time country and bluegrass music. The pair released a self–titled album on their own Airday label.
Born Erdélyi Tamás in Budapest, Hungary on January 29, 1949, Tom Erdelyi emigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1957 and grew up in Forest Hills, Queens. In high school, he played guitar in a group called Tangerine Puppets that also included John Cummings (later Johnny Ramone) on bass. Tom trained to be a recording engineer and assisted on various New York sessions, including Jimi Hendrix at the Record Plant in November 1969.
With the arrival of lead singer Jeffrey Hyman (Joey Ramone) and bassist Douglas Colvin (Dee Dee Ramone), Tom Erdelyi became Tommy Ramone – the group’s drummer as well as a contributing songwriter, producer, and engineer. He played on Ramones (1976), Leave Home (1977) and Rocket To Russia (1977), and toured internationally with the group.
As Tommy Ramone, he is credited as co–producer of Leave Home and Rocket To Russia, with Tony Bongiovi; and as co–producer of Road To Ruin (1978) and Too Tough To Die (1984), with Ed Stasium. He produced the Ramones’ double live album It’s Alive, released in 1979.
At the end of 1977, Tom left the Ramones to work as an independent producer. His credits include the Replacements’ major label debut Tim (1985) and Neurotica by Red Kross (1987). In 2002, Tom was inducted with the Ramones into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Survivors include Claudia Tienan, his partner of 40 years; older brother Peter; sister–in–law Andrea Tienan; and nephews Eric and David. A private funeral service is planned.