Tommy Ramone, Last Of The Ramones, Dies At 65

Tommy Ramone, the last surviving member of seminal punk band The Ramones, died July 11 in Queens, New York, after struggling with bile duct cancer. He was 65.

While clad in black leather jackets, The Ramones would become the first New York punk band to release a major-label debut with 1976′s Ramones on Sire. The band wouldn’t experience commercial success, though thanks in part to songs like “Blitzkrieg Bop” and “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend,” they would help shape the rock to come, from the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana and Green Day.

As co-founder and drummer, Tommy Ramone played a large part in why such songs, often clocking in at two minutes (if that) still hit hard today. “Tommy is the drummer whose pulsating playing launches the throbbing sound of the band,” an early one-sheet said of his style. Check out that must-see artifact and revisit the video for another Ramones classic, “I Wanna Be Sedated,” after the jump.


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  • Monte A. Melnick

    Tommy was my dearest and oldest friend.
    We grew up together in Forest Hills Queens New York.
    I went to Stephen A Halsey Jr High and Forest Hills High school with him.
    He got me to pick up the bass guitar and enter into the crazy world of rock music.
    We played in several bands together (Triad & Butch) here in NYC over the late 60′s and early 70′s.
    We built and managed Performance Studios in NYC, a recording/rehearsal studio the Ramones started in. I worked with him when he in the Ramones and well after he left.
    He had an advanced musical foresight, well ahead of the times in forming and being part of the Ramones. He was a great musician on the guitar, then the drums, later on the mandolin, banjo, fiddle and many more instruments. His musical expanse bridged from Punk to Indie Bluegrass.
    I mourn the passing of the last of the original Ramones, my friend and a true musical visionary.

    • Christina Lee

      @Monte Thanks so much for sharing your story and perspective. Sounds like you had some amazing times with Tommy. He’ll be sorely missed.