Monday, July 14, 2014

The End of the Century: RIP Tommy Ramone

Posted by on Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Drummer and producer Erdélyi Tamás, better known to the world as Tommy Ramone, died on Friday from lung cancer. He was only 65.

Tommy's story began in the mid-'60s when he and school mate, John Cummings (later known as Johnny Ramone), played together in a high school band, the Tangerine Puppets; I bet they took the name from the Donovan song "Tangerine Puppet." Anyway, the band went nowhere and Tommy moved on to an apprenticeship at the famed recording studio, the Record Plant. A few years later, as the Ramones were coalescing, Tommy became their manager, but when Joey Ramone, who was drumming, couldn't keep pace, Tommy got the tap shove - and that was that, they were the Ramones.

Turns out his involvement in the band ran deep, like, he wasn't JUST the drummer. He wrote a couple of their best-known songs, both singles off the first album, "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" AND "Blitzkrieg Bop." Also, owing to his audio-engineering experience, he helped producer Craig Leon dial in the Ramones' sound. He didn't like touring, so he left his position as drummer after their third LP, Rocket to Russia, and returned to work on the back end as a producer and manager. In the '80s, he produced a couple of indie rock's highly regarded albums, the Replacements' Tim and Redd Kross's Neurotica. (sigh) I hope he's laid to rest dressed in those shades, his leather jacket, and that half shirt.

 

Comments (4) RSS

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Matt from Denver 1
I read that the reason he was brought in to drum was because Joey had to take over for Dee Dee, who was trying to sign and play bass at the same time but wasn't able. That makes more sense to me - they weren't the Bad Brains, after all.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 14, 2014 at 4:26 PM · Report this
dnt trust me 2
"I Want To Sniff Some Glue" - Such a great song. I sniffed so much glue back then because of that song. Good Times. Thanks Guys!
Posted by dnt trust me on July 14, 2014 at 4:49 PM · Report this
3
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 was 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.

Monte A. Melnick
"On The Road with the Ramones"
Posted by Road Cat on July 15, 2014 at 6:14 AM · Report this
4
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 was 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.

Monte A. Melnick
"On The Road with the Ramones"
Posted by Road Cat on July 15, 2014 at 6:17 AM · Report this

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