End of an era: Last surviving member of the Ramones is dead

BY Elisabeth Ponsot  July 12, 2014 at 1:02 PM EDT
Tommy Ramone (Thomas Erdelyi) performs on stage with The Ramones at The Roundhouse in London on 4th July 1976. (Photo by Gus Stewart/Redferns)

Tommy Ramone performs on stage at the Roundhouse in London on July 4, 1976. Ramone, who was the last surviving member of the original group, died on Friday. He was 65. Credit: Gus Stewart/Redferns

The last surviving original member of the punk band the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, has died. He was 65.

Ramone, a drummer, was a co-founder of the band in 1974.

Andy Schwartz, publisher of New York Rocker magazine told Rolling Stone that Ramone died at his home in Ridgewood, Queens. The drummer had been in hospice care following treatment for cancer of the bile duct, Schwartz said.

Rolling Stone had this to say about band’s legacy:

The Ramones were pure, unadulterated — and hardly adult in their adolescent concerns of sniffing glue and beating on brats with a baseball bat, even if the brats were themselves. Their sibling rivalry meshed like any television reality show.

Johnny was the stern older brother, disciplined, military; Dee Dee was the blunt instrument; Tommy was the producer who knew the record business, and like any good producer, knew that you build a great track from the drums out. Joey was the beating heart.

The popular punk band’s hit songs included “I Wanna Be Sedated,” and “Blitzkrieg Bop.”

Ramone was born in Budapest, Hungary. Before he adopted the pseudonym Tommy Ramone, his name was Erdélyi Tamás.