July 12, 2014 – American Punk Guitarist, Tommy Ramone, who is the only surviving member of the famous US Punk Band, The Ramones is dead. He was 65.
News of Ramone’s death was announced on the band’s official Facebook page. He was the group’s drummer from 1974 to 1978, and co-produced their first three albums. Tommy Ramone was born in the Hungarian capital, Budapest.
He died in a US hospital on Friday after suffering from bile duct cancer US media reported. By 2004, three of the founding musicians – lead singer Joey Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone and bassist Dee Dee Ramone – had passed away.
Johnny Ramone died in 2004 of prostate cancer. Joey Ramone died in 2001 of lymphatic cancer, while Dee Dee Ramone died in 2002 after an overdose of heroin.
Born in Hungary, Tommy Ramone immigrated to the US in the 1950s, where he started The Ramones with three friends from a New York high-school in 1974. The band has been credited with the invention of punk rock.
“There are hundreds, there are thousands, there are millions of melodies happening in Ramones songs,” the biographer, Everett True, told the BBC.
“You hear their influence stretch across all of rock music from 1975 onwards… you just hear it everywhere,” he said.
Their hit songs I Wanna Be Sedated and Blitzkrieg Bop, among others, earned them an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
Tommy Ramone was not his original name. Born Erdelyi Tamas, he along with the other band members decided to change their last names to Ramone. They kicked off their career at the legendary CBGB music club in Manhattan, a hotspot for punk rock and new wave bands.
The Ramones, known for their long hair, leather jackets, ripped jeans and fast musical style, quickly developed a following across the US. They disbanded in 1996 after two decades.