Tommy Ramone, the last original member of the punk band The Ramones, died at his Queens, New York home on Friday at the age of 62. He was under hospice care, having suffered from bile duct cancer. Dave Frey works for Ramones Productions and Silent Partner Management. He confirmed Tommy Ramone’s passing.
Born Erdelyi Tamas in Budapest, Hungary, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1957. Growing up in Forest Hills, Tommy Ramone soon made friends with area musicians including John Cummings from Tangerine Puppets. Cummings later became known as Johnny Ramone. The band grew with the addition of fellow Queens musicians Jeffrey Hyman–lead singer Joey Ramone–and Douglas Colving–bassist Dee Dee Ramone.
Tommy Ramone was predeceased by all of his fellow band mates. Joey Ramone died of lymphoma back in 2002, with Dee Dee Ramone succumbing to a drug overdose just a year later. Prostate cancer claimed Johnny Ramone in 2004.
Sad news indeed to hear of the passing of Bluebird friend and music legend, Tommy Ramone. He will be missed but his spirit lives on.
— Bluebird Cafe (@BluebirdCafeTN) July 12, 2014
The Ramones were initially a rock band that achieved minimal commercial success, but became a major influence in the American punk rock movement. They were an even bigger influence on punk rock in the U.K. Their minimalist attire in the 1970s–leather jackets, torn jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers–became another powerful influence over the earlier days of the punk movement.
The Ramones made me wanna dress like I wasn't supposed to play catchy music, but did anyway. Punk is finally dead.. RIP Tommy Ramone
— butchwalker (@butchwalker) July 12, 2014
Later hits including ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ and ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ made them an international sensation even though neither song made it into the American Top 40. The Ramones are credited with strongly impacting bands like Nirvana and Green Day. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
— Los Simpson (@LosSimpsonMX) July 12, 2014
Tommy Ramone is survived by his long time partner Claudia Tienan and an older brother. Funeral services will be held privately.
Image via Wikimedia Commons