Tommy Ramone, The Last Surviving Original Member Of The Ramones, Dies

Tommy (Erdelyi) Ramone helped found one of rock’s most influential punk bands.

2. The Ramones announced via Twitter Friday that founding drummer Tommy (Erdelyi) Ramone had died. He was 62 years old.

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Tommy died at his home in Ridgewood, Queens, in New York City. He had been in hospice care after receiving treatment for bile duct cancer.

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4. Tommy — whose real name was Thomas Erdelyi — was born in Budapest, Hungary, on Jan. 29, 1952.

The son of Holocaust survivors, Tommy moved to New York in 1957. He grew up in Forest Hills, Queens, and began playing music with John Cummings — the future Johnny Ramone — in the mid 1960s.

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Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
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6. In 1974, Tommy was one of the founding members of The Ramones.

Tommy was one of the four founding members of the band and originally worked as the manager before moving to the drums. At the time he played the guitar and was a recording engineer, but moved to the drums because the band “sounded very disjointed,” according to a 2003 interview.

The band took it’s name from Paul McCartney, who had briefly called himself Paul Ramon, and went on to become one of the most significant members of the 1970s New York punk scene.

Tommy ultimately played on the band’s first three studio albums: Ramones (1976), Leave Home (1977), and Rocket to Russia (1977).

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Gus Stewart/Redferns / Getty Images

Tommy performs at The Roundhouse in London on July 4, 1976.

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8. Tommy left the band in 1978 and was replaced by Marc Bell, aka Marky Ramone.

Though he stopped drumming for the band, Tommy stayed on to produce. In a 2005 interview, Tommy told Pitchfork the transition actually was “great” and he worked well with his replacement. “I wanted to bring in a drummer so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the road,” he said. “It was hard on the road for me, because those guys were ganging up on me and everything.”

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9. Tommy had been the last surviving original member of the band.

Joey died in 2001, Dee Dee in 2002, and Johnny in 2005. The surviving members of the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

In his later years, Tommy was a member of a bluegrass duo called Uncle Monk.

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Karl Walter / Getty Images

Tommy performs with Claudia Tienan at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in 2012.

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11. Ramone continued playing and performing, even in recent years.

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13. Ramone’s death prompted an outpouring of memories and condolences from fans.

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Tommy Ramone just died....I can't believe it. No one of the original line up are alive anymore. R.I.P RAMONES FOREVER!!!

— Kevin Ramone (@KDarko_)
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this 1977 photo by Danny Fields is breaking my heart right now - Tommy Ramone & Claudia Tiernan, his gf of 40 yrs.

— Evan 'Funk' Davies (@efd)
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Sad to hear about the passing of the great Tommy Ramone. The best hi hat hitter in the land! The last of The...

— Raymond T Lalotoa (@TRLalotoa)
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¡No puede ser, murió Tommy Ramone! :(

— Rodrigo Marquez (@cesar_rmh)
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I was just listening to the ramones like 30 mins ago. And tommy ramone just died. #rip #drummer #theramones

— Raymond Betilez (@raymondbetilez)
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Jim Dalrymple is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Jim Dalrymple II at

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