We are saddened to announce the passing of Ramones founding drummer Tommy (Erdelyi) Ramone. #RIPTommyRamone
2. The Ramones announced via Twitter Friday that founding drummer Tommy (Erdelyi) Ramone had died. He was 62 years old.
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.
4. Tommy — whose real name was Thomas Erdelyi — was born in Budapest, Hungary, on Jan. 29, 1952.
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.
Tommy ultimately played on the band’s first three studio albums: Ramones (1976), Leave Home (1977), and Rocket to Russia (1977).
Tommy performs at The Roundhouse in London on July 4, 1976.
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.”
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.
Tommy performs with Claudia Tienan at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in 2012.