Tommy Ramone dies aged 65

Tommy Ramone has passed away at the age of 62 after a battle with cancer.

The original drummer with The Ramones had been receiving treatment for bile duct cancer in a hospice in Queens, New York.

The death was announced via The Ramones’ social media accounts. A message on Twitter reads: “We are saddened to announce the passing of Ramones founding drummer Tommy (Erdelyi) Ramone. #RIPTommyRamone”, while a post on the band’s Facebook page carries a 1978 quote from the drummer.

It reads: “It wasn’t just music in The Ramones: it was an idea. It was bringing back a whole feel that was missing in rock music – it was a whole push outwards to say something new and different. Originally it was just an artistic type of thing; finally I felt it was something that was good enough for everybody.” - Tommy Ramone, 1978.

Tommy was born Tom Erdelyi in Budapest, Hungary, and played on the band’s first three albums, Ramones, Leave Home, and Rocket to Russia. After tiring of touring he was replaced by Marc Bell (Marky Ramone), but retained his connections with the band and handled production duties on the Road To Ruin and Too Tough To Die albums. He also produced the Replacements’ acclaimed album Tim.

In 2004 he returned briefly to the fold to appear at the Ramones Beat Down Cancer concert at New York’s Spirit club.

He is survived by Claudia Tienan, his partner of 40 years, who performed with Tommy as the folk duo Uncle Monk.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 37 years in music industry, online for 24. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.