News / Arts & Entertainment

Ramones Punk Band Co-founder Dies

FILE - Tommy Ramone of former U.S. punk band 'The Ramones'.
FILE - Tommy Ramone of former U.S. punk band 'The Ramones'.
Reuters

Tommy Ramone, the drummer and last surviving original member of the American punk band the Ramones, whose aggressive and fast-driving songs spearheaded the punk-rock movement, has died at the age of 65, an associate said on Saturday.

The death was confirmed by Dave Frey, Director at Ramones Productions, the company that controls the band's copyright. Frey declined to provide additional information.

Born Thomas Erdelyi in Budapest, Hungary, Ramone was the co-founder of the band and its drummer from 1974 to 1978. He was the last surviving member of its original quartet, who adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname "Ramone''.

The New York band, with mops of long hair, black leather jackets, torn jeans and sneakers, had limited chart success but deeply influenced scores of musicians who would go on to form bands such as the Clash, the Sex Pistols, Nirvana and Green Day.

They were seen as masters of minimalist, under two-and-a-half minute tunes played at blistering tempo, such as "Blitzkrieg Bop'', "I Wanna be Sedated'', "Rockaway Beach,'' and "Sheena is a Punk Rocker.''

The band's style, anchored by Tommy's frenetic drumming, was
partly a reaction against the bloated, and heavily produced rock music of the mid-1970s.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 2002, the Ramones eponymous first-album revitalized the rock scene.

"The Ramones got back to basics: simple, speedy, stripped-down rock and roll songs. Voice, guitar, bass, drums. No makeup, no egos, no light shows, no nonsense,'' the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame said on its website.

Hey Ho

"They are heard everywhere. At every sporting event you hear 'Hey, ho, let's go!,''' Frey said, citing lyrics from "Blitzkrieg Bop''. "They connected in a big way.''

Frey called Tommy last month to tell him their debut record had reached gold status and said "he was thrilled. He couldn't believe it,'' Frey said.

The Ramones performed 2,263 concerts between their formation
 in 1974 and final show in 1996. They released 21 studio, live and compilation albums over a 20-year period, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame said.

Guitarist Johnny Ramone, born John Cummings, died of prostate cancer in 2004. Singer Joey Ramone, born Jeff Hyman, died of lymphoma in 2001. Bassist Dee Dee Ramone, born Douglas Colvin, died the following year of a heroin overdose.

Tommy, who acted at various times also as a songwriter, producer, and engineer, died at 12:15 p.m. local time at his home in Queens, New York, according to a statement on Facebook from New York Rocker Magazine publisher Andy Schwartz..

Ramone had been in hospice care following treatment for cancer of the bile duct, and is survived by Claudia Tienan, his partner of 40 years, and other family members including nephews Eric and David, Schwartz said.

In recent years, Tommy and Tienan performed and recorded as
 the indie-acoustic country and bluegrass duo Uncle Monk, Schwartz said.

 In high school, Tommy played guitar in a group called Tangerine Puppets that also included Ramones guitarist Johnny Ramone on bass and trained as a recording engineer and assisted on various New York sessions, including with Jimi Hendrix in 1969, Schwartz said.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Joe Taylor sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to talk about his distinction as New York’s “Subway Idol,” and how he beat out thousands for that title. Joe performs several songs from his new CD, “Anything’s Possible.”