Tommy Ramone, last of the original punk rockers the Ramones, dead at 62
By KRISTEN de GROOT Associated Press July 12, 2014 12:54PM
FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2005, file photo, Tommy Ramone, ex-drummer and manager of The Ramones, smiles as he is interviewed backstage at the Knitting Factory in New York. A business associate says Ramone, a co-founder of the seminal punk band The Ramones and the last surviving member of the original group, has died. Dave Frey, who works for Ramones Productions and Silent Partner Management, says Ramone's wife called to tell him he died on Friday, July 11, 2014. Ramone was 62. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg, File)
Updated: July 12, 2014 4:42PM
Tommy Ramone — co-founder of the seminal punk band the Ramones — has died at 62.
The drummer was the last surviving member of the original group, who influenced a generation of rockers with songs like “I wanna be sedated” and “Blitzkrieg Bop.”
Dave Frey, who works for Ramones Productions and Silent Partner Management, said Mr. Ramone’s wife called to tell him he died Friday.
Mr. Ramone was born Erdelyi Tamas in Budapest, Hungary.
He started the band in 1974 in New York with singer Joey Ramone, bassist DeeDee Ramone and guitarist Johnny Ramone. All four had different real last names but took the common name Ramone.
The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
Clad in leather jackets and long black mops of hair, the group started out in legendary New York clubs like CBGB and Max’s Kansas City, where they blasted their rapid-fire songs.
Since its debut album in 1976, the band struggled for commercial success but left a formidable imprint on rock and roll. The Ramones never had a Top 40 song but still influenced scores of followers, including bands like Green Day and Nirvana.
After seeing the Ramones in Asbury Park, N.J., Bruce Springsteen wrote “Hungry Heart” for the band — but his manager swayed him to keep the song for himself, and it was a hit single.
Johnny Ramone, whose birth name was John Cummings, died in 2004 of prostate cancer. Joey Ramone, whose real name aws Jeff Hyman, died in 2001 of lymphatic cancer. Dee Dee Ramone, whose real name was Douglas Colvin, died from a drug overdose in 2002.