Tommy Ramone, also known as Thomas Erdelyi, died on Friday at his home in Ridgewood, Queens. Erdelyi was the last surviving original member of the New York-based punk band The Ramones. He had suffered from bile duct cancer.
It had originally been intended that Erdelyi would be the manager of The Ramones when the band formed in 1974, but then he was drafted as a drummer instead. Erdelyi was drummer for the group from 1974 to 1978, after which point Marky Ramone took over.
Erdelyi still played an integral role in the group's history, serving as producer on several Ramones records.
Ramone played on the first three epoch-making Ramones albums, "Ramones" (1976), "Leave Home" (1977) and "Rocket to Russia" (1977). He also co-produced the latter two albums with Tony Bongiovi and Ed Stasium, respectively. He appeared on and co-produced the 1979 live Ramones opus "It's Alive."
The Ramones are often considered the inventors of punk. As Erdelyi told The Guardian in 2011, "We were the first," he says. "People forgot that for a long time. In the 70s and 80s, they didn't know. A lot of other acts got much more publicity, more record company support, more radio play."
According to an associate, Erdelyi died in hospice care on Friday.
[Image via ViralNews]