Tommy Ramone, the drummer of the Ramones, passed away on Friday at the age of 62, according to the band’s official Twitter account.
The last surviving member of the iconic rock band died after battling bile duct cancer, and at the time was in hospice care. Born Thomas Erdelyl in Budapest, Hungary, Tommy Ramone formed the Ramones in 1974 with members Jeffery Hyman (Joey Ramone and lead singer), Douglas Colvin (Dee Dee Ramone and bassist) and John Cummings (Johnny Ramone and guitarist). The band played around New York’s Max’s Kansas City, and became regulars at CBGB’s.
Tommy Ramone was a part of the Ramones from 1974 to 1978, and was a part of the band’s classic period, where punk rock begins to find its footing. Despite not being commercial successes upon their release (normally peaking lower than number 100 on the US charts), the band’s first four albums including the 1976 debut were critically acclaimed, and would go on to influence countless bands including the Clash, the Sex Pistols, and Green Day. Among the classic tunes of which Tommy Ramone was a part of included “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue” and “Blitzkrieg Bop”.
Tommy Ramone was later replaced on drums by Marky Ramone, but became the band’s manager, and co-produced 1978’s Road to Ruin and produced 1984’s Too Tough to Die. Other musical projects included producer for the Replacements 1985 album Tim, and collaborations that included the Band organist Garth Hudson and the Womack Family Band.
Tommy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 with the original members Joey, Dee Dee and Johnny, and his replacement on drums Marky. After Joey, Dee Dee and Johnny all died within a three-year span (2001-2004), Tommy was the lone original surviving members for almost a decade.