Tommy Ramone Dies: Ramones' Last Surviving Original Member Was 65

The punk rock legend had battled cancer, as did most of his band mates

By Corinne Heller Jul 12, 2014 3:48 PMTags
Tommy RamoneImeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

Tommy Ramone, the original drummer and last surviving co-founder of legendary punk rock group the Ramones, has died at age 65.

The news was announced late on Friday, July 11, and confirmed on the band's Twitter page.

"We are saddened to announce the passing of Ramones founding drummer Tommy (Erdelyi) Ramone. #RIPTommyRamone," the tweet said.

"Tom died yesterday, July 11, at 12:15 p.m. at his home in Ridgewood, Queens," Andy Schwartz, publisher of New York Rocker magazine, said on behalf of Ramone's family, according to Rolling Stone magazine, which also confirmed his age. "He was in hospice care following treatment for cancer of the bile duct."Tommy was born Thomas Erdelyi in Budapest, Hungary in 1949 and emigrated to the United States in 1957, the outlet said.

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In 1974, he and singer Joey Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone and bassist Dee Dee Ramone founded the Ramones and took on stage names with the surname Ramone.

The group became an iconic leader of the punk rock movement and is known for hits such as "Blitzkrieg Bop," its 1976 debut single and popular sports event anthem that contains the lyric ""Hey! Ho! Let's go," as well as "I Wanna Be Sedated," which has often been covered by other bands and featured on television and in movies.

Tommy left the Ramones in 1978 to concentrate on studio work and co-produced several albums for the band, Rolling Stone said.

Joey, whose real name was Jeff Hyman, died at age 49 of lymphatic cancer in 2001. Dee Dee, aka Douglas Colvin, died at age 50 of a heroin overdorse in 2002. That year, the Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Johnny, who was born John Cummings, died at age 55 of prostate cancer.

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