Tommy Ramone, the last surviving original member of iconic New York punk band the Ramones, has died at age 65. The announcement was made early Saturday through the band's official Twitter account. Ramone, who was born Thomas Erdelyi in Budapest, Hungary, was the band’s drummer from 1974 to 1978. He also co-produced their first three albums.
Ramone died at 12:15 p.m. at his home in Queens, New York, according to a Facebook post from New York Rocker Magazine publisher Andy Schwartz. He had been in hospice care after suffering from cancer of the bile duct, Schwartz said. Though they never had a Top 40 hit, the Ramones’ minimalistic, speedy style of rock influenced subsequent legends like Nirvana, the Sex Pistols and Bruce Springsteen. Their hits include “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker,” “Beat on the Brat” and “I Wanna be Sedated.” The Ramones disbanded in 1996 and its three other members have since died. Johnny Ramone, born John Cummings, died in 2004 of prostate cancer. Joey Ramone, born Jeff Hyman, died in 2001 of lymphatic cancer. Dee Dee Ramone, born Douglas Colvin, died from a drug overdose in 2002.
— Christina Boyle and Elisha Fieldstadt
First published July 12 2014, 12:11 AM