The Ramones has lost its last surviving band member today. Tommy Ramone (Tom Erdelyi), drummer on the punk rock band's seminal first three albums, died on Friday in New York at 62. He had been in hospice care recovering from treatment for bile duct cancer, according to Variety.
The original quartet — Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, and Tommy — formed in Forest Hills, Queens in 1974, and the four unrelated musicians adopted their Ramones pseudonyms soon after. The band was on the leading edge of the underground punk rock scene in the mid-’70s, and was one of the first New York bands to emerge on the national stage. The band's simple but often vicious short tracks were, for many, a wake up call from the bloated rock of the era. Tommy left the band in 1978 after completion of its incredibly influential albums Ramones (1976), Leave Home (1977) and Rocket to Russia (1977), and he was replaced by Marky Ramone at the drums. The band broke up in 1996.
Tom Erdelyi, later known as Tommy Ramone, was born in Budapest, Hungary, and in 1957 he immigrated to the United States, where he grew up. Joey Ramone (Jeffrey Hyman) died in 2001 from lymphoma, Dee Dee (Douglas Colvin) died the following year due to a drug overdose, and Johnny (John Cummings) died of prostate cancer in 2004.
Correction: Tommy Ramone was born Erdelyi Tamas on January 29th, 1949. He died at 65 years of age, not 62. We regret the error.