Saturday, July 12, 2014


Musician Thomas Erdelyi, 62 or 65, depending on the source, best known under his stage name of Tommy Ramone, the last surviving original band member of the famed punk rock group, has passed away. No cause of death was given.

Erdelyi was the drummer of the group when it began in the 1970s:

The band, whose members adopted a last name used by Paul McCartney to reserve hotel rooms in the Beatles years, were known for their bowl haircuts, ripped jeans and less-than-polished musical style.

The four-member Ramones came out of Queens with limited musical skills, but by 1976, their staccato riffs and full-frontal garage rock assaults began to make their mark on British punk musicians. The band has been acknowledged by many as the inventors of punk rock.

While an acquired taste for some, The Ramones were actually a very good band indeed.

Sad that all four of the original band members died way before their time, with the first of them passing away just a few years after they dissolved the band. Lead singer Joey Ramone (Jeffrey Ross Hyman) died of lymphoma in 2001 at age 49. Bassist Dee Dee Ramone (Douglas Glenn Colvin) died in 2002 of drug-related causes. He was 50. Lead guitarist Johnny Ramone (John William Cummings) died in 2004 after battling prostate cancer for five years. He was the oldest original member of the group and died aged only 55.

Actress Rosemary Murphy, 89, who played a supporting role in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird, died last week, a month or so after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

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