Ramones co-founder Tommy Ramone has died at the age of 65, according to The Washington Post. Ramone was the drummer with the hugely influential New York punk band and the last surviving original member.
The Hungarian-born musician and producer, whose birth name was Erdelyi Tamas, founded the Ramones in 1974 with singer Joey Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone, and bassist Dee Dee Ramone. The quartet never enjoyed a huge amount of commercial success – in fact, their self-titled 1976 debut album, which featured the now-iconic tracks “Blitzkrieg Bop” and “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend,” was only certified gold earlier this year.
But the band’s propulsive, no-frills style, which was driven by Ramone’s breakneck drumming, had a huge impact on the emerging punk scene and beyond. “We were the first,” Tommy Ramone told The Guardian newspaper in 2005, referring to the Ramones’ place in the history of punk. “People forgot that for a long time. In the ’70s and ’80s, they didn’t know. A lot of other acts got much more publicity, more record company support, more radio play.”
Ramone left the band after their first three albums but would later produce the 1984 collection Too Tough To Die. His other production credits included The Replacements’ 1985 album Tim.
The Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.