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Original Ramones Drummer Tommy Ramone Dies at 62

Amy Sussman, Getty Images

Tommy Ramone, the original drummer for the Ramones, has died at age 62. He had been in hospice after being treated for bile duct cancer.

Ramone was the last surviving member of the influential New York punk group that formed in 1974. Singer Joey died in 2001, bassist Dee Dee died in 2002 and guitarist Johnny died in 2004.

Ramone — who was born Erdelyi Tamas in Budapest, and was better known as Tom Erdelyi — played on the band’s first three albums: the self-titled 1976 debut, 1977’s ‘Leave Home’ and ‘Rocket to Russia,’ also from 1977.

He also produced the two 1977 albums, and after he left the band he continued to work behind the boards for various artists, including the Ramones’ 1984 album ‘Too Tough to Die’ and the Replacements‘ great 1985 LP ‘Tim.’

Ramone came to America in 1957 and grew up in Queens, where he first met and played in a band called Tangerine Puppets with Johnny Ramone (then known as John Cummings). He studied engineering and found work at some of New York’s recording studios, including the famous Record Plant, where he took part in some Jimi Hendrix sessions in 1969.

By the mid-’70s, he was playing drums for one of the best and most influential bands of the American punk scene. After playing on the first three albums and touring incessantly, Ramone grew tired of being on the road and left the band. He remained friends with his old bandmates, though, and worked on some of their later records when he started producing full time.

Ramone is survived by his older brother and partner Claudia Tienan, with whom he fronted the group Uncle Monk, which played country and bluegrass music.

Next: More Artists We've Lost in 2014

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