Tommy Ramone, Last of the Original Ramones, Dies at 65

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 12 2014 2:00 PM

Tommy Ramone, Last of the Original Ramones, Dies at 65

53299112SG013_CBGB_s_Speica
Tommy Ramone speaks during a press conference in 2005 to announce an effort to save legendary punk club CBGB, where the Ramones kicked off their career

Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images

The last surviving member of the seminal punk bank the Ramones has died. Tommy Ramone died of cancer at the age of 65 on Friday but the news was confirmed today in the band’s official Facebook page.

The Hungarian-born Ramone co-founded the Ramones with singer Joey Ramone, bassist Dee Dee Ramone and guitarist Johnny Ramone. He started out as the band’s manager but then became the drummer. The Ramones were the first band from New York’s underground punk scene to make an album, which, according to legend, took six days to record and cost $6,400, according to the Guardian. That first album was only certified gold last month—38 years after its release.

Advertisement

The band never reached commercial success but it was huge on the underground scene and its music helped shape generations of musicians. "There are hundreds, there are thousands, there are millions of melodies happening in Ramones songs," Everett True, who wrote a book on the Ramones, told the BBC. "You hear their influence stretch across all of rock music from 1975 onwards ... you just hear it everywhere.” The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame in 2002, six years after disbanding. The Ramones released their last studio album, Adios Amigos, in 1996, which was followed by a tour album, We’re Outta Here!, released in 1997, according to the Associated Press.

The Guardian’s Michael Hann notes that for a while the Ramones “were the most chaotic group in the world” but they eventually got better. He goes on:

They got so much better that for me (and for others, not lots of others, but enough of us) the Ramones were the best group rock'n'roll ever produced. Not the most inventive, or the most versatile, or the most skilful, or the most emotionally resonant, or the most lyrical—but the best, because every time I put on one of the Ramones' best records, I was reminded of how I felt the first time I heard it. And the first time I heard it, I felt: this is the sound I've been hearing in my head and here it is on 12 inches of black vinyl; this is what I have been waiting for since the first single I ever bought. The Ramones were the sound of juvenile excitement, expressed with such breathtaking singlemindedness that nothing could kill the excitement.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technocracy
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 21 2014 7:00 AM Watch the Moon Eat the Sun: The Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.