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Tommy Ramone

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Tommy Ramone, also known as Thomas Erdelyi (born Erdélyi Tamás; January 29, 1949), is a Jewish Hungarian American record producer and musician.[1] He is the last surviving original member of the pioneering punk rock band The Ramones.[2]

Background

Erdélyi was born to a Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary. He grew up in Forest Hills, a neighborhood of New York City's Queens borough.[3] Tommy and guitarist John Cummings (later to be dubbed "Johnny Ramone") performed together in a mid-60's four-piece garage band called the Tangerine Puppets while in high school.[4] In 1970, the then 21-year-old Erdelyi was a studio intern for the production of the Jimi Hendrix album Band of Gypsys.

Producer and drummer for The Ramones

When the Ramones first came together, with Johnny Ramone on guitar, Dee Dee Ramone on bass and Joey Ramone on drums, Erdelyi was supposed to be the manager, but was drafted as the band's drummer when Joey became the lead singer and found that he couldn't keep up with the Ramones' increasingly fast tempos. "Tommy Ramone, who was managing us, finally had to sit down behind the drums, because nobody else wanted to," Dee Dee later recalled.[5]

He remained as drummer, from 1974 to 1977, playing on and co-producing their first three albums: Ramones, Leave Home, and Rocket to Russia.[6]

Behind the scenes with The Ramones

He was replaced on drums in 1978, but handled band management and co-production for their fourth album, Road to Ruin; and returned for the eighth album, 1984's Too Tough to Die.[7] His drumming replacement was Marky Ramone.[8]

Even though Tommy was an original member and co-producer for the Ramones, both Dee Dee and Johnny denied that he influenced the Ramones' sound.[9] During interviews for the End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones, Dee Dee stated that Tommy was simply "at the right place at the right time".

Tommy avoided arguing with the rest of the band in the later controversy surrounding song writing credits. Dee Dee, in his books, expressed resentment towards Tommy for having it "together" more than anyone else in the band, being able to cook himself dinner and organize his life in a much more functional manner, without the psychosis or addiction problems that the rest of them suffered from. This is also a large part of the schism that pushed him out in 1978. In comparison to everyone else in the band, Tommy was quite "normal", though there are accounts of him partying with the band and driving them around in his car in the early days.

Tommy Ramone wrote "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" and the majority of "Blitzkrieg Bop" after bassist Dee Dee suggested the title.[10] He and Ed Stasium played all the guitar solos on the albums he produced, as Johnny Ramone largely preferred playing rhythm guitar.

In the 1980s he produced The Replacements' classic album Tim and Redd Kross' Neurotica. [11][12]

On October 8, 2004, he played as a Ramone once again, when he joined C.J. Ramone, Daniel Rey, and Clem Burke (also known as Elvis Ramone) in the "Ramones Beat Down On Cancer" concert. In October 2007 in an interview to promote It's Alive 1974-1996 a double DVD of the band's greatest televised live performances[13] he paid tribute to his deceased bandmates:

They gave everything they could in every show. They weren't the type to phone it in, if you see what I mean.

Currently, Tommy and Claudia Tienan (formerly of underground band The Simplistics) are performing as a bluegrass-based folk duo called Uncle Monk.[14]

Discography with the Ramones

  • Ramones
  • Leave Home
  • Rocket to Russia
  • It's Alive

References

  1. Tommy Ramone Gives the Mountain Music Shoppe a Brush with CBGB
  2. Punk rock legend enjoying venture into old-time music
  3. "Return of a Ramone...Tommy Ramone & Claudia Tienan Bow Bluegrass Duo Uncle Monk with Self-Titled Album Due Out May 22", PRWeb, press release dated February 4, 2007. Accessed June 17, 2009. "Tommy Ramone began his musical career as Tommy Erdelyi, an engineer at the Record Plant. Born in Budapest, Hungary, and raised in Forest Hills, Queens, N.Y., he co-founded the Beatles with Johnny, Joey and Dee Dee and participated in the birth of punk and indie-rock, working as the band's drummer, producer and manager."
  4. Mark Prindle - Interview with Tommy Ramone
  5. McNeil and McCain, pp. 182-183.
  6. The Guardian - Interview with Tommy Ramone
  7. Boston Phoenix - Gabba Gabba Hayride
  8. Pitchfork interview with Tommy Ramone
  9. New York News - Last Ramones Standing
  10. Mark Prindle - Interview with Tommy Ramone
  11. Relix Magazine - Tommy Ramone is a Bluegrass Punk
  12. Knac - Redd Kross Neurotica Re-Issue review
  13. The Sun Friday 5th October, 2005.
  14. Honest Tune interview with Tommy Ramone
  • Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk.
  • Monte A. Melnick Ramones Tour Manager "On The Road With The Ramones"[1]

External links

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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Tommy Ramone. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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