The last original Ramone, Tommy Ramone, has died at the age of 65.
Born in Budapest under the less t-shirt friendly name of Erdélyi Tamás, he was only meant to be the band's manager but had to become the drummer when he couldn't find anyone able to keep up with the band's pace. In fact, as he explained to Pitchfork in 2005, there probably wouldn't have been a band at all without him:
I had seen the New York Dolls, and the idea was just to get a charismatic, sort of quirky band together. But then when we got together, they were coming up with really great songs, which I hadn't even thought about. Once I saw that, I said, "Wow, they could be more, they could be a real band." Basically from what they were coming up with musically, once I became the drummer I harnessed it and arranged it, and we turned it into what became the Ramones sound.And, probably, there wouldn't have been any records without him, either:
I was pretty much on my own. They [the other Ramones] would come in and do the basic tracks, and Joey would do the vocals, and then I wouldn't see them for about a month or two. I was just left alone to work on the album.His last public appearance as a Ramone was in 2004, at the Ramones Beat Down On Cancer gig.
Tommy Ramone was 62; he died from bile duct cancer in New York on July 11th.