Punk rock icon and final member of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone dies
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/13/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
One of the architects of a form of music that would later go on to embrace political, sociological and artistic idioms worldwide has passed away. Tommy Ramone, the last surviving member of the seminal punk rock group the Ramones has passed away at the age of 65 from cancer.
Tommy Ramone, whose real name was Tom Erdelyi was originally from Budapest, Hungary. The son of professional photographers, Erdelyi saw the majority of his family wiped out in the Holocaust during World War II.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Tommy, whose real name was Tom Erdelyi was originally from Budapest, Hungary. The son of professional photographers, Erdelyi saw the majority of his family wiped out in the Holocaust during World War II.
Migrating with his family to the United States in 1957, it was at a time when the Soviet Union was beginning to cement Eastern Europe into a communist bloc.
Erdelyi formed the band the Ramones around 1975 or 1976. The band sprang from a unified idea: simplicity, simplicity, simplicity and fast fast fast. Erdelyi played the drums and came up with the Ramones' frenetic style, which was played as fast and raw as humanly possible, with songs with three chords - if that.
The Ramones, who were inducted into the Rock and roll Hall of Fame in 2002, were in stark contrast to the bands being played on the radio at that time. Mellow singer-songwriters, disco pop and glam rock ruled the airwaves then. Wearing shredded jeans and black leather jackets, the Ramones sang songs that were unadorned and simple.
While other rock stars such as Eric Clapton glorified drugs with songs like "Cocaine," the Ramones cut to the chase with lyrics with jump rope chant severity. "Now I wanna sniff some glue. Now I want something to do. All the kids wanna to sniff some glue. All the kids want something to do."
Despising both the Nazis and the Soviet Union, who had seized his compromised native land, Erdelyi helped pen such songs with titles such as "Blitzkrieg Bop" and the album "Rocket to Russia."
The Ramones' style was gobbled up by the British, who replied with their own punk bands such as the Sex Pistols and the Clash.
Erdelyi handed over the drum sticks in 1978 after the group's third album, "Rocket to Russia." He still drummed, composed and produced for other bands, such as the Talking Heads.
Erdelyi's passing is the true end of an era. Singer Joey Ramone, born Jeffrey Hyman, died of cancer in 2001 at age 49. Guitarist Johnny Ramone, born John Cummings, died of cancer in 2004 at age 52. Bassist Dee Dee Ramone, born Douglas Colvin, died from an apparent drug overdose in 2002 at age 49.
The fact that every city street corner across the U.S. has at least one disaffected youth sporting leather and brightly dyed hair is the direct result of Erdelyi and his company's legacy.
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