Tommy Ramone (January 29, 1952 – July 11, 2014)

On July 11th 2014, legendary drummer/producer Tommy Ramone lost his fight with bile duct cancer at the age of 62. As a founding member of the pioneering punk band Ramones, Tommy helped usher in a whole musical movement, his band launching a wave of copycat acts throughout the decades that followed.

It has been said that he only accepted the role of the band’s drummer since no other people auditioned could play fast enough.  This may be apocryphal, but it does nothing to change the fact the first three Ramones albums were simple and direct –  with Tommy’s fast drumming an integral part of the machine.  After recording three studio albums with the band he stepped down as drummer after touring 1977’s ‘Rocket To Russia’ (a tour captured on the seminal ‘Its Alive’ LP).  He continued working with the band as producer, lending his skills to one more album in 1978 (‘Road to Ruin) and another in 1984 (‘Too Tough To Die’).  Although many other producers worked with the Ramones before their split in 1995, few captured the raw essence in the way Tommy once had.

Tommy was the last of the Ramones’ founding members.  He joins his musical brothers Joey (1948-2004), Joey (1951-2001) and Dee Dee (1951-2002) and leaves behind a world of fans – so many of whom never even saw the band in their prime…as well as a small army of teenagers in Ramones-branded t-shirts and converse, proving that some things will never go out of style.

RIP Tommy.