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Tommy Ramone

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Tommy Ramone (born Tamás Erdélyi, January 29, 1952 in Budapest, Hungary) is an American record producer and drummer. He is the last surviving founding member of the pioneering punk rock band Ramones.

Erdelyi grew up in Queens, one of the boroughs of New York City. Tommy and guitarist Johnny 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. In 1970, the then 18 year old Erdelyi was a studio intern for the production of the Jimi Hendrix album Band of Gypsys.

While The Ramones was in its earliest incarnations and the group was auditioning drummers, Erdelyi, though not a drummer himself, supposedly kept showing the musicians how to keep the right beat, and was eventually instated as a member of the band, and dubbed “Tommy Ramone”. Around this time, he and Monte Melnick opened Performance Studios, a studio for the sole purpose of giving the Ramones a place to play[1]. He remained as drummer, from 1974 to 1978, playing on, and co-producing, their first three albums: Ramones, Leave Home, and Rocket to Russia. He grew exhausted of touring and left the drum stool in 1978, but handled band management and co-production for their fourth album, 1978’s Road to Ruin; and eighth album, 1984’s Too Tough to Die. His drumming replacement was Marky Ramone.

Tommy Ramone also wrote the majority of “Blitzkrieg Bop” after bassist Dee Dee suggested the title.

He is credited by some for the band’s success: it was his suggestion to make Joey the lead singer, rather than Dee Dee. Although he didn’t stay with the band for long, many argue that he wasn’t given enough credit for his work and his new drum style.

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