Queens, NY, United States (4E) – Tommy Ramone, drummer and last surviving original member of iconic American punk rock band The Ramones died Friday, it was announced via social media.
The announcement on their official Facebook page read, “We are saddened to announce the passing of Tommy Ramone (nee Erdelyi), the original drummer for the Ramones, earlier today, 11 July 2014.”
The drummer’s death followed after being treated for bile duct cancer, and afterwards being put in hospice care. He was at his home in Ridgewood in Queens at the time of his passing.
Thomas Erdelyi was born in 1952 in Budapest, Hungary to Jewish parents, and moved to New York and grew up there.
In 1974, he formed the Ramones with three other friends and later adapted the band’s name as their surname. He served as drummer until 1978 and co-produced several of the band’s albums. Marky Ramone (Marc Steven Bell) took on his post as drummer.
In 1996, the group disbanded, but got together in 1999 for an autograph signing event—the last event where the four original members would appear as a troupe.
One by one, the original members took their leave. Joey Ramone, whose real name was Jeffrey Ross Hyman, was battling lymphoma and passed away in 2001.
In 2002, the group, composed of Dee Dee, Johnny, Joey, Tommy and Marky, was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That same year, Dee Dee Ramone, born Douglas Glenn Colvin, passed away from an apparent heroin overdose.
In 2004, Johnny Ramone, also known as John William Cummings, passed away in Los Angeles after a battle with prostate cancer.