TOMMY RAMONE, FOUNDING MEMBER AND ORIGINAL DRUMMER

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Real name: Thomas Erdelyi
Date and place of birth: January 29, 1949, Budapest, Hungary.
Date of passing away:: July 11, 2014.
Tommy died because of bile duct cancer, which is also called cholangiocarcinoma. Bile duct cancer is rare and for example in the USA with less than 3,000 new cases are diagnosed in each year. See here my memorial page to Tommy Ramone.

Ramones career: Started as manager, but become drummer and founding member in August 1974 and let Joey sing. Tommy was in the Ramones and performed with them from 1974 to 1978. His final show as a Ramones drummer was at Johnny Blitz benefit event at CBGB's in New York, USA on May 4, 1978. Did continue doing producer works to the Ramones.
I did many interviews with Tommy Ramone especially to my 3rd book Ramones: Soundtrack Of Our Lives. My 2nd book Rock In Peace: Dee Dee And Joey Ramone is sold-out. These questions are from it.
Jari-Pekka: What were your reasons behind your decison to leave the Ramones?
Tommy Ramone: I loved playing the drums and I loved all the live shows we did, but being on the road all the time, cooped up in vans, dressing rooms, hotel rooms was putting me in a major state of depression. In the recording studio I was free, creative and in control, on the road I was a confused and abused passenger. It felt as if I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I also felt I could be more productive helping them write songs and producing the records if I did not have to tour. I was thinking that if we got a good drummer to replace me, then that would be the best for everybody. That is what happened, and we went on to make Road To Ruin, Tommy told me.
Jari-Pekka: Did you help/ recommend to recruit Marky for your position as the Ramones drummer and did you actively take a roll in breaking Marky into the role as the new Ramones drummer?
Tommy Ramone: Marky was our top choice right from the start and he turned out perfect. He was enthusiastic and very cooperative. He had his own powerful style which was perfect for the direction the Ramones were taking at the time. I got on well with Marky and we went to work right away in developing a new sound. We combined Marky's style with a little bit of my style and came up with the great drums on the Road To Ruin album, Tommy told me.

As a producer: Tommy Ramone was the producer on six Ramones albums; Ramones (1976), Leave Home (1977), Rocket To Russia (1977), Road To Ruin (1978), It's Alive (1979), and Too Tough To Die (1984). Related to recording and producing, he worked mostly with Tony Bongiovi and Ed Stasium on those early Ramones albums. For the most part, Tommy used his name T. Erdelyi. Before the Ramones were founded, Tommy had the opportunity to work with Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Miles. You can read most extensive information of Tommy's producer career from Ramones: Soundtrack Of Our Lives.
For that my third book, I had several interviews with Tommy on many different occasions, in all it contains 9 pages of his interviews.

Play on albums: Ramones, Leave Home, Rocket To Russia and It's Alive.
Other bands: Tiger 5, Tangerine Puppets, Uncle Monk (Tommy's duo band, debut album came out in 2006).
Tommy tells of formation of the Tiger this way on one of my interviews with him on Ramones: Soundtrack Of Our Lives.
- Ira was in the first band I was in with Richard Adler and Howie Seagal in the 60's. Originally we were called The Madman and The Warlocks, after that Tommy And The Tigers, then it became Tiger 5, Tommy told me.

Something else: Tommy's parents were both professional photographers. They had survived the holocaust by being hidden by neighbours. Tommy, his older brother and parents left Hungary during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and moved to the USA. Earlier was told that they immigrated to the United States already in 1953 but that is not true. I spoke with Tommy in 2004, if he had visited Hungary often. He wasn't until they left in 1956. But he traveled to Hungary in 2008.

- Read nice story of Tommy Ramone and show at the Hungarian embassy, click here.
- And you can read another nice story here of Tommy's visit in Finland in 2008.