Posted in music on July 12, 2014

Tommy Ramone (in Uncle Monk) @ Merc in 2010 (more by Chris La Putt)
Tommy Ramone

New York Rocker Magazine publisher Andy Schwartz posted the sad news to Facebook tonight:

It is with sadness and regret that I report the passing of TOM ERDELYI a/k/a TOMMY RAMONE who died at 12:15 p.m. today (7.11.2014) at his home in Ridgewood, Queens. He was 65 and had been in hospice care following treatment for cancer of the bile duct.
UPDATE: The Ramones have confirmed the sad news as well.

Andy followed that with a great obituary which you can read in full below along with a video of Tommy performing at the Cutting Room in 2012. Rest in Peace Tommy!

Tommy Ramone - I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend

PUNKCAST2111-01-05 Tommy Ramone performing live at The Cutting Room NYC on Nov 14 2012.


As Alexis Petridis wrote in The Guardian in January 2005, Tommy Ramone was the Ramones' first drummer and "the only surviving original member of what may well be the most important rock band of the past 30 years: the inventors of punk; the quartet who changed music forever by opposing everything mainstream mid-1970s rock stood for; whose influence over subsequent generations has been so strong that their eponymous debut album, which inspired the Sex Pistols and the Clash, still sounds weirdly current [decades] after its release."

In the years prior to his death, Tom and his longtime partner Claudia Tienan performed and recorded as the acoustic duo Uncle Monk, playing old-time country and bluegrass music. The pair released a self-titled album on their own Airday label.

Born Erdélyi Tamás in Budapest, Hungary on January 29, 1949 (not 1952, as given by some sources), Tom Erdelyi emigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1957 and grew up in Forest Hills, Queens. In high school, he played guitar in a group called Tangerine Puppets that also included John Cummings (later Johnny Ramone) on bass. Tom trained as a recording engineer and assisted on various New York sessions, including Jimi Hendrix at the Record Plant in November 1969.

With the arrival of lead singer Jeffrey Hyman (Joey Ramone) and bassist Douglas Colvin (Dee Dee Ramone), Tom Erdelyi became Tommy Ramone - the group's drummer as well as a contributing songwriter, producer, and engineer. He played on RAMONES (1976), LEAVE HOME (1977) and ROCKET TO RUSSIA (1977), and toured internationally with the group.

As Tommy Ramone, he is credited as co-producer of LEAVE HOME and ROCKET TO RUSSIA, both with Tony Bongiovi; and as co-producer of ROAD TO RUIN (1978) and TOO TOUGH TO DIE (1984), both with Ed Stasium. He produced the Ramones' double live album IT'S ALIVE, released in 1979.

At the end of 1977, Tom left the Ramones to work as an independent producer. His credits include the Replacements' major label debut TIM (1985) and NEUROTICA by Red Kross (1987). In 2002, Tom was inducted with the Ramones into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Survivors include Claudia Tienan, his partner of 40 years; older brother Peter; sister-in-law Andrea Tienan; and nephews Eric and David. A private funeral service is planned.



Comments (58)

UPDATE: The Ramones have confirmed the sad news as well. How is that possible? They are all dead.

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 1:41 AM

Keith Richards outlived them all. What the hell was in the water these guys were drinking??

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 2:01 AM


All of the original Ramones have passed, and I'm sad.

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 3:16 AM


Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 3:18 AM

2:01, they all lived in NYC. Fluoride.

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 7:37 AM

Tommy was my dearest and oldest friend.
We grew up together in Forest Hills Queens New York.
I went to Stephen A Halsey Jr High and Forest Hills High school with him.
He got me to pick up the bass guitar and enter into the crazy world of rock music.
We played in several bands together (Triad & Butch) here in NYC over the late 60's and early 70's.
We built and managed Performance Studios in NYC, a recording/rehearsal studio the Ramones started in. I worked with him when he in the Ramones and well after he left.
He had an advanced musical foresight, well ahead of the times in forming and being part of the Ramones. He was a great musician on the guitar, then the drums, later on the mandolin, banjo, fiddle and many more instruments. His musical expanse bridged from Punk to Indie Bluegrass.
He will be
I mourn the passing of the last of the original Ramones, my friend and a true musical visionary.

Posted by Monte | July 12, 2014 7:43 AM

WOW! I had no idea he was so versatile and produced NEUROTICA which is completely brilliant. NO idea. We really learn more about someone when they leave the planet! Was he a vegetarian too? IS that why he is in an article here?

Posted by Lola Anava | July 12, 2014 9:57 AM

This confirms that the curse the was put on them years ago by the religious nut in the parking lot was true. They are all gone now so young. I was hoping to see him at the Joey Ramone birthday bash in May. John Holstrom told me that his health was not well but I had no idea. R.I.P. Tommy you will me missed!! Gabba Gabba Hey!!! :(

Posted by Matt Ayres | July 12, 2014 10:28 AM

R.I.P Tommy

Posted by Tin Veil | July 12, 2014 10:31 AM

3 of 4 die young from cancer. I'm afraid Queens is one big carcinogen. Very sad.

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 11:20 AM

Charlie Haden, Tommy Ramone & _____.

Someone's next.

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 11:20 AM

Hmm, I used to live in Ridgewood.
Anyone whereabouts in Ridgewood he lived?

Posted by Rob | July 12, 2014 11:45 AM

rip . At least heaven now has the best house band you could ever ask for.

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 11:46 AM


Seriously? I could think of many, many other house bands to listen to for eternity. Sure a song or two would be fun, but Mos Def not for all eternity.

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 11:49 AM

heaven doesn't exist

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 12:36 PM

Hey 11:49 & 12:36,

Everybody posting so far has been respectful of the passing of Tommy. The both of you could stop trolling and show some class.

RIP Tommy,
You will be missed.

Posted by Ramones Fan | July 12, 2014 12:43 PM

Fuck off, 11:49. R.I.P., Tommy.

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 12:45 PM


So because 11:49 doesn't think listening to The Ramones for all eternity would be enjoyable, that's disrespectful? How about you grow the fuck up and realize people have a difference of opinion. Just because someone doesn't like something you do doesn't mean they disrespect it, you cunt.

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 12:48 PM

Yes. But does he have to say it here where people are remembering someone who just passed?
I know it's the internet but have some fucking class.

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 1:15 PM

Ohhhh, right. I forgot. BV Comment Section is certainly know for it's, er, "fucking class". Right?

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 1:26 PM

All my prays

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 1:54 PM

Yes, you're right. You try and believe people might actually have some class, respect and common sense and let people with similar interests share some of their sadness in someone's passing that was important to them.
But you're right. People here don't care for those things.

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 1:54 PM

Did these guys travel around in a van lined with asbestos or what?

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 2:01 PM


I couldn't agree more with you. It's such a shame, however, that every other day on this site people have no problems bashing: men, women, straight, gay, black, white, etc., like ignorance is going out of style.

Keep on wishful thinking. I have a bridge to sell you that connects Manhattan and Brooklyn when you're ready ...

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 2:05 PM

12:48 - "If you don't have anything nice to say then shut the fuck up." Here over in Internet land everyone seems to think their opinion is important, and if they have something to say they absolutely MUST say it.

2:01PM - What gets me most is Johnny dying from prostate cancer, which is the cancer with the highest survival rate. And he was young, which means it likely wasn't detected until too late. Go to the doctor kids - it's important.

Posted by CR17 | July 12, 2014 2:26 PM

RIP Tommy.

BV you need to shut off comments for some entries and this is one of them.

Posted by D | July 12, 2014 3:01 PM

Haha.. 1:41.. that was my immediate first thought as well.

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 3:07 PM

also, D(^) is probably right on this one.

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 3:11 PM

rip yoni ramone

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 3:39 PM

awww, 3:01, feelings hurt, lil' buddie?

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 4:13 PM

3:39, i prefer rip torn. but hey, whatever.

Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 4:24 PM

No feelings hurt, 4:13pm, you're just a no-class no-life I know wouldn't say that to my face unless you wanted yours punched.

Posted by D | July 12, 2014 7:12 PM

RIP Tommy. I can not believe that all of you are now gone. Sad day.

Posted by VICKIE | July 12, 2014 9:08 PM

Dearest Sweetheart (aka 7:12PM),

Have we not discussed the dreaded comma splice enough on this food blog?! Un. Real!

See this: 4:13pm, you're

Wrong! You want a period. It's a new sentence, darling. On top of that, while you're working on the laundry list, use a comma between no-class and no-life. The rest of what you have going on there ... SMH ... good luck, friend. I have no interest in unfucking your cluster.


Posted by Anonymous | July 12, 2014 9:09 PM

So no one is going to tell me where in Ridgewood he lived?

Posted by Rob | July 12, 2014 11:30 PM

I'm sorry for your loss, Monte. How wonderful that you got to share his talent during his lifetime. As a fellow Forest Hills/Rego Parker, my condolences.

Posted by Queens Vegan | July 12, 2014 11:39 PM

9:09pm is a fucking nerd.

SMH is not a word.

"...good luck."

You mean "Good luck, friend." - a new sentence you shithead.

Posted by D | July 13, 2014 4:08 AM

^ go the fuck away. go correct spelling on Gawker or some shit. it's not all about you. you show disrespect with your narcissistic lookitmeeee nonsense.

Posted by Anonymous | July 13, 2014 7:44 AM

All of the original Ramones have passed, and I'm sad.

Posted by sbanate | July 13, 2014 8:14 AM

7:44 completely missed the fact that D was calling out a lame grammar nazi. ...and I'm even a grammar nazi half of the time..

Posted by Anonymous | July 13, 2014 11:41 AM

^ half the time.

Posted by Anonymous | July 13, 2014 12:16 PM

I once met Joey at Cbgb in 2000. I am not a star stalker and leave famous people alone. But I broke my rule and my boyfriend and I walked up to Joey and said we were a big fans. He was so tall and skinny and pale. Also he was incredibly friendly and down to earth.

Posted by Anonymous | July 13, 2014 5:45 PM

Tommy along with the boys used to hang out st the ramp in Forest Hills. Played stickball against John with my brother and John's friend Scott. Partied with Joey's brother another great musician. There were a lot of great times. Life goes by in the blink of an eye. None of us ever expected to see 30. They were down to earth and regular guys from the neighborhood. Hey Monte. Rest just rest.
Richie from the ramp.

Posted by Richie | July 13, 2014 7:21 PM

Look at me nonsense? I don't think so. Perhaps you should not respond to my comments much less look at them if you don't like them you fucking crybaby.

Perhaps you should also show some respect to Tommy Ramone the dipshit who replied to me with nonsense didn't show.

Posted by D | July 13, 2014 7:26 PM

^ go the fuck away already

Posted by Anonymous | July 13, 2014 8:59 PM

because A-HOLE (12:48)NOBODY wants to hear their opinion or YOURS you miserable C__T.

i fervently hope that anyone who posts anything REMOTELY derogatory about the Ramones here dies a miserable, horrible death.

Posted by Anonymous | July 14, 2014 10:36 AM

what i wouldn't give to see you here in jamaica, 4:13. sadly, you're nothing but a small pu$$y who never gets any and never will.

Posted by Anonymous | July 14, 2014 10:40 AM

LOL "pu$$y" what a dumbass, probably still has his mom do his laundry for him

Posted by Anonymous | July 14, 2014 11:46 AM

Even a place as Rock 'n' Roll bankrupt as the post city mourns the loss of Tommy Ramone, right?

Ramones sweet Ramones.

CityFest 2014, it's coming (unlike you post city boyz.)

Posted by Mr. Foot Fetish | July 14, 2014 1:52 PM

I grew up in NYC and was into punk and hardcore but I always hated the ramones

I just never liked their music

I'm glad they are all finally dead

Posted by BE | July 14, 2014 2:07 PM

as you will be hopefully VERY soon, BE. (2:07pm).


Posted by Anonymous | July 14, 2014 2:15 PM

Your barking up the wrong tree troop

Quit while you are ahead

Posted by El barto | July 14, 2014 2:52 PM

Good riddance

Worst band ever...

Posted by Anonymous | July 14, 2014 4:10 PM

I'm just hoping Tyrone Ramone continues the band
And maybe they tour this summer

Posted by Bart edge | July 14, 2014 4:11 PM

Had no idea he produced "It's Alive" - that's a great live album and the video is awesome:

Posted by The Thons | July 15, 2014 2:47 PM

just sad. bye tommy.

Posted by earl D | July 21, 2014 4:00 PM

A tribute for the drummer by the Gilles friends fans. R I P. Thanks for all. Gilles 

Posted by Hayden | November 5, 2014 4:19 AM

tnx man is very nice articlee continu ....

Posted by al3ab-banat01 | March 8, 2015 5:30 PM

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