Tommy Ramone Dead: The Ramones Founding Member Dies at 65

Tommy Ramone
Tommy Ramone, a founding member of the punk band The Ramones, has died at the age of 65 Craig Barritt/Getty Images

Tommy Ramone, an original member of The Ramones, has died at the age of 65. The musician passed away Friday at his home in the Ridgewood area of Queens, New York and had been in hospice care following treatment for bile duct cancer, according to Variety.

"We are saddened to announce the passing of Tommy Ramone (nee Erdelyi), the original drummer for the Ramones, earlier today, 11 July 2014," the band said in a statement on their Facebook page.

The official site also posted a quote of Ramone's from 1978. "It wasn't just music in The Ramones: it was an idea. It was bringing back a whole feel that was missing in rock music – it was a whole push outwards to say something new and different," he once said. "Originally it was just an artistic type of thing; finally I felt it was something that was good enough for everybody."

Born Erdelyi Tamas, the drummer-producer was the last surviving member of the legendary punk band. The Hungary native co-founded the band in 1974 in New York with singer Joey Ramone, bassist Dee Dee Ramone and guitarist Johnny Ramone. (All members were unrelated and born with different last names, but took the Ramone surname for the band.)

The band—who've influenced the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana and Green Day—debuted their first album in 1976. They are best-known for songs like "I Wanna Be Sedated," "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue," "Beat on the Brat" and "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker." The band dispersed in 1996, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2011, the group received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ramone is survived by his longtime partner Claudia Tienan and an older brother. A private funeral service is planned.

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