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  • Topic: Tommy Ramone Dies

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    • July 12, 2014 12:59 AM CDT
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      Apparently , reports that came in today , about Tommy Ramone (nee Erdelyi.) dying from complications related to Bile Duct Cancer. By the time you read this , there should be confirmation. Sadly , I'm inclined to believe he did pass away , yesterday. The initial report was by "Rock Critic before such a title rendered you suspect " , Richard Meltzer. The report that HIS report was a hoax was housed in 70's teen exploitation mag trappings , "Is Tommy Ramone the sexiest man in Rock'n'Roll ?" , or whatever.

      After playing in a Garage Rock covers band with Johnny Cummmings /Ramone , Tommy instigated the formation of The Ramones , and with his passing , all four members of the classic lineup have embodied the cliche you see on the covers of magazines at the grocery store: "Gone too soon".    The Ramones began life as a five - piece with Richie Ramone I (Who would later leave the band , apparently because his being gay was an issue with his bandmates , no doubt , most specifically , Johnny.), Dee Dee , Johnny , Tommy , and Joey , who , like Iggy Pop before him , started out as a Drummer, but , proved to be a born frontman. Of course , another Richie Ramone would late rusher in a very interesting , but short lived , creative resurgence for the band. Richie I would go on to comparatively minor success with The Nuns.

      As the band began to branch out a bit , musically , Tommy's steady , though limited , drum patterns, remained the same. He was not a trained musician , though he'd already worked in Engineering at The Record Plant , where he worked on Jimi Hendrix's "Electric Ladyland" and others. He did find time from his busy schedule to give Miriam Linna , about to join the mk2 Cramps lineup , her first drum lesson. Eventually , Tommy left the band , citing the stresses of touring as a deciding factor. He would , of course , turn up as Producer with The Ramones , The Continentals , The Replacements , and others.

      Tommy did'nt seem to regret anything , and , he , in turn , did'nt seem to be resented for leaving the band.

      In recent years , he formed a Hippie Bluegrass Duo , Uncle Monk , sang "Blitzkrieg Bop" with The Dictators at teh closing of CBGBs ,  and finally ,  got to present Joey's Brother, Mickey / Mitch , and their Mom , Charlotte ,  with Joey's posthumous Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame Induction Award , after they were not asked to join (Most of) the surviving ex - bandmembers at the podium.

      If you guessed Johnny , you guessed correct.

      More unusual , perhaps , is the fact that Tommy , an immigrant from war - ravaged Hungary , only recently announced that he was Jewish , stating that he did'nt think anyone would have cared , either way. It turned out that most of his family was killed in The Holocaust.

      It's probable that he knew you - know - who would have had a field day , had he known there were TWO Jewish Brothers in the band. Anti - Semitism ran rampant in New York at the time , even The Dictators (Successfully) passed for Italians to avoid unecessary confrontation. That is , until Richard Blum , the embodiment of the "Tough Jew" , became the focal point of the band.  But , Tommy did'nt seem to mind , either way , what people thought of him , or his background.  And if he is  , sadly , where I think he is ,  none of that matters anymore.

      Goodbye , and thank you , Tommy , if I'm right , though , I hope I'm wrong.

       

    • July 12, 2014 9:09 AM CDT
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      Yep, it's been confirmed. Kinda thought he'd be around a bit longer. Bummer. R.I.P. 

    • July 12, 2014 1:36 PM CDT
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      FUCK CANCER!!

       

      Rest in peace, Tommy.

      ____________________________________

      "Go read a book and flunk a test." -Iggy

      Listen to SHOCK THERAPY on RADIO MUTATION if ya know what's good bad for ya!

    • July 12, 2014 7:56 PM CDT
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      I know , it seems like he wasn't going anywhere in a hurry , but , I did'nt know he had Cancer.

      Fuck Cancer hard.      

    • July 24, 2014 9:43 AM CDT
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      I didnt know Ritche Stern was gay. Not that it matters...but it's definitely a tidbit i was unaware of! Strange anyone would have a problem with it though, considering Dee Dee was most likely bi, and Arturo and Danny Fields were both gay, aren't they?

      Hard to find any info on the first Ritchie.. Strange nobody ever did an interview with him. It's easier to find info on Ira Nagel (the other possible Ramones bassist in the beginning) than it is Ritchie Stern.

      Really sucks about Tommy. Obviously not the songwriter, but he was definitely the conceptualist of the band.

    • July 25, 2014 1:20 AM CDT
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      ....STERN ,      Thank you , I forgot his last name. And , you're right , Dee Dee , reportedly , identified as Bi , but dug women more than men.  Right again about Fields and Vega , too , but , that's just what I read in an interview with Stern.... That he was openly Gay , and it caused some friction.....I don't think he said with whom , but , gee , I wonder.    

       Yeah , as I say , there WAS an interview where Richie talked about the early Ramones , as well as the Nuns , but , I forget where I saw it. It seems a couple of stories he told were confirmed by Dee Dee in other interviews , like Dee Dee's Mom threatening to ruin his Stooges records.   It's been a long time since I saw the article ,  so my memory may not be 100% accurate. But , I remember Richie saying , for various reasons , he did'nt get along with the others , tho' maybe not all of them.

      There was a show in '77 in San Francisco that predated The Sex Pistols' last show - The Ramones , The Dictators , and The Nuns  (It just now dawned on me , both The Pistols and The Beatles gave their farewell performances in San Francisco.). My Sister - in - Law was there.

       

      The conceptualist , that he was . I like that , that's good. 

       

       

    • July 25, 2014 8:30 AM CDT
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      Ah!! I would love to read that Ritchie Stern interview if you could ever find it!

      I think my favorite quote ever on the Ramones was when Tommy said: ""What we had was an idea that it's not the virtuosity that counts; it's the ideas themselves that are important. Even the Dolls and the Stooges were trying to be real bands. We were the first band to intellectually grasp the notion that virtuosity is not only not necessary, but might get in the way."

      What a guy.

       

       

       

      XXX

    • July 25, 2014 3:18 PM CDT
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      Bingo.  I think other bands (Fugs , Red Crayola , Dolls , Stooges , Blue Cheer , Early Alice Cooper Group , e.g.) were tuned into the same idea , earlier , but The Ramones were totally influenced , and boiled all these disparate ideas down to a single shot.

      I interviewed Arthur Lee in '94  , and told him about what Tommy Ramone said , that BANDS LIKE LOVE HAD THE SAME KIND OF ENERGY AS THE RAMONES , They just did it with more volume. Arthur replied "That's one man's opinion , and it's beautiful that he would say that , but , I don't know what the volume had to do with it....Except , in the early days , Love used to do a really heavy version of "You I'll Be Following" , that was probably closer to what he was saying....".    Yeah , it's on my bucket list , too.

      ....CAN'T HEAR EVERYTHING ,THO' .

      oh , and LOVE , Ramones , first (SELF - TITLED)  LPs , 7 SONGS , EACH SIDE , 7 AND 7 IS.

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