July 12, 2014

The last Ramone...

... Tommy Ramone, dead now, at 62.
Born Erdelyi Tamas in Budapest, Hungary, and known professionally as Tom or T. Erdelyi, Ramone played [drums] on the first three epoch-making Ramones albums....

Joey Ramone died of lymphoma in 2001; Dee Dee succumbed to a drug overdose in 2002; and Johnny expired from prostate cancer in 2004.
Tommy died of bile duct cancer. Here's a clip of Tommy Ramone from 2012, talking about NYC songs, including The Ramones' "Rockaway Beach" (which he does in acoustic form):



I'm playing that and Meade — from the next room — says: "Boring. Sounds like a guy just making up stuff on State Street."

Here's how it's supposed to sound.

ADDED: Here's the NYT obituary. Excerpt:
“We started auditioning drummers, but they just couldn’t grasp the concept of the band — the speed and simplicity,” Mr. Erdelyi said in a 2011 interview with the website Noisecreep. “So I’d sit down and show them what we were looking for and the guys just finally said, ‘Why don’t you do it?’ So I gave it a try and that’s when the sound of the band sort of solidified.”...

Official songwriting credits were shared by the full band. But Mr. Erdelyi was the primary author of several of the Ramones’ early classics, including “Blitzkrieg Bop,” which opens their first album with the chant “Hey ho, let’s go!” and features lyrics that boil teenage angst down to its most basic and kinetic:

What they want, I don’t know

They’re all revved up and ready to g
o

45 comments:

jr565 said...

Why did so many Ramones die of cancer?

jr565 said...

The Ramones were definitely punk, but at the same time they were also adhering very closely to 50's early 60's rock song structures. More so than any other "punk" group at the time.

EDH said...

Epidemiologically speaking, did the Ramones represent a "cancer cluster"?

Danny says...we gotta go

Hangin' out in 100-B
Watching Get Smart on TV
Thinkin' about
You and me and you and me

Hangin' out in L.A.
And there's nowhere to go
It ain't Christmas if there ain't no snow
Listening to Sheena on the radio
Oh-ho oh-ho

Sound check's at 5:02
Record stores and interviews
Oh, but I can't wait
To be with you tomorrow

Baby
Oho-ho-ho, we got nowhere to go
And it may sound funny, but it's true

acm said...

I wonder if non-Ramones from their neighborhood had higher rates of cancer? It seems odd that three of the four died of cancer so young.

Carol said...

I've never heard the Ramones. Same goes for those other groundbreaking icons, Elvis Costello and Lyle Lovett.

Who picked these icons, anyway. Rolling Stone?



Carol said...

I've never heard the Ramones. Same goes for those other groundbreaking icons, Elvis Costello and Lyle Lovett.

Who picked these icons, anyway. Rolling Stone?



madAsHell said...

Boring. Sounds like a guy just making up stuff on State Street.

I'm pretty sure that was the sound they were pursuing.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

(1) I saw the Ramones live at a first-rate rock club, the band so well rehearsed, the sound so good, the interaction with the crowd so nonexistent, they might just as well have been a recording.

Had I known at the time that they always tried to break their record for briefest set ever, I might have found it more interesting, a reason to cheer them on.

(2) In their defense, even though I found the music something less than riveting, my brand new girlfriend (large-breasted and abundantly-lubricating) and I were doing Quaaludes and it's tough to compete with that.

Anonymous said...

Phoning-it-in Betamax says:

Ludwig Ramone, the cello-playing Ramone kicked out of the band before they recorded their first album. Rockaway Bach perhaps. Maybe a "Rock Me Amadeus" reference. Falco Ramone? Meandering.

Anonymous said...

R.I.P. Tommy. You and your brothers (along with some other "punk rock" groups) saved us from the clutches of "Disco".
Wonder if Meade changed his opinion of Rockaway Beach after hearing the recorded version of it?

Anonymous said...

Phoning-it-in Betamax says:

Bootsy Ramone, the original black bassist for the Ramones. The Ramones could never get a grip on the funk, so: out, Bootsy. Maybe a riff on how Bootsy actually played all the bass parts on the Talking Heads' albums. Underlying theme: unfunky white people. Maybe a segue to Vanilla Ice Ramone. Going nowhere.

Anonymous said...

Phoning-it-in Betamax says:

Scarlett Johansson Ramone. Black leather jacket cleavage, tight jeans. When you're phoning it in it inevitably comes back to Scarlett Johansson. Listless.

robinintn said...

He's the last "founding member" but Marky is alive and well. You see him around Nashville fairly often. He's a legit Ramone, not like some of those late-stage Stopges.

Anonymous said...

Phoning-it-in Betamax says:

Barack Hussein Ramone. I wanna be coronated. Trying too hard or not trying at all: fine line. Scarlett Johansson's bile duct.

Anonymous said...

Phoning-it-in Betamax says:

Ramone Ramone. Cover band that plays Duran Duran in the style of the Ramones. His name is Joey and he dances on the sand. Yacht: New York way of saying "You ought." Pastel-colored leather jackets with the sleeves pushed up. Nothing there.

Anonymous said...

Phoning-it-in Betamax says:

The Ramones: Helen Keller's favorite band. Helen Keller jokes? Really? The sound of the bottom of the barrel being scraped.

Anonymous said...

Phoning-it-in Betamax says:

Scarlett Johansson as Helen Keller, learning to say "Water" while wearing a wet T-shirt. Make that a wet 'Ramones' T-shirt so it has the appearance of being on topic. Fizzle.

Monte A. Melnick said...

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.
I mourn the passing of the last of the original Ramones, my friend and a true musical visionary.

The Crack Emcee said...

jr565,

"Why did so many Ramones die of cancer?"

They were one.

The Ramones Are Dead.

Long Live The Ramones,...

Zach said...

The punk arrangement gives some needed tension to the song. The lyrics are kind of bubble gum -- they even mention bubble gum! They need some counterpoint or emotional dissonance.

With the original Ramones arrangement, you've got a driving punk rhythm whose lyrics are about innocent fun. So there's a dissonance -- an idea that maybe all of this punk stuff is just innocent teenage fun in disguise.

Robert Cook said...

There weren't any other "punk" groups at the time. The Ramones were the template for much of the "punk" music that came after. They consciously tried to make pop music and saw themselves as becoming the next Bay City Rollers, (who were briefly big in the UK). Most of their imitators copied their approach but not their musical forbears. Not all of what fell under the "punk" label, of course, fell within the Ramones school.

Hal Gore said...

Marky Ramone, who replaced Tommy, is still alive....

Dr Why said...

I think that The Ramones was a Seventies art project more than anything else. Planned and executed. God bless 'em.

tim maguire said...

I love the opening to the liner notes of their greatest hits CD. When they showed up for their first gig, the club manager didn't know if they were the band or just hoodlums trying to steal the equipment. When they'd finished their first set, he still wasn't sure.

Anonymous said...

One of my brothers died of bile duct cancer. He was 52 years old when he died. I learned that this cancer is often advanced before it it suspected by the patient and diagnosed by a doctor. That was my brother's case. He died about 9 months after he first consulted a doctor because his friends told him he was looking jaundiced.

Tom Grey said...

They also played, live, in Silicon Alley venues more often than any other punk group in the early 80s. Pogo and slam dancing with booze buzz -- what fun that was.

Almost all energy with more fun than rage.

Ohhh oh oh my brain is hanging upside down...

The K-K-K took my baby away ...

I wanna be sedated.

Bob R said...

The Ramones created the best music for grading first-year calculus.

Bob R said...

The Ramones were definitely punk, but at the same time they were also adhering very closely to 50's early 60's rock song structures. More so than any other "punk" group at the time
I think almost all of the punk groups used those song structures. It's just that the Ramones (and a few others like The Clash) could actually sing and play.

Carter Wood said...

Rockaway Beach became Muengersdorfer Stadion in German, or rather, the Koelsch dialect, by Max Zeltinger. Outstanding tribute:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkeRyhcwY0Y

I saw the Ramones in PDX in '78. Scared me.

traditionalguy said...

Listening to the music explains why they all died young. They were worn out.

rhhardin said...

The first version with the banjo is nice. Unfortunately interrupted.

CWJ said...

The name fooled me. Never would have guessed they were Hungarians. But now that I know - it all makes sense.

CWJ said...

OK doubly fooled. Tommy was the only Hungarian. Still.

CatherineM said...

Ramones first press release

http://thecut.squarespace.com/home/2012/4/18/the-ramones-first-press-release-1975.html

They were awesome. It seems like the Ramones don't have just older fans. I am certainly a generation behind and I have a 16 year old nephew who discovered them a few years ago. Very cool.

Farmer said...

Holy cow! Monte reads Althouse! My worlds are colliding! Punk Farmer is killing Althouse Farmer!

SGT Ted said...

The Ramones were a seminal American punk band. I remember going to see "Rock and Roll High School" when it came out at a Drive-In. We were all classic rockers and folkies, but we knew who The Ramones were.

Anybody who winds up listening to punk is going to find The Ramones.

jr565 said...

Bob R write:
I think almost all of the punk groups used those song structures. It's just that the Ramones (and a few others like The Clash) could actually sing and play.

not just song structure but the light heartedness of fifties novelty songs. They had a deft touch that a lot of other bands didn't. Even the clash. The clash sounded like they were really trying to take themselves seriously. The ramones sounded like they were trying to remake Bird Is the word. Rockaway beach could be a remake of a beach boys song about going to the beach. Only with buzz saw guitars and deliberately stupid lyrics. Even though they are probably the first punks I still don't consider them that punk

j m said...

I'm devastated by this because the Ramones were from my time, and Meade should know better than to be such a turd. Wait, no, that's perfect. And so is this: "beat on the brat with a baseball bat."

jm

The Crack Emcee said...

realwest,

"R.I.P. Tommy. You and your brothers (along with some other "punk rock" groups) saved us from the clutches of "Disco"."

It's amazing there are people who still talk like that. Musically clueless. Even when giving credit:

Punk didn't save us from disco, it saved us from Zeppelin, Kansas, Styx, and all that other bloated white crap,...

j m said...

The Crack Emcee said:

"Punk didn't save us from disco, it saved us from Zeppelin, Kansas, Styx, and all that other bloated white crap,..."

Joey Ramone didn't think that way. He classified disco with rap as "crap", along with the rest of rock 'n roll which had lost its way. You don't have to agree with Joey Ramone, but that is how he saw the band in relation to the musical Sitz im Leben.

jm

Anonymous said...

The Crack Emcee said with regard to my comment:
"It's amazing there are people who still talk like that. Musically clueless. Even when giving credit."
And I find that amusing as hell.
I've only made a damn good living making music that I love and that, fortunately a lot of other people love too.
But of course he doesn't know me (though he's right about Styx) at all and believes I'm White.
Smoke some more of it, man, you love to.........you want to.........and you NEED to.

TMink said...

Punk or Power Pop? I think the latter as they sound like the Beach Boys with an attitude on some tracks, i.e. Do You Want to Dance. But they saved pop music and gave me lots of joy. A local liquor store played all Ramones on Saturday. Great stuff.

Trey

TMink said...

The talk was that they hated each other at the end, never talked, just got up, did their sets, and went their separate ways. Sad way to live, but I think they saved us from disco AND the overblown rock of the time. Now I listen to some disco or dance music when I am in the mood, but man, it was EVERYWHERE in 1976-77. Then came "One Two Three Four" and later "Now that your picture's in the paper being rhythmically admired and you can have anyone that you have ever desired, all I want to ask you is "Why?" and "I can't seem to face up to the facts" and things got much, much, better.

Trey

EMD said...

not just song structure but the light heartedness of fifties novelty songs.

That's still happening. Listen to Drowners. Their debut album --- it's not really punk at all, but more alternative. But a lot of the stylings and arrangements are pure 50s/early 60s rock songs. The difference is they play very loud live.

I think the reason punk adopted a lot of that sound was a simple rejection of the indulgence of the music around them. The original rock sound was fairly simple, stripped down and the songs were 2 minutes long. Without the "anger" and aggressiveness, the rejection had no teeth and was unlikely to get young people excited, so that was added to the mix.

EMD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.