Sunday, July 13, 2014

Saturday Night At The Liberal Curmudgeon: Remembering Tommy Ramone

Tommy Ramone (right), 65, the drummer and last surviving founding member of the iconic punk rock band The Ramones, passed away on Friday. The Ramones, whom I saw at the legendary East Village punk bar CBGB, had a fast, raw, aggressive sound that counteracted the excesses of rock operas, prog rock and jam bands. Above, the band performed "Rockaway Beach," which refers to a beach in Queens, the NYC borough where the band met, specifically at Forest Hills High School–also the alma mater of a duo with quite a different sound, Simon & Garfunkel. .


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 was 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.

Monte A. Melnick

Jeff Tone said...

Thank you, Monte. What a beautiful tribute to your friend Tommy. In reading about him, I was struck by the expanse of his musical talent in so many genres. You were fortunate to know Tommy–and he was clearly fortunate to have you as a friend.

Michael J. Mand said...

That really is a beautiful tribute to Tommy. I'm told that Tommy actually replaced Joey Ramone as the drummer in the band because Joey couldn't keep up with the frenetic beat. It's hard to believe that all four original members of The Ramones, a band with as youthful a sound as there ever was, have died.

Jeff Tone said...

It is hard to believe indeed. Just like the three in the Jimi Hendrix Experience.