Tommy Ramone, the last surviving founding member of seminal U.S. punk band The Ramones, has passed away over the weekend. The drummer lost his battle against bile duct cancer and died in hospice care in New York on Friday, July 11. He was 65.
Tommy was born in Hungary. He moved to the States in the 1950s with his family when he was only four after they barely escaped from the clutches of the Nazis. He formed The Ramones with three friends, singer Joey, guitarist Johnny, and bassist Dee Dee, in 1970s.
They changed their last names to Ramone in homage to the pseudonym used by Paul McCartney when he was still in The Beatles. Tommy served as the group's drummer from 1974 to 1978, but continued to work as their producer under his birth name of Erdelyi.
Johnny Ramone died of prostate cancer in 2004, while Joey Ramone died of lymphatic cancer in 2001. Dee Dee Ramone died from a heroin overdose in the following year, just two months after the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.