Tommy Ramone (Thomas Erdelyi) the last surviving member and drummer of the punk rock band the Ramones died this year. Tommy came to the US with his family as refugees of the Hungarian revolution.

The Ramones name comes from alias that Paul McCartney once used early in his musical carrier. The four members of the band were not related but they all adopted the stage name Ramone. They wore a uniform which included blown dry Beatle hair cuts, ripped jeans and leather jackets.

The Ramones-Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy, all from Queens NY, were the first american punk rock band and toured for 22 years usually in a van, playing small venues. They are also considered america’s most influential rock band. Phil Spector tried his hand at giving them a break out album in 1980 but it had mixed success. The pop music industry just didn’t find them useful. The Ramones were a total rejection of popular rock music which included ideas about musical genius and the quest for instrumental virtuosity. They did have more success in Britain and were mobbed in South America.

Musically they were considered rock primitives that distilled rock n’ roll down to it’s original hard rhythm, high energy roots, playing two minute unadorned pop songs very loud and very fast with only a quick 1-2-3-4 count-off by the bass player Dee Dee between songs. Their stage presence was some what like a military unit with rushes towards the audience along with wild jumping and careening around.

Lyrically their songs are too broad and simple to analyze. Such as the title of their third album- ROCKET TO RUSSIA.

We’re A Happy Family


We're a happy family
We're a happy family
We're a happy family
Me mom and daddy

Sitting here in Queens
Eating refried beans
We're in all the magazines
Gulpin' down thorazines

We ain't got no friends
Our troubles never end
No Christmas cards to send
Daddy likes men

Daddy's telling lies
Baby's eating flies
Mommy's on pills
Baby's got the chills

I'm friends with the President
I'm friends with the Pope
We're all making fortunes
Selling Daddy's dope

Sitting here in Queens
Eating refried beans
We're in all the magazines
Gulpin' down thorazines

We ain't got no friends
Our troubles never end
No Christmas cards to send
Daddy likes men

This song has the best fade out ever recorded. lol