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article imageTommy Ramone, last of the original punk rockers, dies at 65

By Nathan Salant     Jul 12, 2014 in Music
New York City - Rock legend Tommy Ramone, the last surviving member of the original punk rock band Ramones, has died, a business associate confirmed Friday.
Ramone, the band's drummer, was one of the four friends who decided to form a band, drop their last names, and perform deceptively simple but blisteringly fast songs like "Blitzkrieg Bop" and "I Wanna Be Sedated" at deafeningly loud volumes.
The band never achieved only modest commercial success but its music has come to be considered seminal in the rock genre, according to the Associated Press.
Dave Frey of the Ramones Productions and Silent Partner Management companies told the AP that Ramone died on Friday but did not offer additional details about his death.
Ramone was born in Hungary, his birth name was Erdelyi Tamas.
His bandmates, Johnny (birth name John Cummings), Joey (birth name Jeff Hyman) and Dee Dee Ramone (real name Douglas Colvin) all took the last name Ramone when they formed the group in 1976.
Johnny Ramone died of prostate cancer in 2004, Joey Ramone died of lymphatic cancer in 2001 and Dee Dee Ramone died of a drug overdose in 2002, the AP said.
Band members had long hair and wore leather jackets when they performed at now-legendary New York City nightclubs such as CBGB and Max's Kansas City.
They never had a Top-40 song but influenced legions of followers, including the bands Nirvana and Green Day.
Bruce Springsteen wrote the song "Hungry Heart" for the band after seeing a performance in Asbury Park, N.J., but his manager talked him into performing it for himself and it became a massive hit, the AP said.
Other well-known Ramones songs included "Beat on the Brat," "Teenage Lobotomy" and "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker," the AP said.
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