The last of da brudders, Tommy Ramone has exited stage left. Having lost Joey and Johnny to the big c, and Dee Dee to his own nefarious devices and almost wilful descent to oblivion, all sadly very prematurely, Tommy outlasted them all. He was 65.
Initially he took over percussion duties on joining the band (from the syncopationally challenged Joey, the original drummer) but also played some white hot guitar on the albums as well. Eventually Tommy relinquished the drumming hot seat to Marky, but he remained closely connected to the band.
I gave a deserved call out to The Ramones in my song "Nobody Plays Rock 'N' Roll Songs Anymore". The group that launched a million T-Shirts were unquestionably one of the most influential bands of all time. They never had "hits" or mass adoration during their time except from a relatively small group of folks "in the know". But I dare anyone to put on "Rockaway Beach" and not let your foot tap along or your head nod involuntarily.
Like their music The Ramones kept their foot to the floor, lived fast and died too young.
"Where are the da brudders, they're all gone
Just when we need them the most
I wanna hear them call out 1,2,3,4
Now they're all black leather ghosts"