Tommy Ramone Set The Pace For The Ramones -- Then He Quit

The Ramones in London on May 19, 1977. L-R. Johnny Ramone, Tommy Ramone (front), Joey Ramone (back), Dee Dee Ramone (Photo by Ian Dickson/Redferns)

When punk rock progenitors The Ramones played, it was drummer Tommy Ramone who barked 1-2-3-4! to kick off tunes like "Blitzkrieg Bop," "Beat On The Brat," "California Sun," and "Commando." In many ways Tom Erdelyi, a Hungarian immigrant, created the blueprint for punk rock. He wrote many of the early songs by the Ramones and helped guide a career that had longer legs than anyone could have imagined. He was the founding drummer and the last surviving member of the band that created punk. Even after he stopped performing with the band he stayed in the fold to make sure the band held onto its spirit until their final days.