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Sad To See You Go – RIP Tommy Ramone [VIDEO]

Amazing to think of an entire band, gone. With the passing of Tommy Ramone this weekend, all of the original Ramones have left us – yet their impact & influence, never will. They’re simply one of the most important bands of all time.   

We’ve lost the last of the original Ramones. Tommy Ramone passed away over the weekend after an long battle with cancer. He was only 65. A son to Jewish parents, they survived the Holocaust and would eventually move to the US when Tommy was four years old. He would start a group in his teen years with Johnny “Ramone”, which would soon enough turn into the Ramones.

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Tommy was to manage the band with Johnny on guitar, Dee Dee on bass and Joey on drums. Joey however couldn’t keep up with the Ramones’ tempos so he became the singer and Tommy jumped behind the drums, becoming a hugely influential drummer.

In 1978, he passed the sticks over to Marky Ramone and stuck as the band’s manager for a little bit longer. He didn’t write a lot, but he wrote enough; “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” and most of “Blitzkrieg Bop”.  Tommy would also awesomely produce the band’s first three records and eventually their 8th. “Too Tough To Die”. He produced my favorite Replacements album too, “Tim.” One major thing most people might not know, Tommy played most of the guitar solos on the albums he produced as Johhny was more of rhythm style player.

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In my opinion, no Ramones, no CYY. Just not possible.

No Ramones… no Nirvana, U2, Joan Jett, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Beastie Boys, Pearl Jam, Metallica and many more. Basically there’s basically no punk or punk related after them, without them; Green Day, Offspring, NOFX, Rancid, No Doubt, Rise Against and that list goes on and on and on.

They were/are/always will be THE punk band. They were so much more than that too. Not only did they inspire other musicians, but they gave birth to a new type of person. You can’t really give that person a name or anything. You just know when you see someone if could be a true fan/follower of the Ramones or not. It’s part “eh, whatever” and part “hey ho, let’s go”.

The Ramones’ influence came in ways and it was passed on through their style of playing, their look/attitude/approach, their touring, their logo, their humor, their simplicity and their respect for their predecessors.

What characters they were! Although they were young and potentially dangerous, they really came off like grumpy old men set in their ways and not interested in much of anything really. Sloppy in places, off center, aloof… yes. But make no doubt about it, they were so good and so damn passionate when they did their thing. It was like a friggin’ stampede when they laid into it. (hey, during your lunch break, watch a full show displaying that power RIGHT HERE)

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NO ONE else could be the Ramones and no one will ever be close. This was a band, a gang, a brotherhood, a “thing” so filled with magic and body odor that will never be duplicated. They just… happened, and the world has been changed because of them. That makes them more than just a band. They changed the world.

sire rec.

So, there will be no more true reunions or partial gatherings anymore as the original four are gone. Close Ramone-adopted people are gone too. Hilly Krystal, owner of CBGB’s and who gave the band their start died shortly after his club closed a few years back. Arturo Vega, who created their visuals including the legendary Ramones logo also recently passed away. It’s like a curse. We lost them all in like barely 13 years.

Well, not all of them. A few of the “younger” Ramone siblings still hang with us; Marky, CJ, Richie and even Elvis Ramone (die hards know who that was, temporarily), but the true original happy family lives together, now, elsewhere.

Eight years ago I met Arturo Vega at the Warped Tour. I bought a shirt with the logo he created, from him. That’s his back right there with the logo on it.

If heaven has a dirty street alley or a run down club where the owner’s dog craps all over the place; you will find Tommy now there with Joey, Dee Dee and Johnny in leather jackets, cheap sneakers, jeans so dirty and used they could stand on their own and those huge awkward looks on their faces, as always. The band that never looked or acted like they fit in was actually the band that helped create “in”. And to be “in” didn’t take anything but being real.

Gabba Gabba Hey! If you know anything about the Ramones, you know that phrase. Well it was their twist on a phrase that comes from the 1932 motion picture  ”Freaks”, in which the title characters chant the line “Gooble, gobble, we accept her, we accept her, one of us, one of us!”

That really kinda explains a lot about them and all of this. “One of us”.

 

Enjoy some cool visuals from mostly Tommy’s years/the early years with the band. 

Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Induction

1974 @ CBGB’s

1975 FOR JAPANESE TV

1977 @ CBGB’s (a little more “polished” than in ’74)

1975 live audio from a full show in Boston

1976 Live at Max’s Kansas City in NYC

Public TV Special in Minneapolis

 

RAMONES TRIBUTES

(a fav band of mine, the Wildhearts @ Ramones museum in Berlin…)

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