From MisHum’s ONT:
January 29, 1952, Born on this day, Thomas Erdelyi, (Tommy Ramone), Hungarian drummer with the Ramones who had the 1977 UK No.22 single ‘Sheena Is A Punk Rocker’. Erdelyi also worked as a record producer and was an assistant engineer for the production of the Jimi Hendrix album Band of Gypsys. He died on July 11, 2014 following unsuccessful treatment for bile duct cancer.via thisdayinmusic.com
He embeds a Ramones clip, of course, but my personal favorite video of theirs is from earlier in their storied history, with the added bonus of actually including Tommy thrown in:
The buzzing, distortion-soaked overdrive permeating every frame of this video, “Loudmouth” most especially, is something that doubtless horrified the sound engineers working on the Arturo’s Loft TV show when it aired in ’75, but it’s the very thing that makes it work. The raw, adrenaline-soaked energy revved up by that joyously-homicidal buzzsaw is pure Ramones, a HUGE part of what made them great.
That’s an almighty thick wall of bone-crusher sound those four skinny, awkward twerps from Queens are putting out—the birth of a true rock and roll revolution whose towering impact still reverberates to this day. Notice how Joey’s knees are trembling at around 20-25 seconds in; he’s wound up so tight by the sheer grinding power of the monster he and his bandmates are unleashing he’s damned near to shattering like cheap glass. He desperately clings onto the mic stand as if it were the only thing tethering him to life itself…then casually kicks it away and slings it around as if to express his disdain for life preservers of any kind, declaring his defiant willingness to sink or swim on his damned own, thanksverymuch.
Nobody who hasn’t personally experienced that dizzying rush can ever begin to imagine how good it feels. And there’s no way to explain it with mere words, either; they just aren’t adequate. It doesn’t happen every time you walk onstage, of course. But as Dave Edmonds once said, the times it does are what get you through the times it doesn’t, and are what keeps you coming back hoping for more of it. Truly, it’s the most powerful addiction there is. I’m out of the game now myself, and even though I never attained the level of success the Ramones did, I still miss it every minute of every day.
I’ve posted a good many times on the Ramones in this space: for example, here, here, here, and here. Hard to believe they’re all gone now except Marky—all the Founding Four, Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee, and Tommy. RIP, boys, and thanks for the music. Ya done good.