Ramones' Tommy Ramone Dies But the Band's Legend Will Never Die Thanks To These Songs
Rock music lost a big one Friday with the death of Tommy Ramone. The last original member of legendary rock band the Ramones, Ramone (whose nonstage last name was Erdelyi) died of cancer of the bile duct July 11 at his home in Queens. At the age of 65, he outlived fellow founding members Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone, and Dee Dee Ramone by over a decade. But there's something unique about being a rock star: Once you're gone, a certain part of you stays behind.
Spin magazine ranked the Ramones second on their list of the 50 Greatest Bands of All Time — they were behind the Beatles but above Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, and Nirvana. Obviously it's a subjective list, but it speaks to their place as relatively unique musical giants — they never really achieved great commercial success, but their influence will outlive a whole lot of us.
Because failing to reach the top of the Billboard charts (or even failing to make the charts at all) did not make songs like "Blitzkrieg Bop" and "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" failures. "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker" made it to 81, but that's not why it's endured. So in honor of the Ramones and its late founding members, here are some of the songs that landed them a permanent spot in music history:
"Sheena Is a Punk Rocker"
"I Wanna Be Sedated"
"I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend"
"The KKK Took My Baby Away"
Image: Sire Records