This Day in Death

7.11.14: Tommy Ramone – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 4:04 am July 14, 2014

TOMMY_RAMONESo cool you can barely tell they were invented by Hot Topic in 2004 to sell t-shirts to idiots. After so many years of Big Dog I think we were all ready for a change, though.

Most people don’t know this about me, but I used to be in a pretty sweet punk rock band. We were called Johnny Quesadilla and the Caramelized Onions, and we could’ve been huge if we’d decided to sell out. Instead, we remained virtual unknowns during our brief but explosive tenure because we didn’t wanna be part of the mainstream corporate bullshit machine, and also because we never wrote any songs. But honestly, our brand of music wasn’t about the songs or the… music. We weren’t about to go down that road like the fucking Carpenters or some shit. No, we were all about three things: Copying VHS tapes for private use without either expressed or implied consent, wearing comfortable shoes even when socially inappropriate, and generally breaking whatever rules we could find as we hung around the hard streets of our gated community, just trying to survive in a world that looked down its nose at our upper-middle class privilege.

Which brings us to the death of Thomas Erdelyi, aka Tommy Ramone, drummer and producer for seminal punk rock outfit the Ramones. Tommy was the last surviving original member of the band, and his passing most likely means the Ramones’ legacy will have to be protected by the alternates the band recruited when interpersonal friction began to make their break-up an inevitablity. So get ready for the acceptable rock power of Curly Joe Ramone, Gallagher 2 Ramone, George Lazenby Ramone, and RC Cola Ramone. They’re okay. They’re not great, but they’re mostly okay.

Right about now is when I’d usually throw in some pithy block quote and try to add some gravitas to whatever the hell it is I think I’m doing around here. This time, though, in the spirit of honoring the Ramones’ contribution to modern music, let’s instead reflect on the time in 1989 when Dee Dee Ramone inexplicably released a hip hop album under the name Dee Dee King. It was called Standing in the Spotlight, and was seemingly recorded in the half-hour span of time between someone explaining to him what “hip hop” was and his actually hearing a hip hop song for the first time. Let’s listen:

I’m the master of hip hop!
-Dee Dee King, Mashed Potato Time

Some claims are just bulletproof, gentle prince.

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