Tommy died 3 days ago at 65.
It’s fair to say that The Ramones set the blueprint in my teenage years for my future life - and pretty much for everyone else into punk at that. The recent passing of Tommy unexpectedly came as shock for me as the death of the last of the original Ramones put an end to what many view as the greatest punk band of all time. Tributes poured in all over, pics were posted, tweets were tweeted and obituaries written. I wont’ be babbling about all of that throughout this piece though.
It’s sad to say that the sole moment the Press attempted to pay tribute to a band like the Ramones is when one of its members dies or when a supposedly trending piece about tight jeans is being put up. Fuckwits, they’re unstoppable when it comes down to mug themselves off in front of everyone. Funnily enough when they do, they’re getting it all bloody wrong. To say that Tommy was the best drummer ever to play for The Ramones is just plain wrong.
I’m not here talking to you lot either to slag Tommy’s memory off nor am I trying to cash in on his death. All I’m aiming at is to make everyone understand that I’ve always liked Marky better. Granted, Tommy was one the founding member of The Ramones that took up drumming for the band cause nobody else could keep up with the pace of the rhythm back in ‘74. He also became manager and worked out tense situations as well as money-related issues mainly through the friendship all had with the “5th Ramone” aka Arturo Vega.
But if one looks closely enough, when Marky kicked in he had better experience in punk music having previously played for The Voidoids. He sort of perfected the already stripped-down beat Tommy had developed along the first three albums. Speaking of the records many state that they’re the best ever produced by the band and that they couldn’t ever be bested. To me, the best album ever recorded by The Ramones was Road To Ruin, the very first with Marky on drums in ‘78.
Marky and the rest, embodiment of cool.
And they carried on recording brilliant albums upon brilliant albums, End Of The Century under the direction of Phil Spector, Pleasant Dreams and the list goes on. Marky wasn’t always perfect, he overdid drugs and was temporarily kicked out for that on Subterranean Jungle. He also was part of of the whole falling out thing the band got through over time. Nevertheless he remained to me as the one true drummer The Ramones played with and still does to this day. Maybe because the first record I ever purchased featured Marky on drums.
I assume Tommy couldn’t cope with the frantic pacing of tours and had to leave eventually, but Marky was the one the others needed to keep the ever-so-important rhythm section going. He filled in and did the job nicely, Richie was way to fast by the way. All in all, it was a sad day for pretty much all of us and Tommy remains the original Ramones drummer.
For this, he’s still the face of this bunch of Queens’ goons who only wanted to play rock’n’roll the way they intended to and went on the change rock music forever. They were the face of the sleazy NYC I always loved which fathered the best punk there is, not the trendy-dorky city I sometimes witnessed when I stayed there a year ago. Hate to say this but rest in peace mate.