TBT – R.I.P. Tommy Ramone

Tommy Ramone passed this week. He was great. 1,2,3,4 Hey Ho, Let’s Go. 2 minutes, bam, bam, bam.

“It wasn’t just music in The Ramones: it was an idea. It was bringing back a whole feel that was missing in rock music – it was a whole push outwards to say something new and different. Originally it was just an artistic type of thing; finally I felt it was something that was good enough for everybody.” Tommy Ramone

Things aren’t always as we remember them.

The ubiquitous Ramones shirt, black shirt and simple. Worn by cool kids and poseurs everywhere.

The ubiquitous Ramones shirt, black shirt and simple. Worn by cool kids and poseurs everywhere.

But hey, as my pal Bill Mooney pointed out this week, it was not always about black shirts.

But hey, as my pal Bill Mooney pointed out this week, it was not always about black shirts.

The Ramones ca. 1976, Tommy in white shirt, second from the left.

The Ramones ca. 1976, Tommy in white shirt, second from the left.

Tommy in Uncle Monk.

Tommy in Uncle Monk.

Tommy left the world with four glorious Ramones records, three studio and one live, and they kicked ass then and will forever. He quit that at the top of his game and then produced some good stuff ( eg. the “mats – Tim) and in later years started playing bluegrass. His group was Uncle Monk.

My friend Jim Sullivan does some great music writing that you can check out at jimsullivanink.com

He interviewed Tommy:

Tommy Ramone – the RaUncle Monk with Tommy Ramonemones original drummer and producer – co-leads a bluegrass duo named Uncle Monk. It’s not as unlikely a transition to him as it probably seems to you. “I’ve always been into this type of music,” Ramone says from New York. “My older brother brought home (bluegrass) records from the library when I was a kid. It’s more than that, though. There’s a similarity between punk rock and old time music and even bluegrass. Think about it: Bill Monroe was a pretty rebellious, angry guy who liked to play fast. Old time music, it’s like home-brewed stuff.”

I was lucky enough to see the Ramones. Lucky enough to see Bill Monroe as well. Both kicked ass.

And by the way, although he made quintessential American music, he was born in Hungary and immigrated to the states.

R.I.P. Tommy Ramone

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