Tommy Ramone Says it Took the World 30 Years to Catch Up to the First Ramones Album
The only living original member of the Ramones, drummer/producer Tommy Ramone, says that even now, 35 years after the release of the band's trail-blazing debut album, there isn't a day that passes during which he doesn't think about his time spent with Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee.
"A lot of people didn't know what to make of the first album," Ramone (real name Tommy Erdelyi) tells NoiseCreep.com. "The Ramones are the type of group where it took the world like 30 years to catch up with them." He describes that recording process as "hectic" and "chaotic."
"We had a short amount of time, the guys didn't have that much experience in the studio, but we worked really hard and really fast. Fortunately, we had a blue print before we went in because we had done a demo to get the recording contract. So we just followed the demo. We had done the framework already, which made it easy to get through that quickly. But I don't think we took two weeks working on and finishing the whole thing."
Tommy Ramone stayed in touch with the others after he handed the drum sticks to Marky Ramone before the start of the band's fourth album. He still co-produced that album, but later left the band completely. These days he's part of a bluegrass band called Uncle Monk. "Basically I like music that has a basic simple structure and that has a lot of emotion and feel," Ramone says, "Bluegrass and other old time music fits the bill, as well as what became punk -- they both kind of have a similar framework."
Rhino Records has recently reissued the band's first four albums on vinyl. Ramone says that's how they were intended to be listened to and calls the band's third album, 1977's 'Rocket to Russia,' his favorite.