When it comes to the major bands that rose out of the CBGB scene in the mid-1970s, we usually think first of those iconic frontmen and women: Tom Verlaine, Patti Smith, David Byrne, Deborah Harry and Joey Ramone. But the passing of Tommy Ramone (nee Erdelyi) last week is a good reminder that behind each charismatic leader was an uncommonly creative and powerful drummer.
Tommy Ramone, the Ramones
No frills, no fills. If you’ve seen clips of the Ramones in the early days, you know that it required a drummer with close to superhuman endurance and a machine-like precision to keep the band cooking, even if their sets rarely clocked in at more than 30 minutes.