Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz has written a tribute piece to his late friend Thomas Erdelyi following The Ramones star's death last month (Jul14). The two punk icons became friends when Talking Heads toured with The Ramones in the 1970s and Frantz reveals Erdelyi, aka Tommy Ramone, was too serious for the exploding punk scene.
In a piece written for the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Frantz recalls, "He had a seriousness about him that was different from most people in the business. The other Ramones deferred to him because he had the experience and the leadership qualities the others didn't quite have.
"As time wore on, it was not fun for Tommy. This was the time of gobbing (spitting) as a sign of approval, and they'd have to wipe down his drum set after shows. He didn't like the spit part at all. So I wasn't surprised when he decided to give up his post and let Marky Ramone take over in 1978."
Erdelyi lost his battle with cancer on 11 July (14), aged 65.
Blondie stars Deborah Harry and Chris Stein have paid tribute to the last existing member of the original Ramones line-up following his death. Tommy Ramone, real name Thomas Erdelyi, lost his battle with cancer last week (11Jul14), and, as part of a new Billboard magazine tribute, his fellow punk pioneers have remembered him fondly.
Guitarist Stein recalls meeting the drummer in the early 1970s and keeping in touch with him as he co-founded the Ramones.
He says, "I probably was at their first show at CBGBs (iconic New York rock venue) and remember how awesome they were in spite of their rawness. Tommy was an amazing asset to the group, and I was always taken by his light drumming technique that somehow drove their very powerful, ferocious sound.
"He was a gentle and supersmart guy and a mover and shaper of the New York underground music scene, and we all will remember him fondly."
Bandmate Harry adds, "Tommy seemed to me so understated compared to the rest of The Ramones. But I loved the way he played, and this light, very accessible style made those early songs loved by everyone. He added so much to their recording style and origination that I will mourn them even more now that he's gone, too."
The Billboard piece also features tributes from Lenny Kaye and former Ramones manager Danny Fields.
Punk icon Tommy Ramone has died at the age of 62. Ramone, real name Thomas Erdelyi, had been undergoing treatment for bile duct cancer at a hospice when he passed away on Friday (11Jul14). He was the last surviving member of the Ramones.
A post on the group's official Facebook page late on Friday confirmed the news, stating, "We are saddened to announce the passing of Tommy Ramone (nee Erdelyi), the original drummer for the Ramones, earlier today, 11 July 2014."
The legendary punk outfit was formed by Joey, Jonny and Dee Dee Ramone in the early 1970s, and Erdelyi was originally to be the band's manager but instead took the position of drummer. The band went on to record classic tracks including Blitzkrieg Bop, I Wanna Be Sedated and Judi Is A Punk.
Paying tribute to the rocker, former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way writes on Twitter.com, "R.I.P. Tommy Ramone" while TV star Johnny Knoxville shares a picture of Ramone.
Lead vocalist Joey Ramone died in 2001 of lymphoma, guitarist Johnny Ramone passed away from prostate cancer in 2004, and bassist Dee Dee Ramone died in 2002 after a heroin overdose.
Enigmatic and deliberate Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy makes no reservations while unraveling its heady spy story for better or worse. The film based on the bestselling novel by John Le Carre is purposefully perplexing effectively mirroring the central character George Smiley's (Gary Oldman) own mind-bending investigation of the British MI6's mole problem. But the slow burn pacing clinical shooting style and air of intrigue only go so far—Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy sports an incredible cast that can't dramatically translate the movie's impenetrable narrative. Almost from the get go the movie collapses under its own weight.
After a botched mission in Hungary that saw his colleague Jim (Mark Strong) gunned down in the streets Smiley and his boss Control (John Hurt) are released from the "Circus" (codename for England's Secret Intelligence Service). But soon after Smiley is brought back on board as an impartial observer tasked to uncover the possible infiltration of the organization. The former agent already dealing with the crippling of his own marriage attempts to sift through the history and current goings on of the Circus narrowing his hunt down to four colleagues: Percy aka "Tinker" (Toby Jones) Bill aka "Tailor" (Colin Firth) Roy aka "Soldier" (Ciaran Hinds) and Toy aka "Poor Man" (David Dencik). Working with Peter (Benedict Cumberbatch) a conflicted younger member of the service and Ricki (Tom Hardy) a rogue agent who has information of his own Smiley slowly uncovers the muddled truth—occasionally breaking in to his own work place and crossing his own friends to do so.
Describing Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy as dense doesn't seem complicated enough. The first hour of the monster mystery moves at a sloth's pace trickling out information like the tedious drips of a leaky faucet. The talent on display is undeniable but the characters Smiley included are so cold that a connection can never be made. TTSS sporadically jumps around from past to present timelines without any indication: a tactic that proves especially confusing when scenes play out in reoccurring locations. It's not until halfway through that the movie decides to kick into high gear Smiley's search for a culprit finally becoming clear enough to thrill. A film that takes its time is one thing but Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy does so without any edge or hook.
What the movie lacks in coherency it makes up for in style and thespian gravitas. Director Tomas Alfredson has assembled some of the finest British performers working today and they turn the script's inaccessible spy jargon into poetry. Firth stands out as the group's suave slimeball a departure from his usual nice guy roles. Hardy assures us he's the next big thing once again as the agency's resident moppet a lover who breaks down after a romantic fling uncovers horrifying truth. Oldman is given the most difficult task of the bunch turning the reserved contemplative Smiley into a real human. He half succeeds—his observational slant in the beginning feels like an extension of the movie's bigger problems but once gets going in the second half of the film he's quite a bit of fun.
Alfredson constructs Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy like a cinematic architect each frame dripping with perfectly kitschy '70s production design and camera angles that make the spine tingle. He creates paranoia through framing similar to the Coppola's terrifying The Conversation but unlike that film TTSS doesn't have the characters or story to match. The movie strives to withhold information and succeeds—too much so. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy wants us to solve a mystery with George Smiley but it never clues us in to exactly why we should want to.