And that is four. It means we have no Ramone left. The only logical conclusion being that being a Ramone was not a smart thing to do for your health. Even if you only played in the band for four years. The years with the most impact on punk(rock) for years to come.
Tommy Ramone or Thomas Erdelyi or better Erdelyi Tamas as Hungarian parents called him when he was born in Budapest in 1952, was one of the founders of The Ramones, the first singer of the band who switched to drums. The drummer who played on the first albums of the band full of loud played songs that were based on early The Beach Boys and Phil Spector sound hits that were sped up and heavily accented by guitar, drum and bass. We called the baby punk.
I've written before that I didn't like punk much in 1977, 1978. That only started with the second major punkwave coming out of the U.S. around 1994 with 'Dookie' and 'Smash'. Not long after I started buying the remastered The Ramones albums. Although I never became a huge fan, I enjoy my shot of The Ramones every once in a while since those days. Listening to their albums, it made me aware of the heritage in their music, which was totally lost on me in 1977/78. To recognize it one needs the knowledge first, which I didn't have back then.
The impact of the first The Ramones albums, all later albums were sort of rehashes with its moments, on everything punk that came after is clear. Iconic is the correct word. In sound, in appearance, in slogans. The band made a huge impact and will be remembered that way, even when since yesterday all four founding members are dead.
Right up to this week I wore my The Ramones t-shirt with pride, bearing the coolest band logo ever made. The logo isn't one of a rock and roll band but of an American institution. Until you start noticing the details that is. All original The Ramones are gone, the music is there forever. "Hey ho let's go!" "One two three four".