100 Greatest Drummers of All Time

From rock thunder machines to punk powerhouses, we count down the kings and queens of slam

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Tommy Ramone
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70. Tommy Ramone

"He gave punk rock its pulse": so read the obituary headline from The New York Times, remarking on the 2014 death of one Tamás Erdélyi — better known by his stage name, Tommy Ramone. With his furiously metronomic eighth notes and tribal floor-tom bombs, he provided the speed-freak beat on the Ramones' groundbreaking first three albums, matching tempos with Johnny Ramone's buzzsaw guitar. ("Not unlike a fast drill on a rear molar" was how Erdélyi characterized his style.) He also made key songwriting contributions to the band's immortal canon, even penning "Blitzkrieg Bop," which Joey Ramone called a "call to arms for everyone to start their own bands." That would include artists from the Clash and Metallica to pretty much any band that has ever played Warped Tour; indeed, Erdélyi's signature thump still resonates as loudly as ever.

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