Before co-founding the Ramones, the musician and engineer know as Tommy Erdelyi served as an apprentice engineer at the Record Plant studios in Manhattan where he assisted renowned record producer Tony Bongiovi who produced records for Jimi Hendrix and the likes.
Some years later, Erdelyi, more popularly known as Tommy Ramone sought Bongiovi’s help. Tommy brought Tony down to the Bowery in NYC to the legendary club CBGB to see the band. The Ramone’s wanted Tony’s help in recreating a large live sound on their recorded music, something that was not captured on the debut Ramones’ albums.
Together, in the studio, Tommy Ramone and Tony Bongiovi co-produced the two Ramones albums, The Ramones Leave Home and Rocket to Russia, were released in 1977.
The Ramones Leave Home included the iconic song, “Pinhead,” which became one of the band’s signature songs with its chanted refrain of “Gabba gabba hey!” The Ramones Leave Home also included a fast-paced cover of the oldie “California Sun.”
Rocket To Russia was completed at Tony Bongiovi’s award winning Power Station studios. They were one of the first groups to record at Power Station and were working there with me when I built it. They literally all signed their names on the drywall in Studio A before the wood finishing was applied to the studio walls.
“Some of the sounds that I applied to the Ramones’ recordings came from my experience from working at Motown in Detroit. Tommy Ramone felt the first Ramones’ albums did not capture the energy of a live Ramones performance. So, I had to develop some recording techniques to capture the fuller, louder live performances in the studio on tape,” said Bongiovi.
“God bless Tommy Ramone who lived life with a passion for music.”
LA Times did a very nice write up with a note from Tony about Tommy’s drumming. See the LA Times article by clicking here.