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Another Ramone Down - Dee Dee's Dead


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Another Ramone Down - Dee Dee's Dead

By Selwyn Manning.

First published on Spectator.co.nz…

Dee Dee Ramone
1952 to 2002.Dee Dee Ramone (50), a founding member of the pioneer punk band the Ramones, was found dead by his wife of a likely drug overdose on the couch in his Hollywood home.

A single syringe was found on the kitchen counter.

Dee Dee's autobiography, "Lobotomy: Surviving the Ramones," recored his struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.

The official Ramones Web site said: "Our brother Dee Dee died last night, June 5, 2002, at his home in Los Angeles, California."

The death came 11 weeks after the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Dee Dee left the Ramones in August 1989 to launch a career as a rapper under the name Dee Dee King. In August 1999 the Ramones contributed along with Blondie to Stephen King's movie Pet Semetary.

On September 27 1989 Dee Dee was arrested in Washinton Square Park, New York on Marijuana possession charges. In March 1992 Dee Dee left rapping to form Dee Dee Ramone and the Chinese Dragons with Ritchie Screech, Alan Bama, and Scott Goldstein.

The Ramones play
live in Boston.But the Ramones were what made his bones. He was a major song writer and bassist to the Ramones and continued to write a number of pieces even after leaving the band. Perhaps his best song was Chinese Rock, a song that was picked up by former Sex Pistol bassist Sid Vicious and performed during Sid's solo-gigs around the New York City punk-club-scene in the last year of his life. Chinese Rock was a tale of going on the street to score heroin.

The Ramones formed on August 16 after playing at a party in Forest Hills New York. They then begain a residency at New York's seminal new wave club CBGB's. In February 1976 the group recorded their debut album on a US$6400 budget.

The New York Post reviewer Dave Marsh wrote: "For their first album, the Ramones have recorded 14 songs, four more than is usual, but the record still clocks in at under 30 minutes-the longest song here is 2:35 and it’s called "I Don’t Wanna Go Down to the Basement." The shortest track is 90 seconds long, and bears the fascinating title "Judy is a Punk." Fascinating also are the Ramones, the new master of garage rock minimalism. Of course it all sounds the same-it’s supposed to. If you’ve loved all the punk primitives-the New York Dolls, Iggy and the Stooges, maybe even Patti Smith for the music and not the words-Ramones are worth a listen.

In May 1976 the single Blitzgrieg Bop was released. It peaked at 111 on the US charts. On July 4 1976 the Ramones celebrated the US Centenial by touring Britain, playing at London's Roundhouse with the Stranglers. They introduced a sound and culture to the Sex Pistols and the Clash and were named the "Daddy Punk Group" in Spin magazine by the Clash.

The Ramones were controversial, particularly the 1985 song Bonzo Goes To Bitburg, referring to how then US President Ronald Regan visited a Nazi war grave.

The Ramones' best-known songs were "Beat on the Brat,""I Wanna Be Sedated,""Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue,""Teenage Lobotomy,""Sheena Is a Punk Rocker."

On October 21 1993 the Ramones sang Happy Birthday on an episode of The Simpsons.

The Ramones disbanded in 1996, a year after releasing Adios Amigos. The final album topped 62 on the UK charts.

Lead singer Joey Ramone, born Jeffrey Hyman, died in April 2001 of lymphoma, a form of cancer. He was 49. The other two founding members are Johnny and Tommy Ramone.

Send your comments to: Spectator News Editor.
© Spectator News Agency, Multimedia Investments Limited, 2002.

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