Another Ramone Down - Dee Dee's Dead
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Another Ramone Down
- Dee Dee's Dead
By Selwyn Manning.
First published on
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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