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Dee Dee Ramone
who was a real inspiration at the right time
solution to peace isn't clear
and American war machine
solution to peace isn't clear
Dee Dee - 1977
Planet Earth 2002
In the morning of 7th June my daily quick-zapp through german TV teletext unexpectedly confronted me with the headline ''Punk-Rocker Ramone is dead!''. No idea why, but I have known they would report about the passing of Dee Dee when I - like in trance - switched to page 174, Entertainment section, to find a short note saying something like:
''Dee Dee Ramone, 49, bassist and member of the legendary Punkrock band Ramones, was found by his wife lifeless laying on the couch at his home in Los Angeles. Suspected cause of death is an accidental drug overdose. He died on Wednesday June 5th, 2002, 8.40pm.''
Bang! What a shock!
I was right. My - for unknown reasons - all-time favourite Ramone has allowed (used?) these damned drugs to kill him(self?). Just 14 months after my 2nd fave, frontman Joey, lost a 7 years long battle with lymphoma (15th April 2001). Him too was only 49 years of age (what an odd coincidence).
The Ramones were one of the main bands who ''helped' me through a very important and difficult phase of my life. They inspired me to do something at times when I needed directions. Their music and attitude turned more than only one switch inside of me. Simply said, without the Ramones I wouldn't be who and how I am today.
The irony in this is revealed with a closer look ''behind the curtains'' on how it went out for the members of the band. I will never be able to understand why some people have to pay that big in their personal lifes, while they bring so much joy, fun and happiness to countless others, to people they don't even know. Where's the justice, the balance? Dee Dee by the way is one of the very few who was honest and named things many people prefer to keep secret. Probably it's the only way to make people realize the hard reality behind the glory. The more people will have the courage to tell the truth, to refuse being used for inhuman business games, the bigger the chance on a change to the better for musicians/artists.
About 20 years ago I saw the Ramones playing in a small club in my hometown Hannover. Until today this gig stucks in my mind as the only one which left me totally breathless, close to a heart attack or collapse of circulation. It was like becoming charged with pure energy and power constantly, without having a possibility to reload the overpressure. I felt close to explode every minute. To see&hear them live was immensily exciting, but their famous 1-2-3-4 short ''breaks'' between the songs did offer not the slightest chance to applaude (and in this way to reduce the pressure). Merciless. It was great and I loved them for that. I am glad all this happened when they still were happy and enjoyed to be and play with each other.
The Ramones will stay the US-No.1 in my ''Top 5 Punk bands'' forever, sharing it with (UK-No.1) The Damned.
These guys were inspiration. Of course, the first band I joined was a punk band. And no matter which other places destiny plans to send me to in the future, my Ramones albums will always be at hand.
It's not a regular thing for me to put up a page ''in memoriam'' (and I hope there will be no need to do it again all too soon). I am not sure if it's good or not to do it, as it is not fair against the many other musicians who die and don't get mentioned. Anyway, it's doesn't happen very often that I cry about the death of someone whom I never met in person. I remember crying about John Lennon, and about the events of September 11th. Also in this case I am touched deeply and am really in grief. I don't care how many people call(ed) Dee Dee an idiot, surely he was a bit nuts, but who isn't, right? Although I never met him I believe he was a good guy, a good hearted and sensitive person. Read his words. Maybe I'm wrong, but what does it matter?! Long long time ago he made me to believe in myself, into my dreams.
Now it feels like if I have lost someone who was a part of my life. And that's the truth.
for now, Dee Dee.
Thank you for being honest,
for sharing your crazy experiences with those willing to read, listen and learn.
Please say 'Hi' to the others.
I'll catch up with you later...
June 7+8, 2002 - Hannover, Germany
June 13, 2002: The Entertainment newsletter of Infobeat.com published some interesting info from NME News: ''The fatal dose was his first fix after eight years of being clean, close friend Legs McNeil claimed after the service.'' Read the complete article: Dee Dee Ramone buried in Hollywood
June 14, 2002: L.A. Weekly.com published an article from Falling James: Endless Vacation - Dee Dee Ramone 1952-2002
Born in Fort Lee, Virginia, on September 18, 1952, Dee Dee grew up in post-World War II Berlin with his military family, returning to the United States in his teenage years. In 1974 Dee Dee co-founded the Ramones with Johnny, Tommy and Joey in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens in New York. Actually beginning as the Ramones singer, he played bass with the band until 1989 (Brain Drain - album) and was one of the band's principal songwriters. His fascination with Germany and the culture (he lived there about 14 years and returned to his ''one half-family roots'' as an adult) frequently seeped into songs such as "Blitzkrieg Bop", "It's a Long Way Back" and "Commando". Also he came up with the band's name, taking it from a Paul McCartney pseudonym, Paul Ramon. The release of their 1976 debut album ''The Ramones'', containing a pack of two-minute / three-chords songs would make them known as the first punk rock band. After leaving the Ramones Dee Dee recorded 3 solo albums and wrote the books "Poison Heart - Surviving the Ramones" (US- and re-release title: "Lobotomy - Surviving...") and the novel "Chelsea Horror Hotel". A third book shall be published this month (June 2002), titled "Legend of a Rock Star". Dee Dee last shared a stage with his fellow Ramones in March this year, when the group (finally) was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His last performance was on Saturday, June 1, at the punk rock tribute-themed Club Makeup in Los Angeles.
Dee Dee Ramone Official WebSite
Dee Dee Ramone - In a Movie Videoclip - Theme from the ''Bikini Bandits Experience''
In Memorial to Dee Dee Ramone C.B.G.B.'s Official WebSite
First reactions at the Message Board of the Official Joey Ramone WebSite
Dee Dee Ramone - Biography by the Conspiracy Guide
The Ramones Official WebSite (direct link to Homepage - without the intro)
Ivo's Ramones Sector Fan-Site in Germany (english language)
The Dutch Ramones Portal Fan-Site in Holland (english language)
The Ramones Cool Pics Site Fan-Site in Italy (english language)
Ramones Club Fan-Site in Germany - incl. many links to news, etc. (english language)
The Ramones Rolling Stone Magazine Official WebSite
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