Dee Dee Ramone

Douglas Colvin
*special introductory paragraph!
*Funky Man 12"
*Standing In The Spotlight
*Street Animal: Live At New Rochelle, N.Y. 25.11.89
*What About Me 7"
*I Hate Freaks Like You
*Chinese Bitch EP
*Zonked!
*Live In N.Y.C.
*Hop Around
*Greatest & Latest
*Hey Is Dee Dee Home DVD

Dee Dee Ramone was the bassist and chief songwriter of punk pioneers The Ramones from their birth in 1974 through his quittingness in 1989. Many thought that The Ramones would (and should) call it a day when he bailed out, but Johnny and Joey kept the band going, depending way too much on Dee Dee's outside contributions (kept the royalties flowing in, I guess). During this rough period, Dee Dee divorced his wife, went off galivanting around some crazy other country, played with GG Allin for a couple weeks and eventually found a girl about 50 years younger than him to be his second wife. He also recorded some solo albums. Let's examine the solo albums, okay?


The detoxification from heroin on a userís appearance is so apparent it would be easy to tell that they are hooked on the drug.


Funky Man 12" - Rock Hotel 1987
Rating = 3

Shortly after The Ramones recorded Halfway to Sanity, Dee Dee was resting in a drug treatment center when a group of urban youths introduced him to the wonders of rap music. Because he was completely insane, it didn't take long for Dee Dee to come to the conclusion that he was a Rap Star trapped inside a punk rocker's body. Thus, this infamous single. And was he indeed a great rapper???

"I'm a funky man
I got funky bones
I'm a funky man
My name is Dee Dee Ramone!"

Of course not. This record is awful! Humiliating, embarrassing and stupid stupid stupid!

"I've seen it all
Had a ball
Someone should make
a Dee Dee doll!"

He raps stiltedly in his gravelly hardcore voice, backed by nothing but an old school beat and recurring heavily-flanged guitar lick. The lyrics are dumber than anything he ever wrote for the Ramones, and the asinine refrain "Fuh-fuh-fuh-fuh-fuh-fuh-fuh-fuh-FUNKY!" will have you rolling in the aisles with mirthloads of schadenfreude.

"Sometimes I call myself
Dee Dee King
I like to hear
the birds of paradise sing!"

And the b-side is a waste of vinyl -- just an extended 'Dub Mix' of the rotten a-side. If there is any joy at all to be found in this release, it's in the hilariously boneheaded "Funky Man" music video, which features Dee Dee bouncing up and down like a moron as a small group of hip-hop fans follows him through the streets of NYC.

"I like what i'm doing and i'm having fun
Here's some advice for everyone
Try to make the most out of every day
And remember that drugs don't pay!"

Thankfully, the errant punk pioneer quickly came to his senses -- and recorded a FULL ALBUM as Dee Dee King.

And another thing -- look at all these Troma movies I've seen!

Black Cobra
Blood Hook
Blood Song
Bloodsucking Freaks
Cannibal! The Musical
Centerfold Girls
Cheerleaders, The
Children, The
Class of Nuke 'Em High
Combat Shock
Comeback, The
Cry Uncle!
Def By Temptation
East End Hustle
Escape from Hell
Graduation Day
Hell Behind Bars
I Spit On Your Corpse
Last Horror Film, The
Linda
Lust for Freedom
Luther the Geek
Mother's Day
New Gladiators
Nightbeast
No Way Back
Pigs
Shadows Run Black
Sizzle Beach, USA
Squeeze Play!
Story of a Junkie
Toxic Avenger, The
Video Vixens

Actually, you know what? Here's the video. It's a terrible dub of it, but at least you can sorta get a feel for how awful and misconceived both the song and video are:

Reader Comments

hull5@charter.net
Horrible. I suppose itís ok as a curiousity, and I sort of get a perverse kick out of spinning it every once in a big while, but itís horrible. Possibly the worst rap song ever made.

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Standing In The Spotlight - Sire 1989.
Rating = 8

Yet again I'm miserably sick as shit so I'm not going to be as charming in this review as I usually am. Although intended as the full-length follow-up to Dee Dee King's "Funky Man" single, this isn't really rap; it's just an odd, failed novelty album. I mean, talk about your "outsider artists" - Dee Dee honestly thought he could make a respectable rap album?!?!? First of all, I personally enjoy his voice, but it's not a "good" voice. He's trying to make it sound slightly deeper but he ends up sounding like he's trying to do the voice of a cartoon moose. Then there's the music, which is all over the place from straight bass-and-synth-drums to punk metal to awful balladry, synth pop, goodtime humor music and so on. And finally - the sweet, sweet lyrics: "No one can beat me at my game/I'm badder than def, Dee Dee King is my name." "I've already got a sunburn/When will I ever learn/A lesson out of this/I am not a fish." "This is Dee Dee King on the mike/150 pounds of dynamite." "I'm the cut creator/The master of rap/When I strut down the street/Homeboys tip their hat." He has no clue, and that's why the album is so friggin' entertaining. You honestly cannot listen to it without furrowing your brow and asking aloud to a passerby, "He thought this was good?"

Well, aside from a couple of atrocious songs about girls (the worst by far is his tribute to his then-wife "Baby Doll" - a song he actually SINGS - and is it bad? It's bad!), I enjoy the lampshades out of Standing In The Spotlight. I really don't have much use for rap music, so when I hear a white punk rock bassist making a strange, unprecedented go at this black urban music, I find it a billion times more interesting than 99% of hip-hop artists, who all kinda do the same things as each other. As Dee Dee puts it in the classic album-closer "I Want What I Want When I Want It" - "There's no sense being a copycat/No one wants to hear rappers like that." Well, he's wrong, of course, because copycat rappers have been hugely successful since day one, but I do appreciate and even agree with his sentiment, and believe you me - Dee Dee King is one of a kind! And apparently The Ramones liked it too because they stole "The Crusher" right off of it, the talentless old fogeymen!

Reader Comments

Billsangry@aol.com
If this album was meant as a joke, it would be somewhat amusing. Trouble is, it wasn't. This is downright fucking AWFUL!!! I hope to God it never gets back into print. Hands down, this is the most embarrassing Ramones product ever to be released.

BrettJPearce@aol.com
Whether Dee Dee really believed he could rap is truly unknown. But as a big Ramones fan, and an even bigger DEE DEE fan, I enjoy rhe album. It's cute, funny, and even straight out rocks on a few cuts. Have some respect. the guy did what he wanted to and his talent showed no matter what he did. I definitely reccomend this album to any fan of Dee Dee, but not necessarily to all RAMONES fans. R.I.P. DeeDee, Joey, Johnny, Jerry, Sid, and Stiv. You are missed.

kaptainsteve@yahoo.com
I bought the album on vinyl when it came out, listened to the first cut once, couln't get past it to cut two, and immediately hid it away in my closet, embarassed, hoping no one would ever find it.

It is 2005 now, and I've found the album on mp3 and put it on my jukebox in my living room, and believe it or not, I have played it more than anything else for the past few months, yes, SERIOUSLY.

Now, years later and Dee Dee gone, I get it. It is completely different yet so familiar... Sure the rap part, mostly limited to the verses is pretty lame but isn't all rap? But, the melodies of the choruses are pure genius, even beautiful and prove why Dee Dee was THE genius of the Ramones, and of all Punk Rock.

It's a big mistake if you take the lyrics on Standing seriously, but then again, did you take "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" serious? I hope not.

God Bless Dee Dee King.

geral@maxtorhost.com.br
Hello! I liked the album a lot, he's not a really rapper but he tried to do what he like. I'm trying to find where can I get the lyrics of the musics, do u know where? thnx! cya

Eepurcell@aol.com
sounds like you're a confused racist cunt (& please forgive me if I'm wrong) I just hear you saying you have no use for rap music but Dee Dee's crap but it's cool crap 'cause a white guy did it & maybe he wasn't serious but if you were more knowlegable about hip hop you would realize that in it's time it didn't suck like that, it's just old school, listen to the first N.W.A. album "N.W.A. & the Posse." , does that sound like "Niggaz 4 Life", you're probably young 'cause you're judging Dee Dee against Wu-Tang when you should be judgin' him against Young M.C.

eric@showroomseven.com
From his days of streethustlin' (a p.c. way to say "unsavory sex practices to stay alive"); Mr. Dee Dee never pulls a punch, even if it is going to be a pathetic drunken flailing failure of a roundhouse haymaker.

Yes, the album is embarrassing, only because WE wanted a "strong" rock statement from him, not because he had anything to be embarrassed about. Yes, I'm sure LOTS of people and friends told him it was Sh@t!!, and no doubt tried to find and burn the master tape to "save him from himself".

Why he made and released this album is the same reason he was a "Ramone". This was his life, and he found a way to tell you about it, BALLS-OUT !!!

Not to "knock" Johnny Thunders (listen to just his side of the stereo mixes on the Dolls records, amazing, the definitive "rock" tone and attitude), but in terms of SOLO artist efforts, Dee Dee shows more adventure and diversity than Johnny or Englebert Humperdink or Joe Perry or Perkofiev ever dreamt of.

I bought the album when it released, hated it, listened to it on and off; hated it, loved two songs, hated it, etc.. Then my "programming" made me think I was deficient or stupid, should I like this compilation,and I threw it out. (Rather than wrestle with questions and provocation brought about by Dee Dee's efforts) >NOW< I keep a peripheral glance out for the chance to pounce&purchase this "Black Diamond"". Debby Harry, bless her heart, added some vocals and I assume, a dearth of unconditional support.

Stiv Bator's solo recordings stand close to Dee Dee's; he is dead, and Dee Dee is dead. Sometimes a life lived and examined leads to many deaths.

It is so easy to say things about other people's music; and that's O.K. in my book, if you KNOW that the artist(s) are copycats or just out to make some money. But, please, be slow to condemn the original "anything" should you come upon it.

Come to think of it, 'some' of my most fond musical memories are unrefined, honest moments.

T.
Why the fuck is it that if you don't like rap music SOME morons will brand you as a racist?

Who the fuck do you think invented rock 'n roll? It sure as hell wasn't Elvis. And if I so happened to hate rock music, would that make me a racist as well?

What if I hated rap (which I don't) but loved jazz? Would that make me half a racist?

How's about if I hated jazz, kinda dug rock, respect hip-hop, and can't get enough reggae? Would that make me 34.333333% of a racist?

If I didn't like Klezmer, would that make me an anti-Semite?

What if I hated Eminem?

Grow the fuck up moron.

mldj81@yahoo.com
I thought this album was horrid until I heard the ever-endearing Dee Dee talk about it himself. He knew it sucked. He just liked rap music and wanted to try it. As a fellow musician I can completely understand where he's coming from here, and hearing him say (im paraphrasing, i think the actual quote is in end of the century, though) I like rap music, and I tried, I just wasn't that good at it is incredibly refreshing in a world of rock stars that can't admit that their 'vision' might still suck. Hear that Axl Rose?

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Street Animal: Live At New Rochelle, N.Y. 25.11.89 - DeeRam 2003
Rating = 3

"Ladies and gentlemen, I've been so psyched for this one! The one, the only -- Dee Dee Ramone!" And with this optimistic pronouncement, our bodies and lungs are launched earfirst into a Renaissance Stink Festival of macho dick rock and pisspoor power pop. Considering that I spend 9/10ths of the average day raving about this man's wit and talent, the least he could do was not write a song called "She's So Sexy." But to be fair: he DID record this album after his death, and speaking from experience, I can tell you that it's nearly impossible to keep the worms off the A string when y

But to be fair: his goal when leaving the Ramones was to separate himself from his former life. When rap failed to not make people laugh at him, I guess he decided that midtempo hard rock was the only other possibility. Wasn't it the great Mark Prindle who once stated, upon first hearing Mondo Bizarro years ago, "Gosh Doc, it was nice of Dee Dee to contribute some songs, but why do they sound like John Cougar?" Oh sure, I've grown to enjoy "It's Not For Me To Know" and "Main Man" over the years, but they're a car fry from "Gimme Gimme Sedated Glue." Sadly, they're goddamned (mother)fucking "We're A Happy Family Part II" compared to flaccid pelvic thrusts like "Feel The Pressure" and "Ain't No Sugartalker." Therefore, I will now actually tell you what this album is.

I think it's a bootleg. It's a live album with a bubblegum pink cover, recorded with "The Spikey Tops" in New York on the 11th day of the 25th month (Turduary? Crapril? Pooplaugust?) of 1989. Those suffering from Collectionaire's Disease will be compelled to BLOW money earned at their JOBS because it features both (1) Seven D.D. Ramone originals unavailable elsewhere (including "Got A Girlfriend," "Trippin' Down" and "Easy Man To Please"! They're not very good!) and (2) Dee Dee himself performing the later Ramones hits "Poison Heart" and "Main Man" -- although interestingly the album cover calls the latter track "I'm An Apeman" and includes a note stating that all of the tracks are unreleased "apart from Poison Heart, recorded with the Ramones almost three years later." Interesting mistake indeed, considering that "Main Man" is on the same exact Ramones album as "Poison Heart." Where the hell did they get "I'm An Apeman" from? What is this? A KINKS album? Ha ha! No but seriously! Ha ha! No no wait! Ha Ha! Wait, my pants are falling down from the laughter! Ha ha! Oh no! Four of my penises have gingivitis!

Dee Dee sounds hoarse, drugged and stupid, the guitar has a chorusy sheen on it and is nearly impossible to hear over the dull bass and drums, and the songs themselves, although they're really really great songs, are nevertheless poorly composed and quite near invaluableless. I guess Dee Dee agreed, because he never officially released any of these gaseous songs into our fragile atmosphere.

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What About Me 7" - American Gothic 1993
Rating = 7

Returning his sights to the musical discipline entitled "decent music," Mr. Ramone and his band "The Chinese Dragons" (a drug reference so blatant they might as well have gone by "Smacky Joe And The Heroin Gang") rip out a lyrically empty but vocally energetic piece of chugging piss-off punk-metal that'd kick even more ass were the verse and chorus not identical and the bridge not stolen from The Ramones' "Don't Bust My Chops." Side two is even more interesting: a cover of the New York Dolls' "Chatterbox" that replaces the original's camp playfulness with a blast of desperate distorted punk.

I used to see this record at Eat More Records all the time, but never wanted to spend $6 on it. Now it's worth the entire world's supply of gold and I live in a small plastic bag.

Now here's a bunch of euphemisms I made up for "male masturbation":

"Sandpapering the bannister"
"Jerkin' the Dworkin"
"Tickling Me Elmo"
"Buttfucking the air"
"Gluing together the pages of National Geographic"
"Onanism? More like "OWNIN' JISM, if you ask me!!!"
"Fertilizing any eggs that may have snuck onto my lower belly"
"Semen and children first!"
"Something to pass the time while studying for a pornography test"
"Salt Lake City, Ut-AAAAHHHHH!"

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I Hate Freaks Like You - Rough Trade 1994
Rating = 6

With his first non-hip-hop solo full-length, Mr. Ramone and his band "I.C.L.C." piece together the cobblestones of a great masterwork encapsulating the decadent sensations of darkest ulterior Roman times. When he cries "Don't Look In My Window" in a Lemmy-style ascending yell, he is retreating into the hobnobs of a small creek near the woods of Shantyville, USA. When he complains that "Life Is Like A Little Smart Aleck," he is recollecting upon a lifetime of hidden, forbidden and deferred visions of semantic tapestry. And when he plays two or three simple chords over and over again, he is playing Ramones songs that you've already heard a million times with different lyrics.

But that's just "it," as they say on TV, Dee Dee wrote the majority of the band's most creative riffs, but riff wells dry up (creaky creaky) and all that's left are remnants of past chord sequences. So are there any "We're A Happy Family"s on here? Mmmm. Maybe one or two, but even that's pushing. These chord sequences are just too simple to be all that impressive. There's not even anything on here as interesting as "The Crusher" from his rap album. The title track steals a portion straight from "Wart Hog," "Trust Me" is "7-11" with different lyrics, "All's Quiet On The Eastern Front" is on The Ramones' Pleasant Dreams album and, for a reason that can only be written off as profoundly stupid, "Making Monsters" appears on here TWICE! The others? Some are catchy Ramones-style angry punkers, some are Ramones-style pop punkers, a couple are Ramones-style ballads. Only ONE song on here deviates from the tried-and-true formula that Dee Dee helped create oh so many years ago in that sleepy little town in Queens, NY - and that's the oddball metallic sludgebucket "I'm Seeing Strawberry's Again." An interesting experiment in "off-key singing against a wall of heavy pounding" that serves as upsetting contrast against the rest of a record that could use more of such unexpectedness. I mean, I understand him trying to win back the fans he freaked out with the last album, but he didn't have to return COMPLETELY to what he was doing before. It almost seems like he didn't have enough talent to try anything else. And that simply cannot be the case!

In case you've never heard Dee Dee's voice, let me try to describe it for you. It makes him sound uneducated. He may be very smart; I have no idea. But his voice is low and sort of lispy and he executes his words in a strange, semi-mealy-mouthed manner. Have you heard "53rd & 3rd"? He sings the middle part about the razorblade and the God and the cops and the sissy.

I suppose if you haven't heard "53rd & 3rd," you probably won't want to after that description!

Reader Comments

luciano@bansen.com.br (Luciano Durigan, from Brazil)
This is the best album I have listened in ten years. I can't stop listening to it for eight months now. It was described on Dee Dee's book Lobotomy (by Dee Dee himself) as something not very good and not very important, but I can NOT agree with him and I can NOT agree with you. This album deserves ten stars or whatever it is that show GREATNESS. The song Lass Mich en Ruhe (with Nina hagen), with it's german chorus is the best song that the Ramones - and all the other punk bands - never wrote. It's so simple and great. Dee Dee's lyrics are not "another lyrics" to ramones music, they are GREAT, smart, right to the point lyrics! I LOVE them and I love to sing them loud! And yes, the songs may use "ramones chords", but most of it is ORIGINAL use of those same chords we all love. And more: There is not ONE bad song on this album. The song "somebody put a curse on me" is perfect, with the chorus where it changes "silly little curse" to "little silly curse". "Smart alec" is also great. Dee Dee voice is GREAT on this album, it's really well recorded and powerful. And I hate to say that, but this album is even better because Barbara does not sing on it, so you can let it play without pushing the forward button! This album is FANTASTIC. This album should be know by the world.

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Chinese Bitch EP - World Service 1994
Rating = 6

Now see, this is exactly why so many people considered Dee Dee Ramone a one-trick idiot. Look at these songs:

"Chinese Bitch" - Not only does the song title recall The Ramones' "Chinese Rock"; he actually uses the phrase 'chinese rock' in the song! Furthermore, the intro riff is stolen from The Ramones' "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" and both the verse riff and middle-eight are stolen from The Ramones' "Rockaway Beach." Wonderful. Good work, Dil Do.

"I Don't Wanna Get Involved With You" - Not only does the song title recall The Ramones' "I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You"; the intro riff is stolen from that very song! That's American pride.

"We're A Creepy Family" - Not only does the song title recall The Ramones' "We're A Happy Family"; the chorus consists of Dee Dee singing the title three times in a row, just as in that very song! Furthermore, the first two riffs are stolen from The Ramones' "Havana Affair." Even additional further more, the song only has one verse yet he manages to cram in references to three different Ramones songs: "Wart Hog," Freak of Nature" and "Pinhead." Considering this was also around the time he wrote "Cretin Family" for The Ramones, it's clear that family was an important issue on his mind. His poor, burnt-out, drug-addled mind.

"That's What Everybody Else Does" - This song just stinks.

Aside from those minor issues however, it's the best record ever released. Lots of energy, speed and distortion!

Now here's a bunch of euphemisms I made up for "female masturbation":

"P. Diddling"
"Sloshing the galoshes"
"Dating the premature ejaculator"
"Bubb Rubbin' Lil Sis (Woo-Woooooooooo!)"
"Literally finding a man in a boat, and wackin' off in front of him"
"Enjoying A Clit Eastwood Film"
"Misplacing the cucumber in the gigantic wet house"
"Dressing Up Like 'Stinky Fingers McGee' for Halloween"
"Mistakenly not having sex with Mark Prindle"
"Serving as Mike Love's muse"

Reader Comments

jkc
"I Don't Wanna Get Involved With You" is supposedly one of the very first Ramones songs. So I guess itís kinda cool that it exists in some form. No excuse for the rest of the tracks, though.

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Zonked! - Other Peoples Music 1997.
Rating = 8

Finding a 7-year-old girl in another faraway land to marry has changed Dee Dee's outlook for good! His hair is white and his face is wrinkly, but his songs are jumpy and fun! The wife "Barbara" now plays bass in the band, with Mr. Marky Ramone on drums and long-time Ramones friend Daniel Rey on guitar. And the songs are supercatchy! Dee Dee claimed to have gotten really into the electric blues at the time, but the only instance of this influence cropping up on the record is "Fix Yourself Up," a not-very-good song that sounds more like the Heartbreakers than the Ramones (that whole Johnny Thunders thing). The rest of the CD is Ramones-city - midspeed mostly, but very fuzzy and singalongable, with some of the high points being driven by his WIFE! Her voice is really neat - robotic like Nico, but high and cute like a cute girl (which she is, and her parents must have been none-too-thrilled to discover that she was fleeing to America to wed a 4 million year old ex-heroin addict), so her songs about being with her boyfriend and threatening girls to "stay away from my chico" are just so adorable and nice and sweet. Makes a fine, young break from the old man trying to sound young and cool on the rest of the album.

As far as his songwriting goes, Dee Dee is certainly doing everything he can within his particular range; he does ballads, hard rockers, pop punkers, and all pretty well. He only falters when he strays TOO close to Ramones cliches - "Why Is Everybody Always Against Germany," for example, references "Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World" and "It's A Long Way Back" not just lyrically but musically as well. And "I Am Seeing UFOs" features Joey Ramone on vocals, Dee Dee Ramone on guitars and Marky Ramone on drums, which I feel is very reminiscent of The Ramones.

Hey! Shut uppayouface!

So yes - if you are okay with music that sounds just like the last few Ramones albums, but with Dee Dee singing instead of Joey, you'd do yourself good to pick yourself up a copy of Zonked!. Don't expect genius. I'm giving it a low 8 based on entertainment value, but not necessarily creativity. The riffs are really simple and it's not hardcore punk rock or anything, but if you're a huge Ramones fan looking for more tunes to sing in your head, this is a fun, fancy-free expression of good time baked potato from the man who invented modern-day punk rock. That guy from The Cramps even sings on one song! And you know how busy HE is these days!

Reader Comments

Billsangry@aol.com
First of all, Dee Dee did NOT marry a 7 year old girl. Second, this one sucks almost as bad as Standing in the Spotlight. You're a bit too biased with your Ramone's reviews.

RAFAEL.CORADIN@gvt.com.br
first of all, congratulations for the site.
In my poor South american opinion, Zonked is one of the best rock'n roll albums ever! The lyrics aren't stupid but genious. It "pictures" perfectly any teenage feelings.
Sorry about my english.

daniesol@online.no (Hilde Sollie)
This is as if I should have said it myself. It's a very good album, Dee Dee's best.

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Live In N.Y.C. - 1999.
Rating = 8

Hey! I'm alive in N.Y.C. right now! I'll try to let you know if this situation should change. This CD is actually credited to "The Ramainz." You see, after the Ramones finally imploded for good and Dee Dee had returned to NYC from his otherworldly sojourns, he grabbed C. Jay Ramone (his replacement when he left the Ramones!), Marky Ramone (Ramones drummer) and his wife "Barbara Ramone" and played some shows in the city under what I still consider to be an incredibly clever name - The Ramainz. Oh. I already told you that. Fcuk.

By the time they recorded this CD of old Ramones chesthairs, C. Jay was gone, but let's move on. Anybody who saw The Ramones live during the last five or so years of their existence can vouch for me when I say that they played all the songs WAY TOO FAST. Trying to cram thirty songs into an hour-long-set becomes difficult when the album tracks start reaching three and four minutes apiece. So every single song was played at double- or triple-speed, with Joey not even trying to actually sing, just grunting and shouting some words here and there. What The Ramainz chose to do was play the old Ramones classics (mostly written by Dee Dee, but they threw in a couple of popular Joey tunes too) at the speed they were meant to be played. Not SLOW - again, The Ramones invented modern punk rock so they knew the importance of speed. But not so fast you couldn't tell one song from the other. I can't make a transition here.

Dee Dee and Barbara trade off vocals, thank GOD, because Dee Dee's range is pretty limited to begin with but it sounds even worse after about half an hour, when he gives up and just starts TALKING the words instead of even trying to hit those heavenly Joey Ramone notes. Barbara, on the other hand, hits the notes fine, doing a great job with "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker," "Judy Is A Punk" and a few others. She's no Joey Ramone, but then again Joey sounded like shit in a concert setting so she certainly has THAT over him!

The band sounds great too. Chainsaw guitar chords thrashing away, Marky Ramone sounding tighter and crisper than I have EVER heard him sound, hitting those quarter-notes (tih-tih-chip-a tih-tih-chip-a) like a metronome from Dandelionville - you know, something just hit me. I wonder if they performed this set as a three-piece? I bet they did! I certainly don't hear a second guitar in the mix. It probably says who plays on it on the little CD booklet actually. But who wants to learn to read? Quite frankly I have no idea what I'm typing and never have.

The song selection is as good as gold - Eight Ramones songs, two Leave Home, five Rocket To Russia, two Road To Ruin and then "Chinese Rock" and "Wart Hog" from a couple of albums that nobody likes but me. There are also two new originals that would appear on Hop Around. I'm pretty sure that nobody in the audience gave much of a crap about those. But at least they didn't include that stupid Velvet Underground cover that they played when I saw them live. Oh yes! I saw them live! With C. Jay! Joey was in the audience! This was before he died though, so it was less interesting than it might have otherwise been.

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Hop Around - Corazong 2000.
Rating = 6

Jeeeezus. Somebody's living in the past, isn't he? Let's compare some of these song titles to Ramones titles, okay?

I DON'T WANNA DIE IN THE BASEMENT = I DON'T WANNA GO DOWN TO THE BASEMENT
MENTAL PATIENT = GO MENTAL
NOW I WANNA BE SEDATED = I WANNA BE SEDATED
38TH & 8TH = 53RD & 3RD
CHINESE ROCKS = CHINESE ROCK

Oh, all right, that last song is actually a re-recording of the old song. But the others AREN'T! They're just ridiculously Ramone-cliched embarrassments with chord sequences completely ripped off from the first four albums by that fine band. Granted, Dee Dee wrote the riffs in the first place, so he's really only plagiarizing himself, but it's still kind of pathetic to see the guy who had gotten so serious and introspective in the late 80s/early 90s ("Strength To Endure," "Poison Heart," etc) reverting to this kind of STUPID mindless entertainment. I mean, you sit there and say, "Hey! `Get Out Of This House'" has a killer riff!" And then you realize of course it does -- he used it in "Go Mental" 22 fucking years ago! And then you're all like "Dammit Dee Dee! Don't Be A Dodo!" because that's clever and alliterative. Could he have forgotten that he already wrote these songs? Sure, these tunes are catchy as hell, but he just continually rips off bits and pieces from his back catalogue like he's putting together some kinda weird Residents-style compilation/creation. It's enough to make a grown man shake his fist angrily at this festering pus-ridden boil we call "a festering pus-ridden boil."

Musically, the album obviously relies on loud distorted bar chords like all the Ramones stuff does, but DD also throws in some `60s style organ and Johnny Thundersy leads every once in a blue moon. Vocally, once again, the ones that Barbara sings are a jillion times more tuneful than the ones that Eed Eed moans. And finally, in summation, there's this song called "I'm Horrible" that I really like and wish the rest of the album was as good as.

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Greatest & Latest - Conspiracy 2000.
Rating = 7

Eleven Ramones songs, a re-recording of his shitty solo song "Fix Yourself Up," two covers, a song by his guitarist Chris Spedding and one new Dee Dee/Barbara composition (a tired old chord sequence given new life by exuberant female vocals and a great vocal melody). Random thought: Am I crazy or does he play the intro/break in "Cretin Hop" wrong? I thought Johnny went UP on the guitar, but Dee Dee goes down. I actually like Dee Dee's way better! Which brings up another point. In Dee Dee's solo version of "All's Quiet On The Eastern Front" (from I Hate Freaks Like You) he plays the chorus completely different. I wonder if that was the original way he wrote it and Johnny made him change it to be catchier or something? Which brings up another point. When the hell did Dee Dee get so UGLY? He used to be the "cute" Ramone! He was always at least cool- and stoned-looking. Not to mention quiet. Now his face looks like a skull and he's always making cocky gestures and ripping off his previous glories. What gives? My only guess is that he's always had the ego, but both Johnny (the disciplinarian Ramone) and heroin (the hirsute Beatle) kept it under check for many, many years. Now he's married to a sweet young thing, he's supposedly off drugs, he's out on his own where he can do whatever he wants and he's HAPPY! Plus he's a punk rock legend and probably gets idolized by Ramones fans wherever he goes. Which I suppose could create an ego. Look - I don't even know for sure that the guy HAS an ego. But just compare his stupid mugging in these cover photos with his old Ramones-era scowl. Can you believe that this is even the same man? He looks like a creepy old ice cream man!

The album itself is just a more sterile version of Live In N.Y.C. pretty much, with Dee Dee once again failing to even come close to the magical vocals that Joey laid on the originals. But the band sounds crappy too! This drummer guy is NO Mark Ramone, I tell you right now. And stuff like "Pinhead" sounds just miserable, slowed down to a stultifying, lifeless almost crap-metal song. My fiancee wants me to "give all these albums a zero," but I refuse. I love The Ramones and for the most part, I even like Dee Dee's solo stuff. I just don't understand why he is so stylistically stuck in the past. It's like he's incapable of artistic growth. Which is really, really weird for somebody who was smart enough to create an entire new form of rock music. And he's clearly not just trying to please the fans, because none of these CDs sell enough to keep him going anyway. I'm sure he just gets all his money from Ramones royalties. Maybe he's just all washed up? I hope not. Zonked! is an enjoyable as hell record and I think he has more in him, if he would just LAY OFF THE SELF-PLAGIARISM!

And cigarettes. Pregnant women like Dee Dee Ramone shouldn't smoke cigarettes.

Reader Comments

CMyers@winston.com (Curt Myers)
Was DeeDee in GG Allin for a spell? I think he played lead guitar. Someone told me that and I believe everything I hear.

dereksmit@imcavastgoed.nl
Shortly after deedee died ( a great loss , he was my biggest idol ) i found a solo cd of him, it was cheap so i tought what the hell......

And it's an okay album , it's not a rocket to russia but it has listenable tunes on it and some okay/great new songs like motorbikin' ( your typical 3 chords ramones song but i like that way ). Barbara ramone sounds like a guy by the way, she's hot but let the singing over to deedee!

good covers some good new songs or maybe i just like to hear deedee now that he is gone

DeeDee Ramone R.I.P

pacman@dreamscape.com (Kim Wilson)
dee dee was one of the most amazing people i have ever hung out with, i could say so much more, but are there really people out there who care & would listen to my ramblings? if so e-mail me-courtney-at misfit315@yahoo.com

jbhull5@msn.com (Jim Hull)
All of Dee Dee's solo stuff was pretty lazy. Personally, I was embarassed to hear this mess of an album. It sounds like one of those cheapo "Digitally Rerecorded Versions of the Original Hits!" albums that has-been 60's-70's artists put out of their old stuff--using one original member of the group.

What a disappointment. Dee Dee was churning out the last few albums for the money. Do you blame him? He was so obviously jaded by the whole business. Ironic, isn't it...Dee Dee became the ultimate "sell-out". He turned into what he tried to replace so long ago. Hearing this shit, I'm glad he quit the group.

Shows that the Ramones were much greater than the sum of their parts.

I can't understand how this album can get anything higher than a 2. Mark--you're not being as subjective as you should with this waste.

smokingfrog2@hotmail.com (Johnny Skullfuck)
Hi.

In your review of afforementioned album, you said that Dee Dee played Cretin Hop differently.

This is because Dee Dee's basslines varied from Johnny's guitar lines and Dee Dee sometimes plays the equivalent of his lines.

Dee Dee did not do this on beat on the brat though, where on the original ramones recording he want from B (A string 2nd fret) to low E (open E string), and Johnny went from B (E string 7th fret) to Hi E (A string 7th fret)

Oh yeah, and it is a great album.

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Hey Is Dee Dee Home DVD - Extinkt/Music Video Distributors 2003
Rating = 8

Eleven years ago, Dee Dee Ramone agreed to a sit-down conversation with director Lech Kowalski for a film about Johnny Thunders. I wasn't there but sources, some of them accurate, make this case so I see no point in belaboring the issue any more than I already have (and I do apologize for the subpoenas, Mr. Cheney). The result is now available for your tender viewing! The film is a full hour of Dee Dee chit-chatting about Johnny Thunders, the old punk days, rampant heroin use, tattoos and hilarious incidents with his fellow Ramones. The most striking thing about the footage is how goshdarned charismatic he was. I mean, it's not like the market has EVER been flooded with Dee Dee Ramone video footage (he refused to be interviewed for Lifestyles of the Ramones and is only featured in a few scenes of We're Outta Here! and Around The World With The Ramones), so I've always had this image of him as an arrogant strutting sort of burnout. And maybe at times, he WAS that way (rumor has it he had bipolar disorder or somesuch), but in this particular video, he presents himself as an adorable, witty, down-to-earth, innocent and unself-conscious ChildMan. When the video ends, you just want to go hang out with him some more! But he's dead, so don't try to do that.

The only disappointment for me is the lack of additional Dee Dee footage. Lech includes one uproarious scene of a super-young, super-stoned Dee Dee trying to defend the song "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" on a TV show, so clearly he COULD have procured additional rare material like this. (At least, I presume so?). It's still an interesting one-time interview, which is all it advertises itself as, but I guess I'm just hoping that someday somebody WILL compile a true documentary of Dee Dee's career, with spoken and video footage from every era -- especially the Dee Dee King era. Could somebody out there take care of this for me? Thanks, Bill.

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