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Ramones Bassist Dee Dee Ramone Dies at 50

The founding bassist and songwriter for the legendary New York punk band the Ramones, Douglas Glenn Colvin (a.ok.a. Dee Dee Ramone), died June 5, 2002 of a heroin overdose. He was 50.

Ramone’s spouse Barbara discovered her husband unconscious on a sofa of their Los Angeles condominium surrounded by drug paraphernalia, together with a used syringe. Paramedics confirmed that Ramone was lifeless at 8:40 PM. Toxicology outcomes decided that Ramone died from a deadly heroin overdose. In his late ’90s autobiography, Lobotomy: Surviving the Ramones, Ramone wrote about his on-and-off battle with medication and alcohol. He died 14 months after vocalist Joey Ramone succumbed to most cancers at age 49.

Guitarist John William Cummings (a.ok.a. Johnny Ramone, who died in 2004) had been pals with Dee Dee since 1969. They met at a constructing in New York, the place Dee Dee labored within the mail room and Johnny did development. In the future, they each determined to money their paychecks and purchase guitars; Johnny obtained a Mosrite, Dee Dee bought a Danelectro.

After fumbling across the band with completely different members in several positions — Dee Dee was initially the vocalist and Jeffrey Ross Hyman (Joey Ramone) performed drums — they formally grew to become the Ramones in 1973. Dee Dee, who had a fame of being the wildest member, got here up with the title after studying that Paul McCartney typically used the alias Paul Ramon when he checked into inns. The band modified the spelling to “Ramone” and each member used the title as their surname to show their solidarity. The Ramones debuted dwell on March 30, 1974 and shortly grew to become an in-demand membership act.

Utilizing simply three and 4 chords, the Ramones combined their love for bubblegum woman pop with the laborious rock of the Who and the MC5 and the proto-punk of The Stooges, then put the blender on full-speed, making a wall of primal, melodic, abrasive and bouncy sound that was each visceral and infectious. The Ramones rapidly grew to become leaders of the New York punk rock scene and in 1976 launched their seminal self-titled debut, which included “Blitzkrieg Bop,” “Beat on the Brat,” “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” and “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue.”

The Ramones, “Blitzkrieg Bop”

Whereas the Ramones endured quite a few lineup adjustments, Dee Dee remained with the band till 1990, taking part in on 11 data. After leaving the Ramones he had a brief, unsuccessful profession as rapper Dee Dee King, recorded just a few solo albums and appeared on varied collaborations. Regardless of severe substance abuse issues, he remained musically energetic till his demise.

Within the intro to Dee Dee Ramone’s e book Lobotomy, Legs McNeil wrote, “Dee Dee was the archetypical f–k-up whose life was a dwelling catastrophe. He was a male prostitute, a would-be mugger, a heroin person and supplier, an confederate to armed theft — and a genius poet who was headed for an early grave, however was sidetracked by rock ‘n’ roll.”

And with out him, the Ramones seemingly would by no means have existed and the historical past of punk music as we all know it might not have been the identical.

Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the writer of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends, co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, in addition to the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Entrance e book My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.

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