Dee Dee Ramone: Wikis


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Dee Dee Ramone
Birth name Douglas Glenn Colvin
Also known as Dee Dee King
Born September 18, 1951(1951-09-18)
Fort Lee, Virginia, USA
Died June 5, 2002 (aged 50)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Genres Punk rock
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Bass guitar, vocals, guitar
Years active 1974–2002
Labels Sire, Wanker Rec, World Service, Other People's Music, Corazong
Associated acts Ramones, GG Allin, Nina Hagen, Furious George, Paul Kostabi, Christian Martucci, Stefan Adika
Website Official Dee Dee Site
Notable instruments
Fender Precision Bass

Dee Dee Ramone, born Douglas Glenn Colvin, (September 18, 1951[1] – June 5, 2002) was a German-American songwriter and bassist, best remembered as a founding member of the punk rock band The Ramones.

He was also known for his distinctive count-in style, used to start off many Ramones songs.

Though nearly all of the Ramones' songs were credited equally to all the band members, Dee Dee was the group's most prolific lyricist and songwriter, penning songs such as "53rd & 3rd", "Commando", "Rockaway Beach" and "Poison Heart". He was the bass guitarist for the group from their formation in 1974 through 1989, although at first he wanted to play the guitar. He then left to pursue a short-lived career in hip hop music under the name Dee Dee King. Afterwards, he returned to his punk roots and released three little-known solo albums featuring brand new songs (many were used later on Ramones records). He toured the world playing his songs, Ramones songs and some old favorites in small clubs and continued to write songs for the Ramones until 1996, when the band retired.

Dee Dee struggled with drug addiction for much of his life, especially heroin; he began using drugs as a teenager, and continued to use for the majority of his adult life. He seemed to clean up his act in the early 1990s and to remain clean for most of that decade.

He died from a drug overdose in 2002.[2]




Born Douglas Glenn Colvin in Fort Lee, Virginia, as the son to an American soldier and a German woman. As an infant, his family relocated to Berlin, Germany, due to his father's military service. All through his childhood as a young boy he was moved from place to place due to his father being moved around because of his career. These moves caused Colvin to have a lonely childhood without any real friends. His parents separated around his late childhood/early teens, and he lived in Berlin until the age of 15, when he, his mother and sister Beverley moved to the Forest Hills section of New York City's borough of Queens, in order to escape Dee Dee's alcoholic father.[3] There he met John Cummings and Thomas Erdelyi (later dubbed Johnny and Tommy "Ramone"), then playing in a band called The Tangerine Puppets, named after a Donovan song of the same name.


Colvin and Cummings quickly became friends, as they were both outcasts in their heavily middle class neighborhood. After an unsuccessful guitar audition for Television, Cummings and Colvin formed the Ramones with then-drummer Jeffrey Hyman (soon to be Joey Ramone) in 1974. Hyman took over vocal duties after Colvin decided that he could not sing lead vocals for longer than a few songs as his voice shredded. Joey Ramone also suggested that Dee Dee could not sing and play bass well at the same time.

Colvin was the one who thought to name the band the Ramones; he read that Paul McCartney often signed into hotels under the alias "Paul Ramon". He added an 'e' to the end of that surname and the band members all adopted the name Ramone.

Dee Dee wrote or co-wrote most of the Ramones' repertoire, such as "53rd and 3rd" (a song about male prostitution at 53rd Street and 3rd Avenue in Manhattan, allegedly based on personal experience), "Glad to See You Go" (written about his then-girlfriend, a stripper and fellow drug user with a volatile personality), "It's a Long Way Back to Germany", "Chinese Rock" (originally recorded by Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers, as guitarist Johnny Ramone was not enthusiastic about the Ramones doing songs about drugs) and "Wart Hog" (a song Dee Dee wrote in rehab). After he quit the Ramones, Dee Dee continued to write songs for them, contributing at least three songs to each of their albums.

According to Mondo Bizarro, for example, the Ramones bailed him out of jail in exchange for the rights to "Main Man", "Strength to Endure" and "Poison Heart", a minor hit for the Ramones. The Adios Amigos album is molded around the strength of several of Dee Dee's solo songs, for example "I'm Makin' Monsters for My Friends" and "It's Not for Me to Know" from the album I Hate Freaks Like You.


In 1989, before leaving the Ramones, Dee Dee started a brief career as rapper "Dee Dee King" with the album Standing in the Spotlight. (Dee Dee had recorded "Funky Man" as Dee Dee King in 1987, before leaving the Ramones.) Critic Matt Carlson writes that the album "will go down in the annals of pop culture as one of the worst recordings of all time. Which, of course, makes it one hell of a great collector's item."[4] After the album failed, he returned to punk rock with various short lived projects such as Sprokkett (which also featured Richard 'The Atomic Elf' Bacchus) of D Generation and later, The Spikey Tops.

In 1991, Dee Dee was briefly involved with transgressive punk rock singer-songwriter GG Allin, playing second guitar with Allin's backup band The Murder Junkies. His involvement lasted a week, enough for him to be briefly interviewed during the filming of the Allin documentary Hated: GG Allin And The Murder Junkies; rehearsal recordings of him with Allin appear on the Hated soundtrack, and on the posthumous live Allin compilation Res-Erected; while video footage of rehearsals is available on DVD through Allin's estate's website.[5]

In 1992, Dee Dee formed another short lived project named The Chinese Dragons, which was followed by the best of his post-Ramones projects. The group was named Dee Dee Ramone I.C.L.C. (Inter-Celestial Light Commune) from 1994 to 1996. The group was created by Dee Dee Ramone and recruited New York City bassist John Carco (former Queens N.Y.H.C. group Misguided and a member of several lines ups with singer/songwriter Jesse Malin (D Generation) when the two became friends attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings together during the summer of 1992 in New York City. After writing more than a dozen songs and recording several demos for an upcoming Ramones album with Ramones producer Daniel Rey, Colvin decided to keep the new material for his own band, Dee Dee Ramone I.C.L.C. After working with several drummers and doing several live shows in the New York area Colvin and Carco moved to Amsterdam to record a four song EP and fourteen track album for Rough Trade World Service label, Dee Dee Ramone I.C.L.C. 4 Song EP and Dee Dee Ramone I.C.L.C. I Hate Freaks Like You were released on April 17, 1994, featuring Nina Hagen on two of the album's fourteen tracks. The three-piece line up now consisted of Colvin (vocals, guitar), Carco (electric bass, vocals), and Dutch drummer Danny Arnold Lommen (drums, percussion).The group Dee Dee Ramone I.C.L.C. would go on to promote the I Hate Freaks Like You album by touring 22 countries in a 10-month period.

During the tour in November 1994, Dee Dee was searching for his lost guitar on the street outside his hotel in Argentina when he met 16-year-old Barbara Zampini.[6] She was a Ramones fanatic and had been playing bass for two years. Dee Dee and Zampini would later marry, and remained together until his death.

In January 1995, the group had completed their 10-month tour and returned to their headquarters in Amsterdam to begin recording a second album. The group was dropped, however, upon Colvin's personal troubles with their record label, Rough Trade World Service. Upon this news I.C.L.C. bassist John Carco decided to leave the group and move to Los Angeles to form his own group, Metro, with Frankie O. and Pete Stahl (former D.C. punk/hardcore band Scream). John Carco would later pursue an acting career in Los Angeles and New York. Songs written by Dee Dee and Carco for the never released second I.C.L.C. album would eventually be recorded by the Ramones on their final album Adios Amigos in 1995, one of these songs a fan favorite Born to Die in Berlin was to be the final song on the last Ramones album, which also featured Dee Dee's singing in German on the bridge of the song. The Ramones Adios Amigos album would also have several songs previously recorded from Dee Dee Ramone I.C.L.C. I Hate Freaks Like You album.

Dee Dee was a special guest at the final Ramones show at The Palace in Los Angeles on August 6, 1996, performing the lead vocals for "Love Kills". (C. J. Ramone was by then the group's bassist.)

Even before the Ramones retired, Dee Dee formed a Ramones tribute band called The Ramains (later The Ramainz) with his wife Barbara ("Barbara Ramone", bass) and former Ramones bandmates CJ (guitar) and Marky (drums). He also recorded several solo albums under his old name Dee Dee Ramone: Zonked/Ain't It Fun which featured another song written by Dee Dee Ramone and John Carco meant for the second I.C.L.C. album "Fix Yourself Up" (1996), Do The Bikini Dance (2002), Hop Around (1999) and Greatest & Latest (2000). Dee Dee Ramone's voice is audible on the Nina Hagen album Freud Euch (1995) and on the Furious George EP Goes Ape! (1996).

In the new millennium, Dee Dee teamed up with Paul Kostabi, leader of the hardcore punk band Youth Gone Mad and former guitarist for White Zombie. An established artist, Kostabi was instrumental in getting Dee Dee's new career as a painter off the ground. Together with Barbara, the trio collaborated on several hundred works that sold quickly for a few hundred dollars each.

On Halloween 1998, while staying at the Chelsea Hotel, Dee Dee and Zambini met the Hollywood band SEXYCHRIST, which featured adult film star Kurt Lockwood, who encouraged them to move to Hollywood and together the two bands shared a successful tour of the U.S. in early 1999. Afterwards, Dee Dee formed the Dee Dee Ramone band. Members included Christian Martucci (Christian Black), currently of Black President (vocals and guitar), Anthony Smedile (drums), Chase Manhattan (drums), and Stefan Adika (bass). With the exception of one show at the Spa Club in NYC and a club Makeup performance, this would be his last touring band. Martucci and Manhattan appeared in Dee Dee's last book, Legend of a Rock Star, A Memoir: The Last Testament of Dee Dee Ramone, written while on tour as a trio in Europe in 2001.[7]

Dee Dee moved to the West Coast partly to pursue an acting career. He landed a major role as The Pope in Bikini Bandits (2002) [8] and contributed the song, "In A Movie", to the soundtrack which features his wife Barbara on lead vocals.

His next album was supposed to be a live album produced by Gilby Clarke (ex-Guns N' Roses), taking place on June 12, 2002, at Hollywood's Key Club Hollywood. There are several bootlegs of this line-up (Dee Dee Ramone Band), including, Live in Milan, Italy. Dee Dee's final studio recordings were released by trend is dead! records on the album, Youth Gone Mad featuring Dee Dee Ramone (2002).


Dee Dee Ramone was found dead on the evening of June 5, 2002, by his wife Barbara at his Hollywood, California apartment. An autopsy established heroin overdose as the official cause of death. His final show was supposed to be at the Ventura Theatre. The show ended up being a memorial show in his honor.

He was buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California, not far from the cenotaph of his former bandmate, Johnny Ramone. His headstone features the Ramones seal surrounded by the line "I feel so safe flying on a ray on the highest trails above" taken from his song, "Highest Trails Above", from the Ramones album, Subterranean Jungle (1983). At its base is the quote "Ok...I gotta go now".


Dee Dee Ramone used Ampeg amplification during his entire career with the Ramones.[9]

  • Danelectro Bass: Natural, White pickguard, Rosewood fretboard (1974-1975)
  • Fender musicmaster bass: red, white pickguard, rosewood fretboard ( 1974-1975 )
  • Fender '62 Precision Bass: White, Tortoise pickguard, Rosewood fretboard (1975-1977)
  • Fender '75 Precision Bass: Black, Black pickguard, Maple neck (1975-1977)
  • Fender '76 Precision Bass: White, Black pickguard (changed to Red), Maple neck (1977-1983) (He used at least 3 such basses).
  • Fender '78 Precision Bass: Sunburst, Black pickguard, Maple neck (1982-1983) (He used at least 2 such basses).
  • Fender '79 Precision Bass: Black, White pickguard, Maple neck (1983-1988)
  • Fender '83 Precision Bass: White, White pickguard, Maple neck (1983-1988)
  • ESP Custom Precision Bass: Cream, White pickguard, Rosewood fretboard (1986-1988)
  • ESP Custom P-style Bass: Orange w. Spider Graphic, Rosewood fretboard (1986-1989)
  • ESP Custom Thunderbird Bass: Yellow w. Chinese Dragon Graphic and "Ramones" lettering, Rosewood fretboard (1988-1989)


Dee Dee Ramone wrote two books: Poison Heart: Surviving the Ramones (aka Lobotomy) and Legend of a Rock Star, a daily journal of commentary on his last, hectic European tour in the spring of 2001. Both were released as "non-fiction" autobiographies, despite the fact that "Legend of a Rock Star" features a sequence in which he murders a border guard.

He also penned a novel, Chelsea Horror Hotel, in which he and his wife move into New York City's famous Chelsea Hotel and believe they are staying in the same room where Sid Vicious allegedly killed his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen. In the book, Ramone is visited by Vicious himself, as well as other dead punk rock friends such as Johnny Thunders, Stiv Bators, and Jerry Nolan.


Albums with Ramones
Solo albums
Singles with Ramones
Solo singles


  1. ^
  2. ^ The tombstone tourist: musicians By Scott Stanton. Simon & Schuster. p. 204
  3. ^ Pareles, Jon. "Dee Dee Ramone, Pioneer Punk Rocker, Dies at 50", The New York Times, June 7, 2002. Accessed June 17, 2009. "Tony Colvin moved her children to New York in the late 1960's. They settled in Forest Hills, Queens, where Douglas met the future members of the Ramones, described in Lobotomy as 'the obvious creeps of the neighborhood.'"
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ Ramones: Interview With Barbara Zampini
  7. ^ Ramone, Dee Dee (2002). Legend of a Rock Star, A Memoir: The Last Testament of Dee Dee Ramone. Thunder's Mouth Press, formerly Four Walls Eight Windows. ISBN 1560253894, 9781560253891. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Ramones: Bass equipment Retrived:2009-10-01

External links

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