Dee Dee Ramone (born Douglas Colvin), Bassist and primary Songwriter for The Ramones was born on this day, September 18th, in 1951. Dee Dee died of a drug overdose June 5th, 2002. He is buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California, not far from his former Ramones’ bandmate, Johnny Ramone.
My excellent friend Randy, an enthusiastic collector of autographs and celebrity memorabilia, recently found the time to compile a thorough overview of celebrity graves he’s visited over the past decade. Randy sent me the link to this fun slideshow this past weekend. I thought that the virtual tour was so cool, I asked if I could share them with you, dear readers, and Randy agreed.
Randy’s Rad Celebrity Grave Tour, as I am calling it, includes photographs that Randy has taken of headstones, crypts and cenotaphs from a variety of beloved icons, including Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Page, Jimmy Stewart, Errol Flynn, Truman Capote, Natalie Wood, Walt Disney, Spencer Tracy, Edith Piaf, Serge Gainsbourg, Jean Seberg, Jayne Mansfield, Truman Capote, Johnny & Dee Dee Ramone, Vampira and dozens more. The photos were shot at Hollywood Forever (Los Angeles), Pierce Brothers’ Memorial (Westwood Cemetery, Los Angeles) and Forest Lawn/Glendale (Los Angeles), as well as Pere LaChaise, Montparnesse and Les Catacombs in Paris.
LA-based Ramones fans and art lovers won’t want miss the chance to check out The Art of Dee Dee Ramone: A Birthday Memorial Show taking place from September 18 – 26th at La Luz De Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles. The opening reception is scheduled for what would have been Dee Dee’s 59th Birthday, Saturday September 18th, from 8:00 until 11:00 PM. I’m sure it will be quite a scene-making opportunity.
Dee Dee Ramone will forever be an enigmatic punk rock icon. While most are familiar with his musical legacy as a founding member and songwriter in the world famous Ramones, many are less aware of his talent for art and painting. La Luz de Jesus Gallery has assembled an exhibition of over thirty original pieces, many of which will be displayed for the very first time at this extraordinary event sanctioned by Dee Dee’s Estate to honor the rock legend. Also debuting at the show is a special Limited Edition commemorative archival lithograph featuring one of Dee Dee’s quintessential self-portraits “Dee Dee Ramone: The Blue Dragon,” as seen above. Somebody in LA who reads this blog, please go and email me a report!
The Art of Dee Dee Ramone runs until September 26th at La Luz de Jesus Gallery, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90027.
On This Day, June 5th, in 2002: Ramones bassist Dee Dee Ramone (born Douglas Colvin) was found dead by his wife Barbara in his Hollywood, CA home. An autopsy would reveal the cause of death to be a heroin overdose. It’s sort of interesting timing that Poisoned Heart, a very gritty but also very loving biography written by DeeDee’s first wife, Vera, will be in stores next week. I’m actually attending the book release party this coming Sunday. I’m sure that there will be more than few damp eyes in the room at that event. RIP Dee Dee.
Despite the fact that it has possibly the longest title of any book ever written, I was able to read Poisoned Heart: I Married Dee Dee Ramone (The Ramones Years). A Punk Love Story – the gritty new biography by Dee Dee Ramone’s long-suffering ex-wife Vera Ramone King – in the 3 hours it took me to fly from Chicago to Newark. Let me tell you, I loved this book! Everybody knows who the Ramones were, their indelible imprint on rock history, and the importance of the role that Dee Dee Ramone – heartthrob, bassist and primary songwriter – played within the band. Most of what you already know about the history of the band gets rehashed here, not that it’s anything but completely fascinating.
But what makes Poisoned Heart such a gut-wrenching, nostalgia-inspiring page turner is Vera’s first-hand account of what it was like coming up in the rock scene of 1970s New York and her intimate decades-long, bittersweet relationship with Dee Dee. Often a loving husband who doted on Vera and showered her with gifts, Dee Dee Ramone was also a violent drug addict and extremely mentally ill individual who just as often used his wife as a punching bag, making her life quite literally a living Hell. If you’ve ever wondered why a woman stays with a man who beats her, this book will help to shed some light on the many shades of grey of that situation. Clearly it was not as easy for Vera to walk away from the relationship as it might have looked from the outside. Well written, poignant, at times hilarious and ultimately heartbreaking, I cannot recommend Poisoned Heart highly enough for fans of the Ramones and rock fans in general.
The Worley Gig Gives Poisoned HeartFive out of Five Stars!