Cut the argument. Buy a watch. Get a fucking tattoo. Before you get into it, remember this: Joey crooned his way through a shark's row of teeth into teenaged hearts, Johnny maintained a bizarre Mosrite militancy over the proceedings, Tommy built it from the drums out, Marky tenured longer than most, Richie bitched about the T-shirt money, and CJ earned his right through some tough shoes, while Elvis (Clem Burke) fared better with Blondie. But in the end, it was the former Army brat who brought a certain atmospheric poesy to one of the most influential bands of all time.
That man was Dee Dee Ramone, Glenn Colvin as he was known to his mother. The man who gave us the agitated and shredded 1-2-3-4 count, the bliss of many a punk rock band and the bane of many a club manager and suburban neighbor. It don't matter, you can't keep the crusher down, even if heroin took him from us on June of 2002. The king of the ring was, is, and shall always remain.
Born to an American soldier and German mother, Dee Dee spent most of his formative years growing up in Germany, where he created a surreal lyrical style that is mostly anti-Semitic but so firmly tongue-in-cheek that the very Semitic Ramones were able to pull it off. Kinda like Reagan Youth performing in full Klan regalia. Let the PC Nazis zero in on that.
Enjoying an alienated youth led the young Dee Dee to form a quick and tempestuously lasting friendship with John Cummings (Johnny Ramone) that held the opposite of the latter's personal views but that produced one of the better one-two punches in musical history. If you're going to sit and make a case that the Ramones' music was too simple or too repetitive, I dare you to come up with something better that completely revamps a mainstream mind-set and inspires thousands across the globe to pick up instruments.
Their belief was simple: We can and will do it.
While this could turn into a Ramones blog where I bleed over these digital pages with the best leather-clad giddy-up gusto that I could muster through my limited knowledge of nanotechnology, I will not. Because I freaking love the Ramones. Ever since the mid-'80s when their music infested my ears with possibility. I never picked up an instrument, but I picked up the albums. To say that the Ramones where a force to be reckoned with is to fully understand that Dee Dee was the driving fuel behind it.
Let's respect the memory of the dead, let's celebrate the birth of one of the most unsung heroes of music, a man, though dealt with personal demons, who was able to translate his pain into catchy tunes we can still bop till we drop to. Even through an out-of-left-field rap career.
Dee Dee King - "The Crusher"
King of the ring.
The Ramones - "53rd & 3rd"
No more of your fairy stories. Mr. Green Beret.
The Ramones - "Poison Heart"
We all wanted to walk out of this world. Because of your poison heart.
The Ramones - "Highest Trails Above"
The Ramones - "All's Quiet on the Eastern Front"
One of my favorites. Stat.
The Ramones - "Wart Hog"
Throw in the decadence of the lead-in "Durango '95" and this endless cycle of pain will do ya right.
The Ramones - "Swallow My Pride"
Loose lips do sink ships, and it's not all they say.
Dee Dee King - "German Kid
And somehow The Hoff is more appealing to our German friends.