“I’d like to congratulate myself, and thank myself, and give myself a big pat on the back. Thank you, Dee Dee, you’re very wonderful.” These words, by Dee Dee Ramone himself, were spoken on the occasion of the induction of The Ramones into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, on
He was born Douglas Glenn Colvin, on
Dee Dee formed the Ramones in the
The group is credited with bringing a wider audience to the New York downtown music scene of the late 1970s, which, inspired by bands such as the New York Dolls and the Stooges, grew to include bands including Blondie, the Patti Smith Group, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Television, and Talking Heads.
The band’s reputation really started to take off once it established a residency at
Their debut, self-titled album, recorded in 17 days for about $6,000, was released in 1976. Fourteen songs, which were often played at breakneck speeds and seldom lasted longer than three minutes, were crammed into 29 minutes. From the opening strains of Blitzkrieg Bop (”Hey! Ho! Let’s go”), the band seamlessly morphed into darker tunes, such as Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue and the male hustler odyssey 53rd and 3rd.
They introduced punk rock to
Dee Dee was the bass player with the band until his departure in 1989. Colvin continued to record and write songs for the Ramones for over a decade after he left the band.
In 1987 Colvin started a brief career as rapper Dee Dee King, and then formed The Chinese Dragons as well as several other bands, including an ill-fated punk supergroup including the Dolls’ Johnny Thunders and the Dead Boys’ Stiv Bators. He reunited with The Ramones one last time in 1996. He later formed a Ramones cover band and became a painter. He also wrote an autobiography, Lobotomy: Surviving the Ramones.
Dee Dee Ramone was found dead on the evening of
“He was a star and the most influential punk rock bassist,” Johnny Ramone said in a statement. “I believe he has influenced every kid playing bass that saw him perform. … He was my friend and I will always miss him.”
His headstone, in Section 8 of Hollywood Forever Cemetery, features the Ramones seal surrounded by the line, “I feel so safe flying on a ray on the highest trails above,” taken from the song Highest Trails Above (by Dee Dee Ramone) from the 1983 Ramones album Subterranean Jungle. At its base is the quote “Ok … I gotta go now”.