Sunday, June 5, 2011
Celebrity Grave: Musician Dee Dee Ramone 2002
Dee Dee Ramone, born Douglas Glenn Colvin, (September 18, 1951 – 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.
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."