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Lobotomy: Surviving the "Ramones" [Paperback]

3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
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Book Description

7 Sep 2000
Lobotomy is a lurid and unlikely temperance tract from the underbelly of rock 'n' roll. Taking readers on a wild rollercoaster ride from his crazy childhood in Berlin and Munich to his lonely methadone-soaked stay at a cheap hotel in Earl's Court and newfound peace on the straight and narrow, Dee Dee Ramone catapults readers into the raw world of sex, addiction, and two-minute songs. It isn't pretty. With the velocity of a Ramones song, Lobotomy rockets from nights at CBGB's to the breakup of the Ramones' happy family with an unrelenting backbeat of hate and squalor: his girlfriend ODs; drug buddy Johnny Thunders steals his ode to heroin, "Chinese Rock"; Sid Vicious shoots up using toilet water; and a pistol-wielding Phil Spector holds the band hostage in Beverly Hills. Hey! Ho! Let's go!

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: DaCapo Press; 2nd edition (7 Sep 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560252529
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560252528
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 775,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Great book, but unfortunately it is the same book than 'Poison Heart', only some different photos and different cover.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dee Dee was the son of a US soldier stationed in Germany and married to a local lady (whose name Dee Dee cannot even be bothered to divulge). After a difficult childhood in Germany, Dee Dee ended up in the US with his German mother and his sister.

Allegedly, they moved to a NY suburb to escape his abusive father. However, most of what Dee Dee narrates sounds slightly "off" and very paranoid. A shy and an unlikable boy, Dee Dee was not popular with his peers. He hooked up with neighbours boys Johnny and Joey and they took advantage of the chaotic atmosphere of the mid 70's to create a band.

According to Dee Dee, they aimed at reproducing the simple sound of early rock'n roll and they sort of managed, even if none of them could actually play. Then came the usual curse for bands that start to "make it": internal disputes among the boys, fuelled by drugs and alcohol.

By his own admission Dee Dee had serious mental problems from an early age. Abuse of drugs just made his problems worse, developing the paranoid side of his personality and causing him to leave the band. Two thirds of the book are nothing but Dee Dee complaining about ex band members and anybody else who had the misfortune to cross his path, mixed with generic self-loathing and demeaning stories about drug abuse.

About the women in his life, Dee Dee spends only a few lines for Connie, who overdosed while working as a prostitute, even if she was supposed to be his soul mate. Nothing at all about his first wife Vera (which must have pleased her) and something about Barbara, mainly to underline that he hooked up with her when she still was a minor.

This type of narrative can be saved only by a strong prose and great literary style. Unfortunately, it is definitely not the case for this memoir, which is sloppily written and poorly edited. If anything, makes Dee Dee seem even a bigger as*****le than he must have been.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So creepy. So scary. So real. 16 Aug 2010
This is not so much "surviving the Ramones" as "surviving my life". It's absolutely not a glamorous story of rock stars having fun spitting on everything. The author paints us a shockingly realistic picture of his life in unimaginable misery and hopelessness. The book contains more amazing events on a couple of pages than an average person experiences during his life. One wonders how can anybody remain sane in that kind of environment.

I had been so naive. I used to think that Hawkwind was THE drug band. The truth is, the events described in Lemmy Kilmister's "White Line Fever" compared to the ones in "Lobotomy" are like a schoolboys' fistfight compared to a drug gangs shootout.

From the more personal side, I'd like to mention that this book got into me in a strange way. I was reading it on my hotel room balcony (7th floor) for a while and then I suddenly noticed the urge to jump over the balcony edge. Not out of depression or something, just for fun. Or even not fun, just for no reason at all. I actually became scared of myself because I was really afraid that one moment, I would just do it at the moment's impulse, just like they do craziest things in this book for no reason at all. So I went back to the room, just to be on the safe side. Later at the airport, I felt like kicking one guy who was standing nearby. Not to hurt him, just for no reason at all. I felt nothing for him or against him, it just felt like a fun thing to do.
That mood this book got me into wasn't entirely disturbing. It was also kind of a fun empowered feeling, like "I'll just do what I want and what the heck". Fortunately, I ended up doing nothing crazy after all. Still, maybe this is not the best book to read while in airports or on airplanes, because the sense of humour might be scarce among the staff there.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dee Dee Stoytime 22 Sep 2005
By A Customer
Got to take anything Dee Dee writes with a grain of salt.
A lot of this book is tales made up by Dee Dee. Great song writer though, Gabba Gabba Hey!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dee Dee Dee Dee 14 Aug 2010
Dee Dee tells it like it is. The songs of the Ramone's have an added poignancy after reading Dee Dee's book. In fact I would stick my neck out and say that he was one of the top songwriters of the last 30 years. Simple songs from a simple story from an uncomplicated man.
Dee Dee wrote songs about his life, made nothing up, the best songwriters write from experience, in fact it's the only way a song can resonate with anyone. "We're a happy family" the Ramone's song, means so much more when you read about the horrors of Dee Dee's early home life....In post War Germany. I could cite song after song. But that's part of the fun for the reader to piece together the story and the songs. The Ramone's were always the best punk band, they were the first and the most real, and it was achieved in spite of appearing to be a cartoon. But this book proves Dee Dee was far from a cartoon. He was a sensitive rabid drug fiend, always heading for an almighty human car crash. But somehow escaping time after time.
Well..... until he didn't. Dee Dee top bloke, top songwriter and not a specially great rapper.
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