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E.N.I.G.M.A., Everyone's Accusing Me!
on 27 February 2015
what would you rather have? a slick, ghost written run through of events, or the direct hand-written honest memories of a drug and booze addled individual, who, in his spare time, wrote some of the most crucial, original songs in the history of popular music. i know which camp i'm in, but for the full intensely sad story of the ramones, further reading is definitely required. it'a saga that grows with each subsequent account, but this is absolutely dee dee's corner, and written as the act of laying down a marker.
dee dee ramone must be the ultimate enigma in the field of music. he came up with knockout tunes, but had to be shown how to play them, he boiled the art of lyric writing down to base level (i wanna/i don't wanna/like this/don't like that), which was exactly the context the songs required - and he wrote them almost exclusively for someone else (joey, obviously) to sing. no mean feat. but at the same time couldn't cope with the simple lines given to him for the film 'rock 'n' roll high school', his entire contribution - 'yeah! pizza!'. a dumb genius?
i had previously read and enjoyed dee dee's 'legend of a rock star' (vera ramone king's 'poisoned heart' also, but that's another angle to the story), so was familiar with his writing style. yes, basic, clumsy, grammatically all over the place, but also forthright and honest in a car crash style. this gives a far greater impression of the man than any 'assisted' auto/biography could, and to that, it's as good a read as any rock memoir. to my mind it is a valid component in the ramones story, which in turn is amongst the most remarkable and heartbreaking in the medium, each of the seperate members bringing something extremely negative and unworkable to the table, somehow producing some of the greatest (and it has to be said, after it was obvious that no money was to be made from album releases, some of the most average) music ever.
laying some of dee dee's more suspect later recordings to the side, i would rate his writings, this in particular, along with his best songwriting and his unique bass playing, as his legacies to the world. you don't get many dee dee ramones to the pound!