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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!
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on 10 August 2001
Great Book. Very very funny. And a little sad to boot. I wanted to hear the story of The Ramones. I got that, fair enough. I wanted to know the origin of their songs, hear the tales of how songs came together, what guitars they used, where they bought their sneakers. Fraid Not. What I did get was the origin of Dee Dee's heroin habit, the tales of how Dee Dee & fellow junkie Johnny thunders came together, what needles they used and where they bought their skag. And to be honest, its a much more compelling read as a result of it. This boy was on a 10 year trip out of it. And this book charts his travels around the punk toilets of the world with Da Brudders, scoring his dope, getting wasted but still able to get on stage and shout "OneTwoThreeFour!!"
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on 4 April 2013
If it's a forensic history of The Ramones you're after, this is not the book for you. Poison Heart is a rambling, naive and charming "account" of Dee Dee's time in the band and thereafter - it ends, heartbreakingly, with his declaration that he is now clean and drug free. Dee Dee (or Douglas) writes (literally - apparently the book was handwritten) in an almost childlike style, but details the most sordid depths of depravity to which ill-educated drug addicts can sink. He never tries to justify himself or his lifestyle, but he's reasonably unapologetic for it too. His gauche writing style contrasts with the subject matter, and you realise that here was an overgrown adolescent who never had the social skills to deal with sudden fame and wealth. Reading how these four friends (plus others) ultmately ended up not being able to stand each other when they were capable of such wonderful music is terribly sad.
Highly recommended, but for a factual history, look elsewhere.
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on 29 September 2005
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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on 9 September 2015
Dee Dee skips most of the albums and even forget to mention that Richie Ramone and not Marky Ramone plays on Animal Boy. There is little joy and the whole book reads like one big bad drugs trip. Still, it's pure and if you read other books about The Ramones you can see the whole picture. This was one of the most unuasal bands in history, but at the same time the didn't realise that one day they would be counted as one of the greatest bands as well. A must read for Ramones fans, althought i recommend to also read "Commando"(Johnny Ramone's side of the story) and "I Slept With Joey Ramone" (although Joey's brother kindda try to sell his own "story' it gives a good look into the person Joey Ramone was)
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on 22 April 2012
I really enjoyed reading Dee Dee's account of his turbulent life, in and out of the Ramones. I'm not sure how much is truth or fiction, but I'd recommend this to any Dee Dee/Ramones fans. Very entertaining read about a true rock n' roll life.
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on 17 February 2010
Good to have this book again - I left my last copy at a bus stop in Homerton years ago. Always a fantastic read, although not chronologically or factually accurate it's very entertaining to say the least. RIP Mr. Colvin.
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on 15 September 2015
Great read, a look into one of the best live bands ever
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on 8 October 2013
It's an ok book, not everyone is an author and Dee Dee wrote some food tunes, the story jumps around a bit, I'm fascinated by the CBGB heyday scene so it was good to read..
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