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Dee Dee Ramone (1981)



Punk Magazine, Issue #3Joey Ramone
Joey, tall, languid and mysterious, is the incredible lead singer. He was born on May 19th, 1952 in New York City and raised in Forest Hills. His favorite group is the Ramones, of course, but he also loves «the o-o-o-o» as he would say in his Englishized-Queens accent. In fact his birthday is the same as Pete Townshend’s- does that mean something cosmic do ya think? Other fave groups of his are Herman’s Hermits, the Beatles, the Stooges, the Dave Clark 5, the Kinks, and Gary Glitter.

Joey likes collecting 60’s albums and 45’s. He also happens to have one of the world’s most astoundingly beautiful doorknob collections.

Peter Noone’s his all-time favorite singer, and Joeys been heard to talk like him at early hours in the mourning after a few too many ales. "Second verse, same as the first, ya know?’’ Joey loves to relax in front of the T.V. and watch action news, Monty Python, and give us the day while munching on filet mignon and sipping a quart or so of coffee, his favorite two snacks. Joey’s favorite movies are a Hard Days Night and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

He loves the colors black, blue, red, and would like to have his own Sherman tank someday for the frontyard.

Joey’s really very friendly and loves meeting great people, especially Ramone’s fans.

He likes girls that are fun and out of their minds, can’t stand the straight normal type. Besides just the usual Saturday night concert she’s got to enjoy any occasional outing at the crypt or cemetery.

Joey hates cold weather (admit it kids-you freeze your ass off in a leather jacket once it goes bellow 40 degrees. It looks so cool though, walking around all hunched over in one, hands in pockets, with your teeth chattering and stuff). He also hates subways, 5 foot waterbugs, and cleaning out the litter box.?

Tommy Ramone
Besides playing drums, Tommy is also their boss, director, spokesman, and general taking-care-of-business man. He does things like making all the phone calls and reminding Joey to take his vitamin C’s. He was born on January 29th, 1952. His favorite groups are the Beatles and the Knickerbockers (is that a football team or a beer cult?). He most admires John Lennon and Dave Brigatti. Tommy’s a real film buff and loves anything by the French Surrealist Luis Bunuel. Clark Gable and Joan Collins are his favorite American actor and actress, and Zorro his favorite television show. Tommy likes the color blue and cars that are fast, expensive and tacky. His favorite things to do on a date is eat (what he didn’t say), but he loves Italian food and gets very high on wholesome milkshakes. He hates the radio, which really is hideous but I can’t wait to hear the RAMONES on it anyway, and he hates questionnaires. Watch out sixteen magazines, he might hit you with a drumstick.

He likes girls with radiant smiles (Dentyne, ultrabright, that sort of stuff). He reads books and has many personal plans and ambitions to mention, but he does want to get a good banker.

Dee Dee Ramone
Dee Dee is the irresistibly cute, groupie-dream bass player and back-up vocalist. He can count to four better than anyone else I know, and if he wasn’t a musician he’d probably make a great cheerleader. Dee Dee was born in Berlin, Germany on September 18th, 1952 and nothing gets him off more than his music. He loves the Bay City Rollers and even has a personally autographed copy of their best selling biography. He also likes Paul McCartney and Wings, and his favorite guitarist is Johnny Ramone.

Linda Blair and Divine are his favorite actresses (actors?) and he loves watching Happy Days and old war movies on T. V. His favorite films are Female Trouble and the Exorcist. Red, black, yellow, and white are his favorite colors and Dee Dee would love to own a little scarlet Mini Minor or a big black limo.
Dee Dee is a real connoisseur and serves Cheerios, cheeseburgers, Hostess cupcakes and blackberry brandy at his famous 3-course private diner parties, though he’s been known to open a can of Beefaroni for a special occasion now and then. Dee is very romantic and movie or the beach are his favorite places to go on dates (you can smooch in both places). He loves the hot sun and clean ocean. In fact, Dee’s a very clean person- he takes three showers a day (remember Tiny Tim? The Showers sure didn’t do for him what they do for Dee Dee! Maybe it was the shampoo….)

Dee Dee’s pet peeves are crummy sound systems and nagging pushy girls- he likes the kind who have style, "a touch of class as they say.

Dee collects war relics and has a giant library of old 45’s from the 50’s and 60’s. He loves to read comic books and music mags.

Dee’s just real happy being in the RAMONES, and in the future he’d like to get rich so he can get his mom and his girlfriend a big house in Florida.

Johnny Ramone
Johnny is the super guitarist who wears cartoon t-shirts and a mean pout on his face while he’s playing. Johnny always looks as though he’s gonna kill his guitar but he never fails to kill the audience instead. Johnny was too young to remember where he was born but he knows the date- October 8th, 1951. His all time favorite group is the Beatles but he loves Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Gene Pitney, Dion, and Peter Lemonjello (?!!*?) too. Johnny loves reading T. V. Guide and watching creature features. He is a big fan of Boris Karloff’s and The Bride of Frankenstein is one of his favorite movies. (Mine too-wasn’t she gorgeous? What a coiffure!) Along with that enchanting favorite of everyone’s the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Johnny’s favorite colors are Black and White, and he’d like to have either a Rolls Royce or a Chevy Vega. He loves tacos and his dream date is a night out at Jack-in-the-Box. Johnny likes girls with nice bodies (one look at his sweetie and you’ll know just what he means), and strangely enough he gets high on John Denver. I guess it’s the thin mountain air he sings about. Johnny hates bugs and tuning up is one thing that bugs him. He wants most of all for the RAMONES to become a top group so that he can retire and do nothing in the future.

September 1966
Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, and Tommy enter Forest Hills High School, one year after Peter Parker (Spiderman’s secret identity, incase you forgot)-graduates from Midtown High. Which is also in Forest Hills. Unlike Peter Parker, though, the Ramones won’t win a scholarship to Empire State University.
Tommy: We all used to hang around after school together.
Dee Dee: Sage, uh, and Jan’s.
Johnny: You’ve heard of Jan’s, haven’t you?
Dee Dee: Alexander’s
Johnny: There’s a Jan’s in Florida, ya know! Miami Beach!
Tommy: Jan’s is like a big, uh, really big ice cream hamburger place.
Johnny: And three of us used ta hang out in Russell Sage-it’s a junior high school.
Dee Dee: If ya notice kids used to really go and hang out!
Johnny: We used to play stickball and things like that-you know I used to play a lot! Ha! Ha! Ha!
Dee Dee: Until the band started! Ha! Ha!
Johnny: Diamond-do you know how to play diamond?…we’d play sick games, too-steal the old ladies underwear or something? Pull people across the lines.
Dee Dee: Sometimes we used to do different things! Go to Flushing Meadow Park!
Johnny: Yeah, we used to go to the world’s fair we lived right near the park. Yeah, we saw all the rock concerts there…we used to be vandals. We used to rip the T.V.’s off the roof, though, throw’em down into the street…used to go round and throw rocks, bottles through people’s windows.
Tommy: That’s disgusting!! You did that?
Johnny: Used to walk around and do that all day. Every day.
Tommy: This is before our frustrations were all taken out in our music.

June 1968 
Hippies!! Shooting up in the lav during the lunch break, nodding out during French class, dropping acid-on the ground ‘cause they’re so stoned they missed when they tried to put it in their mouths. Not the RAMONES. The Hippies.
Dee Dee: when John went to school kids used to come up to him and say «can we buy some stuff off you?» and stuff like that and he actually never smoked any of that stuff in his life! …they used to have those peace demonstrations. And stuff. I used to heckle the demonstrators.

August 1969
Woodstock.. (from our contest replies) «Rock festival». «Happy Muddas». «Hippy movie». «A hip capital pajama party». «Doody hippies». «A brand of baked beans». «A little bird eaten alive by a crazed beagle weary of twenty-five years in the same comic strip». Did the RAMONES go?
Johnny: No
Dee Dee: Oh, God, I wouldn’t even consider it!
Johnny: No. I remember I knew people who were going up there and it was already raining and I said «I ain’t gonna sit in no mud!»

September 1970 to January 1974 
The RAMONES have left high school for the so-called real world by now-one of them was thrown out, I heard. They won’t say exactly what they did for four years-yet. It leaves a lot to the imagination, though especially if you listen to the words of some of their songs!!
Joey: I used ta do paintings and stuff-I gave ‘em all away, though I used ta paint, y’know. Pictures of fruits and vegetables, ya know? It was Great! I just heard about some guy who did one, y’know, in the Times? Y’know.
Johnny: Of a fruit??
Joey: Yeah! Pineapple, Kumquat.

February 1974 
The «early» Ramones. Very frustrated and very violent. Tommy manages the group. Dee Dee sings most of the songs and plays bass guitar. Johnny plays guitar. Joey sings and plays the drums!
Tommy: He was a virtuoso drummer!
Johnny: His technique, yes!
Tommy: He had a thing with the cymbals where he could get such a sound that…
Johnny: You couldn’t hear the rest of the group!!!
Tommy: He had such power-that he was known to go through the hardware…Oh our first day-there as another Ramone, who should be mentioned, uh, Ritchie Ramone, who is right now
Dee Dee: He’s away! Ha!
Tommy: Spending his days locked up somewhere.
Johnny: In an institution. Then we had two guitar players, me and Dee Dee and, um, he never played anything in his life! He couldn’t keep up. Then it was just us three but we were only rehearsing about once a week. We weren’t getting’ nothin’ done, really. Just foolin’ around. Just as a hobby.

March 30th, 1974 
Dee Dee, Johnny and Joey play at the performance studio on east 23rd street in New York City. This is the first Ramones gig.
Johnny: About thirty people or so showed up. We were terrible. Dee Dee was so nervous he stepped on his bass guitar and broke it’s neck.

July 1974 
Tommy fearlessly decides to switch from manager to drummer. The Ramones get set for the «big time»…
Tommy: It was supposed to be an Avant-Garde thing, right?
Dee Dee: Not really no! It was just-
Tommy: Well, to them it was a hobby to me it was an Avant-Garde thing. Then we started getting really good and I said «this isn’t Avant-Garde this is commercial!» And that’s when I started playing drums. When I saw the dollar signs… changed the whole sound of the group into the way it is. Now you know-hard rock.

August 16+17, 1974 
O.K. the Ramones are ready to make it to the top! So they start at the bottom-C. B. G.B.’s. Their first audiences there are… well.
Dee Dee: Very bizarre weird people.
Tommy: The zoo of the world. Something out of Pink Flamingos. Then came the intellectuals. Now the kids are coming down. Our Audience.

December 1974 
Tommy is run over by a taxicab. Johnny is rushed to the hospital on New Year’s Eve with appendicitis.
Johnny: We had a hard time getting work right after that.

February + March 1975 
The Ramones get more work. Instant sensation! Lisa Robinson, editor of Hit Parader, writer of Creem, + Rock scene discovers them. She talks other writers into seeing them, notably Danny Fields. Writer for the SoHo Weekly News, editor of sixteen magazine (!) and former manager of Lou Reed, the MC5, and the Stooges. At this time not many people take the Ramones seriously. They’re very loud. And Violent. They stop playing in the middle of songs, usually three times or more a night, yell at each other, have rave-ups onstage, and Why?? Well, sometimes Joey fucks up the words, and then everyone argues on how they really go. Usually the just get lost.
Johnny: Someone wrote that we’re dumb. We can’t play. I hate to read that we’re dumb. There’s a lot of dumb groups. Rock and Roll isn’t- we don’t want to get into a big heavy intellectual thing. We just want to play Rock’N’Roll. Just being original is showing intelligence. I think… I’ve never stopped a performance on purpose.
Tommy: Nothing we do is fabricated.

June 1975 
The Ramones play their first «big» concert at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, Connecticut for 2000 kids at a Johnny Winter concert. The lighting crew takes a break, leaving the stage barely lit- one dim spotlight on Joey. Two thousand kids are expecting Johnny Winter and the Ramones walk on, unannounced. The Ramones get booed a lot and dodge bottles.
Johnny: They just turned the lights off and everybody cheered, y’know, I felt good! I said «oh, they really know about us! Y’know? This can’t be! They can’t know about us!» First song there were mild cheers, y’know? Polite applause. Then Let’s Dance really drove them nuts!
Tommy: I just wanted to get off the stage!
Dee Dee: I was dodgin’ a lot of them bottles- I saw some kid get up and he had a bottle! I didn’t notice if he threw it or not ‘cause I didn’t even look! I just turned right yelled up to John- «TODAY-YA-LOVE!» and then I turned around and said «ONETWOTHREEFOUR!!» and then started playin’ and John played something else. I thought you were thinkin’ the same thing I was- you know- LET’S GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!

November 1975 
Danny Fields agrees to manage the Ramones.
Johnny: He’d come down to see us a lot, and gradually we became closer. He’d help us out a lot before he became our manager, you know, give us advice. We’d tell him we needed a manager and he keep telling us to hold off. Finally we decided we HAD TO find one and we asked him.
Danny: When I first saw them I was impressed. They’re very professional group. They work very hard, and I thought it’s like the Stooges- with out the curse of IGGY!… y’know, sometimes the songs stick in your head even when you don’t want them to.

January 1976 
After months of negotiation, the Ramones sign a recording contract with Sire records. Hey, it takes balls to sign a group that sings stuff like I’m a Nazi, baby, I’m a Nazi, yes I am or Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Now I wanna sniff some glue. The CARPENTERS they AIN’T.
Tommy: Craig Leon is the one who got us signed. Single handed. He brought down the vice president and all these people-he’s the only hip one at the record company. He risked his career to get us on the label!

February 1976 
The Ramones record-in record time. It may be the most inexpensive record ever to produce ‘cause the Ramones + producer Craig Leon know what they want.
Craig Leon: Sounds unlike anything- that’s ever been recorded. Sound pretty weird! A few- A couple of surprises that are un-Ramone like. Two little tiny ones. Did you hear that? The finished version of Boyfriend? chimes and everything. It just took three days to get the music down, four for the vocals. It went real fast. TOMORROW belongs to the RAMONES.
Johnny: We’re trying to be on top, top group one hit single after another.
Tommy: It’s not our goal to be number two.
Johnny: Our first singles gonna be the BLITZKRIEG BOP
 
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