HEY IS DEE DEE HOME
"I've got my history on my arms!" is one of the keylines of that document
by director Lech Kowalski. Dee Dee introduce his life, memories and
opinions lot through his tattoos, like we know, Dee Dee was heavily
tattooed. Lech profiles Dee Dee Ramone in this moving, and often chaotic,
portrait of his life. Drawing on a potent mixture of vintage footage and
few recent tributes, Kowalski paints a picture of an exuberant, friendly,
yet hopelessly drug-addled individual, who was widely loved within the
music community. You can find mostly from this release "Good Dee Dee", not
"Bad Dee Dee",
like Dee Dee liked to introduce his character also through his paintings.
Lech did longer interview with Dee Dee for his Born To Lose (The Last
Rock'N'Roll Movie) document about Johnny Thunders. It was surprise that
this document also features material mostly based for recordings of 1992,
even mostly unseen. Thunders is main subject, Dee Dee tells his opinions
since his first memories of New York Dolls. Feels that Johnny Thunders And
The Heartbreakers stories are also more featured than Ramones stories...
was nice to hear Dee Dee telling how Stiv Bator called him and asked to
come to Paris in late 1980's, Paris visit is been before pretty uncovered.
Different drugs and scoring drugs are main subject. An essential purchase
for any punk rock connoisseur, this moving testimony to one of the New
York scenes most charismatic figures is a touching story that will have
you laughing, crying, and screaming in equal measures. One confused gold
piece is when Dee Dee perform acoustically short clip of I Got A Right To
Love Her If I Wanna....
DVD contains also Johnny Thunders performing Chinese Rocks, lot
behind-the-scene images, A3-sized poster (background features comic by
Rick Tremble) and temporary "Dee Dee tattoos".
DVD release: October 21, 2003.
This is distributed exclusively by MVD (Music Video
Distributors, you can also order this from their site.).
Running time: 63 minutes.
- 10th Raindance Film Festival was in London, UK and they screened Hey Is
Dee Dee Home, the launch party was held at Teenage Schizoid with Speed
Killers in Tuesday October 29, 2002 at 10PM.
- Tribeca film festival in NYC screened Hey Is Dee Dee Home on May 7
(midnight) and May 10, 2003 (11:30).
- Two Boots Pioneer Theater, 155 East Third Street, at Avenue A, East
Village, NYC, screens/ screened it daily between
3 - 16, 2003. It was shown with Kowalski's 29-minute short film Camera
- Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago, USA. Sunday, September 21, 2003,
5:00PM and Thursday, September 25, 2003, 6:30PM.
International Film Festival, Finland. Saturday March 6, 2004,
6:00PM (hall Plevna 6).
Lech Kowalski also arrived to Tampere Film Festival, originally he was
taking part to discussion of subject "Documentmovie today" with some other
people at Tyovaen Keskusmuseo Werstas, Auditorio Vaino, Vaino Linnan Aukio
8 in Friday March 5, 2004, 2:00PM. But he couldn't make it, and March 5 he
did general press 6:00PM. Lech was really cool and we hanged together, and
also I did interview with Lech to my books.
- Hey is Dee Dee Home will be shown twice at International Inde Cinema
Festival in Buenos Aires, Argentina. First screening is in Wednesday April
14, 2004 at Cosmos cinema (address: Av. Corrientes 2046, Buenos Aires)
20.15 and second screening is in Sunday April 25, 2004 at Hoyts (Sala 8)
cinema (address: Av. Corrientes 3247, Buenos Aires) 21.30.
Tickets can be purchased online at
and the festival's website is www.bafilmfest.com
SEPTEMBER 3, 2003: NEW YORK POST BY MEGAN LEHMANN:
The documentary "Hey is Dee Dee Home?" is essentially an hour-long
monologue, but this talking head is so engaging that you can't blame
director Lech Kowalski's camera for not wanting to stray from the late
Dee Dee Ramone's party-ravaged face. Occasionally, the lens dips to show
off his battle-scarred torso, as the punk rock icon uses a road map of
tattoos to take us on a trip back through time to the salad days of New
Kowalski ("D.O.A.") sat down with Dee Dee in 1992 to talk about the
Ramones bassist's love-hate relationship with New York Dolls guitarist and
Heartbreakers frontman Johnny Thunders for the film "Born to Lose."
Dee Dee opened up, and the interview turned into a wide-ranging
reminiscence about the live-for-today hedonism of the "scene," including
such escapades as stealing Joey Ramone's TV set and getting kicked out of
Debbie Harry's apartment.
But mostly Dee Dee talks about heroin: scoring it, kicking it, being
reeled back in.
It's funny and sad stuff. The middle-aged rocker comes across as childlike
and eager-to-please even as he's remembering incidents such as forgetfully
- or vengefully - leaving overdose victims to "turn blue in the bathtub."
Kowalski films Dee Dee - who died of an overdose on June 5, 2002 - sitting
alone on a stool against a black background; punishing lighting
illuminates each impish grin and regretful sigh as he delivers an
extremely subjective oral history of New York punk.
SEPTEMBER 3, 2003, NEW YORK TIMES BY DAVE KEHR:
Since his 1980 documentary on the punk-rock movement, "D.O.A.," Lech
Kowalski has been the foremost chronicler of the punk generation's
romantic myths and harsh realities. The musicians he has focused on in his
rough, video-based documentaries include the Sex Pistols, Billy Idol,
Richard Hell and Johnny Thunders, the last one a spectacularly suicidal
junkie-rocker whose 20-year journey to death by overdose was detailed in
Mr. Kowalski's "Born to Lose: The Last Rock-and-Roll Movie" (1999).
Mr. Kowalski's new film, "Hey Is Dee Dee Home," which opens today at the
Two Boots Pioneer Theater, is a rueful, reflective companion piece to
"Born to Lose." Its subject is one of Mr. Thunders's collaborators and
fellow addicts, Dee Dee Ramone, who died of a drug overdose in June 2002.
With songs like "I Wanna Be Sedated" (OBS, is written by Joey, not Dee
Dee) and "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" to his credit (he often wrote
under his real name, Douglas Colvin), Mr. Ramone made no secret of his
drug use, and he remains a leading example of that brand of
self-destructive romantic revolt pioneered in the 19th century by the
French poets Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud.
As extreme as his behavior and music often were, Mr. Ramone also seemed to
be a sympathetic and reasonably self-aware person, at least as he is
captured here in a sobered-up, 1991 interview that Mr. Kowalski unearthed
and placed at the center of this film. Sitting before a fatalistically
black background, wearing an artfully ripped T-shirt that exposes some of
his extensive tattoos, Mr. Ramone tells of his dramatic ups and downs in a
calm, clear voice - colored by a Queens accent - that invites immediate
credibility. "I've got my history on my arms," Mr. Ramone says, looking
both at the tattoos that document stages of his life and the collapsed
veins that testify to his drug use.
Although Mr. Kowalski illustrates Mr. Ramone's stories with brief cutaways
to vintage material, including some gorgeously crude Super 8 images of the
early punk bands in performance, he generally allows his subject to speak
for himself, without moralizing commentary.
The film's title is a line from one of Mr. Ramone's most frequently
covered compositions, "Chinese Rocks," in which a visitor drops by to see
if Dee Dee would like to come out and score. It is in discussing that
song, which became a punk anthem, that Mr. Ramone is most regretful. "I
feel like I became some kind of heroin guru," he says, and Mr. Kowalski
allows the flicker of pain that crosses his ravaged face to convey all the
remorse that the circumstances require.