DEE DEE RAMONE'S BOOK LEGEND OF A ROCK
STAR: A MEMOIR: THE LAST TESTAMENT OF DEE DEE RAMONE
Dee Dee Ramone's last book Legend Of A Rock Star: A Memoir: The Last
Testament Of Dee Dee Ramone was released after his death. We lost
Dee Dee on June 5, 2002.
Mouth Press was originally scheduled to release the
book in June 2002 but it was delayed until January 2003. Also Da Capo
Press has published this book. Book has 288 pages.
Dee Dee for example writes about his European tour (2000) in this book
in a one half real, one half fiction style. Many events in this book
are horrific and nightmarish.
You can also find from pages many photos that are taken for example by
Keith Green, Paul Kostabi, John Nikolai, David Godlis, Michel Solis,
Also you will see scanned images of Dee Dee's
handwritten texts and pages from Taking Dope fanzines. Also paintings
which Dee Dee did together with Paul Kostabi and his wife
Barbara Zampini etc.
Dee Dee shared with me (Jari-Pekka) some pages of this book while I was
touring with him in May 2000. Dee Dee gave me one of his
personal handwritten diaries (see photo in right). The final version of
this book contains three text parts about me, two of them being partly
fiction... Read one part below (photo having text).
Here's book description:
"So you want to be a rock n roll star? Maybe you should listen to what
Dee Dee Ramone has to say first. In Legend of a Rock Star the myth of the
rock n roll good life is destroyed once and for all. Touring is hell, and
Dee Dee should know, after fifteen plus years with the legendary Ramones,
he's back on the road with a new band and a new set of nightmares. Riddled
with acerbic hilarity, Legend of a Rock Star offers a fantastic,
unflinching look at the abysmal underbelly of the rock n roll dream as Dee
Dee and his new brothers tour Europe in a tiny cramped van and try their
best not to kill one another. With shifty promoters out to suck him dry,
and fans who mean well but just wont leave him alone, all Dee Dee can do
is wrestle with his conscience and hope the drugs aren't bad. Written in a
fierce chaotic prose uniquely his own, Dee Dee also offers a brutally
honest, yet surprisingly touching account of the weeks leading up to and
just after the death of friend and longtime bandmate Joey Ramone."
Marky Ramone commented following of the book in January
" I read Dee Dee's new book "Legend Of A Rock Star". It's entertaining
and fun and really good reading. He talks about the Ramones and the
workers such as Monte Melnick, our great tourmanager that we had, Arturo
Vega, our tshirt man and all around confident and lighting director to
the roadies and everything in general about the Ramones. It is typical
Dee Dee style. Loved it. "
1) This review is by Robin Schroffel:
"Part memoir, part hallucination, Legend Of A Rock Star by punk pioneer
Dee Dee Ramone, bassist of legendary New York group The Ramones, is a
thoroughly compelling read.
The Ramones were one of the most influential bands in the history of
music, forming in Queens, New York in the mid-1970s, performing at the
epicenter of the exploding American punk scene and forever altering
music's future with their three-chord bubblegum anthems. One of four
outcasts who formed the group was bass player Douglas Colvin, better
known as Dee Dee Ramone. Dee Dee struggled with drug addiction
throughout his life and, finally, unable to kick the Chinese rocks
completely, one last hit spelled his end in 2002.
Working on his diary-formatted memoir Legend Of A Rock Star at the time,
Dee Dee diligently kept journals during his final solo tour of Europe,
opening himself up for the world to consume in the same manner his words
reveal he felt it always did.
Dee Dee's deeply personal stories take the reader posthumously inside
the heart and mind of one of punk rock's most important figures, into
his own little world where fantasy and reality occasionally blend
seamlessly, revealing the man as a truly bizarre, sweet, paranoid,
gold-hearted human being.
His writing is childlike and often surprising with flashes of true
insight. Photo reproductions of Dee Dee's actual handwritten pages show
rough drafts filled with spelling and grammatical mistakes, not entirely
corrected in the final manuscript.
With Dee Dee's passing, his diaries suddenly end and touching
pseudo-eulogies from friends and fans begin, filling the back pages.
These are followed by a very interesting complete discography of
everything Dee Dee ever laid hands on, from his Ramones days to Dee Dee
King, rap superstar, and beyond into more recent projects such as Youth
Dee Dee was a passionate visual artist in addition to his music and
writing careers, and reproductions of paintings done in collaboration
with artists Paul and Mark Kostabi are printed in the book. He also
created comic strips, represented in Legend Of A Rock Star by a
hilarious, ridiculous junkie-Sid-Vicious-at-the-Chelsea-Hotel
Although silly and fun at times, Dee Dee's memoir is, overall, quite
depressing. Expect some sincerely heart-wrenching moments, especially in
entries written following the death of Ramones vocalist Joey Ramone, an
event that occurs midway through Dee Dee's European tour.
The strongest example? Dee Dee's desperate, impassioned plea: "Please
don't kill me now, God. I would love to be the last Ramone to die."
A slice of the real life of one infamous man, Legend Of A Rock Star is a
must-read for Ramones fans and anyone interested in the inner workings
of the unusual mind of one of punk's early heroes.
2) Review by Robyn Hale.
Hop in the van with Dee Dee and his band as they take off on the chaotic
and tiresome journey of life on the road. Legend gives us the report of
just how unglamorous a tour can be, especially if you're Dee Dee Ramone.
Cramped in a tiny van, Dee Dee and his new set of brothers travel
through Europe dealing with shifty promoters, unrelenting groupies and
fans who mean well but just won't leave the man alone. Dee Dee also give
us a brutally honest yet touching account of the weeks leading up to and
just after the death of Joey Ramone. Part Chelsea Horror Hotel, and part
Lobotomy, Dee Dee mixes fact and fiction and it's up to the reader to
decipher which is which.
Completed before his untimely death in June
2002, Thunder's Mouth Press delayed the printing and added a tribute
section in the back of the book with passages from many associated with
The Ramones camp including Johnny and Tommy Ramone, Daniel Rey and
Arturo Vega. But it's the tributes by Dee Dee's music/art collaborator
Paul Kostabi and photographer John Nikolai that tug on the heartstrings
and turn on the water works for me. If you love punk rock then you love
Dee Dee Ramone. However I can't help but wonder what Dee Dee would think
of all this if he was still with us.
3) This review/comment is from Amazon.com by fan who has
"I've just read Legend Of A Rock Star, the Last Testament of Dee Dee
Ramone. If Everett True's book nailed what it was like to be in the
Ramones, this book nails what it was like to be an ex-Ramone. The first
half of the book is a William Burroughs-esque diary of a low rent series
of European solo gigs in which Dee Dee's imagination runs riot over his
actual memory of the tour. However, the last section of the book is
mostly factual account of the build up to the Ramones' induction into
the Hall of Fame. Riveting stuff. Dee Dee's prose is poignant,
depressing and funny in more or less equal measures. The final section
of the book is a load of tributes from Tommy Ramone, Arturo Vega, Daniel
Rey etc. etc."