Dee Dee Ramone

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Dee Dee Ramone (born Douglas Glenn Colvin) (September 18, 1951[1] – June 5, 2002) was an American songwriter and musician, best known as founding member, bassist and main songwriter of the punk rock band the Ramones.

Though nearly all of the Ramones' songs were credited equally to all the band members, Dee Dee was the band's most prolific lyricist and songwriter, writing many of the band's most well-known songs, such as "53rd & 3rd", "Commando", "Rockaway Beach" and "Poison Heart". He was initially the band's lead vocalist, though his (then) inability to sing and play bass at the same time resulted in original drummer Joey Ramone taking over the lead vocalist duties. Dee Dee would serve as the band's bassist and main songwriter from 1974 through 1989, when he left to pursue a short-lived and ill-advised career in hip hop music under the name Dee Dee King. Afterwards, he returned to his punk roots and released three little-known solo albums featuring brand new songs, many of which were later recorded by the Ramones. He toured the world playing his new songs, Ramones songs and some old favorites in small clubs and continued to write songs for the Ramones until 1996, when the band officially retired.

Dee Dee struggled with drug addiction for much of his life, particularly heroin; he began using drugs as a teenager, and continued to use for the majority of his adult life. He appeared to clean up his act in the early 1990s but began using heroin again some time later. He died from a heroin overdose in 2002.[2]

Contents

Biography

Childhood

Born Douglas Glenn Colvin in Fort Lee, Virginia, he was the son of an American soldier and a German woman. As an infant, his family relocated to Berlin, Germany, due to his father's military service. Throughout his childhood he relocated frequently, due to his father's military career. These frequent moves caused Colvin to have a lonely childhood with few real friends. His parents separated during his early teens, and he remained in Berlin until the age of 15, when he, along with his mother and sister Beverley, moved to the Forest Hills section of New York City's borough of Queens, in order to escape Dee Dee's alcoholic father.[3] There he met John Cummings and Thomas Erdelyi (later dubbed Johnny and Tommy "Ramone"), then playing in a band called The Tangerine Puppets, named after a Donovan song.

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