Dee Dee Ramone - Lobotomy: Surviving The Ramones (Cover Artwork)

Dee Dee Ramone

Lobotomy: Surviving The Ramones (2000)

Thunder's Mouth Press

    "If there is a logic to this life, then I'd like to know what it is. I'm at the Chelsea Hotel in New York City again. I've taken a lot of drugs in this hotel. Now I'm going to get off drugs in this hotel. Strange, isn't it?

    I'm going to send every shitty memory I have of this hotel straight back to hell. I start a fire on the rug and come at her from behind. I set light to her head with another match, then watch her burn. Then I feel normal again. So I start to relax and stare at an unplugged fan, trying to will it to spin. Don't fuck with me."

That lengthy harangue was an excerpt from the introduction of Dee Dee Ramone's autobiography, Lobotomy.

There are two people in this world that just befuddle me on how they're still alive : a.) my grandmother and b.) Dee Dee Ramone.

When I picked up this book a few months ago I didn't know what I was going to expect. Let's face it, it was written by a man that at one time has been a male prostitute and incessantly taken more drugs than Keith Richards and Lou Reed combined and is still breathing. To my surprise this book was a requiem for a lost soul and a diary of the life of the man who was the black sheep among a not so very happy family.

Believe it or not, Dee Dee was the Ramones. Joey and Dee Dee were the head songwriters, Johnny spent his days scowling around caring about nothing but baseball. According to Dee Dee, after the release of End Of The Century, the band began to fall apart beginning years of perpetual touring where not one band member would talk to one another.

    "It was a treadmill, going nowhere, and it was hell once I relialized it. I said to myself, ' I hate these people, I'm not growing, I'm not learning anything. This is an act.' "

While I slowly noticed Dee Dee wasn't William S. Burroughs or a James Peterson, I didn't give him any retribution for the bad writing and skipped straight into the tale. Reading druggie biographies are more interesting to me than let's say murder mysteries or romance novels because they always keep me on edge, educate me on the drugs I haven't done yet and I always know who the killer is.

My favorite tale du jour is Dee Dee's recount of Sid Vicious (who was a Dee Dee sycophant) shooting up uncooked speed with toilet water that had been adorned with such lovelies as puke, shit and urine.

    "Joey started drinking seriously. It seemed that as soon as I started to consider drinking, he started up. We'd have to go pick him up at bar called Paul's on 10th street and drag him into the recording studio. And he ws constantly yelling at me, ' I'm not afraid of you Dee Dee.' "

I read this fucking thing in one night. I'm a diehard Ramones fan and despite all the candy coated appearances on the radio and movies like Rock And Roll High School, the band wasn't laced with as much candor as people think. It sure wasn't the best book I ever get my hands on but it sure beats the hell out of Carl Ripken Jr.'s The Only Way I Know. It took me into a neverending void disguised as New York streets and a world laced with a sound that will obviously never be the same again. Go out and buy the gospel of Dee Dee. Everybody's doing it.