Sunday, June 28, 2009

"History On My Arms with Dee Dee Ramone" (director: Lech Kowalski) DVD+CD

Actually a set of 3 films (and a CD), this release centers around "Hey Is Dee Dee Home", a candid interview session with the storied and streetwise Ramones bassist. In this, he recounts (in his "been there, done that" Brooklyn accent) some personal history and reflections on the whole New York downtown 70's punk rock scene, complete with friends and accomplices like Johnny Thunders, Richard Hell, Debbie Harry & Chris Stein, and the whole drug/music scene that he was a prime player in. Dee Dee, despite his perennial troubles with drugs and the law, proved to be quite articulate and personable in these interviews, and they serve as a sort of memorial to the charismatic rock outlaw. The bonuses include "Vom In Paris", an interview with Die Toten Hosen drummer Vom Ritchie, who was invited to Paris to play with Ramone, Thunders, and Stiv Bators in a short-lived band that never got off the ground, and "History On My Arms", which is basically recycled and out-take footage of Dee Dee from the "Hey Is Dee Dee Home" film. These extras are pretty expendable pieces, though they should prove interesting for die-hard Ramones/Johnny Thunders fans and those seeking insight into those golden days of NYC proto-punk. The CD is a lo-fi collection of Dee Dee solo guitar pieces. R.I.P. Douglas Colvin (aka Dee Dee Ramone). (MVD Visual)

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