Poisoned Heart: I Married Dee Dee Ramone (the Ramones Years): A Punk Love Story

Vera Ramone King, Author Phoenix Books $22.95 (167p) ISBN 978-1-59777-612-7
With an over-reliance on exclamation and cliché, but a proper dose of attitude, King pulls back the curtain on her life with Dee Dee Ramone (1951-2002), founding bassist of the first punk rock band and ""the baddest and loudest boy in the room."" Born Douglas Colvin, King's Dee Dee is a creature of extremes: obsessed with violence, he spent years collecting knives and martial arts weapons, but also made love to King up to five times a day. Married to Dee Dee from 1978 to 1995, King's adoring account doesn't gloss over the physical and mental abuse she suffered-including the night Dee Dee almost beat her to death-or her husband's multiple drug overdoses (the only episode she does sugarcoat is his ill-conceived foray into rap). She also shares her own struggle with brain cancer, but her focus is on the mayhem, much of which is amusing and highly opinionated; she portrays late guitarist Johnny Ramone as a tyrant and producer Phil Spector as a psychopath. Unfortunately, this quick read misses the opportunity to put the Ramones' significant body of work into greater context. Though her narrative can be compelling, King's amateur style may be too DIY even for Ramones fans. 24 color photos.
Reviewed on: 06/01/2009
Release date: 06/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
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