Jim Fields, Michael Gramaglia
Dee Dee Ramone
This biography of the band, of sorts, was very illuminating for me, for although I’ve always been a hopelessly devoted Ramones fan, I didn’t know some of the stuff that was revealed in this in-depth look at the band, with all the good and the bad. I found out that OCD was an issue for one band member, and that one member stole another’s girlfriend which in turn caused a permanent rift between the two. Dirty laundry, yes, but something any big fan needs to know nevertheless. The band had encounters with some big names in their career, including producer Phil Spector, who collaborated with them in 1980 for the album "End of the Century." During the session, the late bassist Dee Dee Ramone said Spector pulled a gun on the band. Interesting stuff. For me, this band kickstarted punk rock, and are one of the best out there and no wonder we see such greats as Joe Strummer of the Clash, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie, Kirk Hammett of Metallica, Lars Frederiksen of Rancid and more pay them such respect and talk of their influence on their life and their music. Intercut with footage from live shows, and with their music constantly playing in the background, this DVD captures what it is that we fans love so much about this great band.
Who Wrote What on the First Three Albums by Tommy Ramone: Original drummer Tommy discusses who wrote which tunes and who collaborated on them. Interesting if you know the songs, and the band members’ personalities.
End of the Century Trailer: A great trailer for an even greater film.
Joey Ramone Radio Interview: Joey has always been my favorite, and his death really got to me. Therefore this interview is precious and cool as Hell. Too short with only five minutes though.
Marky Ramone Drum Techniques: A short course on the Marky Ramone style of drumming, harder than we might think. Very cool feature.
Deleted Scene: Clem Burke (of Blondie fame) as Elvis Ramone: The short stint that Clem had as a Ramone is discussed. Probably the least cool feature of the bunch.
They were all so young, talented and loved, and they were a powerful force in music history, no doubt. I respected the fact that they always stayed real and true to themselves, and never changed their look, or their sound and kept on touring. That said, this story of the Ramones is the best one I’ve yet seen, and even if you aren’t a fan of the band, their story is so gripping and inspiring that I would still recommend you rent or buy this DVD today, who knows you might even become a fan. For the ultimate Ramones fan, this is something to own and cherish forever, as I can now admit that this is without question the best DVD I have ever reviewed for this site. Gabba Gabba Hey!