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The Mid-Week Beat: 1-2-3-4! Happy Birthday Dee Dee!

DeeDeeRamoneChelseaHotel2Today in 1951, a punk rock icon was born.

Born Douglas Glenn Colvin in Fort Lee, Virginia, he was better known by the name he adopted in the band that would make him famous, Dee Dee Ramone. Dee Dee was a founding member of the Ramones, the band’s chief songwriter and bass player from 1974 to 1989. He would continue to write songs for the band even after he left, penning at least three songs for all subsequent albums leading up to their eventual breakup in 1996.

Dee Dee is best remembered for his signature count-off shout of “1-2-3-4!” and you can still hear this shout echoed in punk bands today. In fact, many of the bands that we’re featuring today owe quite a bit to ‘da brudders Ramone! It’s a shame that Dee Dee doesn’t get more credit as a songwriter considering he penned most of the Ramones’ timeless tracks: “Blitzkrieg Bop,” “Rockaway Beach,” “Chinese Rocks” and “Rock and Roll High School” to name a few.

I know for me personally, the Ramones were one of the bands that changed my life and sent me down a punk rock path. As a kid, I loved the harmonies of bands like the Beach Boys and early rock and roll and the Ramones were the perfect combination of classic American pop hooks and menacing punk rock noise. I became obsessed with the band and was lucky enough to see them in 1990 at The Paramount Theater here in Seattle. Unfortunately, this was their first tour without Dee Dee. Their new bass player CJ Ramone did his best Dee Dee impersonation but he was no Dee Dee, that’s for sure.

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