DeeDee King - the original white rapper

Hope everyone had a good Easter. Mine was fair to middlin’, as they say in some other part of the country. I spent a couple of hours Easter eve watching End of the Century. That being, of course, the 2003 Ramones documentary. I picked up a few things from the movie. First, Johnny seemed like he could have been a royal asshole. But he had vision and drive enough to continue on with the Ramones and with Joey despite his obvious disdain for his longtime partner. Everything else aside, you’ve got to have respect for that.

The other thing I learned from End of the Century was this DeeDee King character DeeDee Ramone created. That whole thing took me totally by surprise. I sort of lost touch with the Ramones around the time Pleasant Dreams came out. The rotating members, the more commercial sound, etc., etc., kind of put me off. I picked up some stray albums (i.e. Acid Eaters), but never really kept up with what the band was doing. So I saw this ludicrous character, and I had to see what the deal was. Thank God for the Internet. A little bit of Googling and there was DeeDee King.

There are a couple of stories about how DeeDee king came to be. The two I found both involved DeeDee’s hospitalization. The first goes that, while hospitalized in 1987, the guy in the next bed hears the doctor calling him “Douglas Colvin” (DeeDee’s real name), so he starts calling him “Doug E Fresh,” after the rapper. Dee Dee gets into this and starts making up raps to pass the time. They're pretty funny and he makes a 12” single for Rock Hotel Records under the pseudonym DeeDee King. The other story is simply that DeeDee met someone in rehab who turned him onto rap. Regardless, he had a good time recording the single and decided to release an entire rap album. Hence, in 1989, DeeDee unleashed Standing in the Spotlight on an unsuspecting world.

The album was almost universally panned: “Dee Dee Ramone's Standing in the Spotlight will go down in the annals of pop culture as one of the worst recordings of all time,” wrote Matt Carlson for Allmusic.com. “Which, of course, makes it one hell of a great collector's item. Dee Dee plumbs the depths of stupidity for this record, musically (hip-hop done in some sort of off-rhythm samba beat) and lyrically.”

Critic John Chedsey was even less kind: “This is the kind of catastrophe in the studio that rivals the likes of William Shatner singing ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ or anything Hootie & the Blowfish ever recorded... Dee Dee has at least given pop culture something that is so marvelously rotten that you simply must hear it at least once in your life.”

After getting that out of his system, DeeDee returned to rock, gigging with GG Allin, forming a few bands of his own, and releasing three additional solo albums. In addition to Standing in the Spotlight, I’ve got a couple of things from DeeDee’s third solo disk, Zonked, which he released in 1997. And, just to get the taste out of your mouth, I’ve also got a two Ramones classics.

Mashed Potato Time.mp3 Standing in the Spotlight
German Kids.mp3 Standing in the Spotlight
Victim of Society.mp3 Zonked
I’m Zonked, Los Hombres.mp3 Zonked
Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World.mp3 The Ramones
Blitzkrieg Bop.mp3 The Ramones


At 9:59 AM , Blogger Nazz Nomad said...

you should check out the documentary "Is Dee Dee Home"- a warts n all look at Mr. Colvin.


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