Douglas Glenn Colvin (September 18, 1951 – June 5, 2002), known professionally as Dee Dee Ramone, was a German-American musician, singer and songwriter best known as founding member, songwriter, bassist and occasional lead vocalist for the punk rock band the Ramones.
Though nearly all of the Ramones’ songs were credited equally to all the band members, Dee Dee was the band’s most prolific lyricist and composer, writing many of their best-known songs, such as "53rd & 3rd", "Commando", "Wart Hog", "Rockaway Beach", and "Poison Heart". He also co-wrote "Bonzo Goes To Bitburg", retitled "My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down," with Ramones producer Jean Beauvoir, who was originally from The Plasmatics. The song is considered one of the band’s most important songs and was featured in the film School Of Rock. Dee Dee and Beauvoir also co-wrote the song "Something To Believe In", featured on the Ramones album Animal Boy. "Bonzo Goes to Bitburg" won the New York Music Award for best independent single of the year in 1986 and Animal Boy won for best album. Beauvoir and Dee Dee later co-wrote the song "Cut Me To Pieces", which was featured in the film Rock and Roll High School Forever.
Dee Dee was initially the band’s lead vocalist, though his (then) inability to sing and play bass at the same time resulted in original drummer Joey Ramone taking over the lead vocalist duties (however, he still sang lead vocals in the band on occasion). Dee Dee was the band’s bassist and songwriter from 1974 until 1989, when he left to pursue a short-lived career in hip hop music under the name Dee Dee King. He soon returned to his punk roots and released three solo albums featuring brand-new songs, many of which were later recorded by the Ramones. He toured the world playing his new songs, Ramones songs and some old favorites in small clubs, and continued to write songs for the Ramones until 1996, when the band officially retired.
Dee Dee struggled with drug addiction for much of his life, particularly heroin. He began using drugs as a teenager and continued to use for the majority of his adult life. He appeared clean in the early 1990s but began using heroin again sometime later. He died from a heroin overdose on June 5, 2002.