History on My Arms: DVD/CD

Jul 30, 2010

Directed by Lech Kowalski ((who directed that D.O.A. documentary on the English punk scene about thirty years ago)), this DVD is an absolute must for those of you who enjoy watching Dee Dee Ramone sitting on a stool talking, often with his shirt off. The twenty-seven minute title track is, apparently, outtakes from the sixty-four minute backup feature, Hey Is Dee Dee Home ((apparently released previously)), and, combined, they bring you, the viewer, over ninety full minutes of Dee Dee Ramone sitting on a stool in front of a black background, talking. And talking. And talking. Dee Dee talks, and he talks, and he talks some more—and, as you know, the guy is loopy as hell, but he’s also a pretty interesting guy ((for one reason or another)) and quite charming—and, as he rambles on, he seems to build up more energy, but also seems to become more disconnected from reality, sounding progressively less believable as time ticks on. And, at the very butt-end of the Dee Dee twin-spin, with damn near ninety minutes of pure, unadulterated Dee Dee gone by, and your head veritably swimming from this non-stop barrage of seemingly unlimited Dee Dee, to the point where you’re barely following anything the guy says any more, he suddenly ends his hour and a half of not-a-word-in-edgewise spieling with “—and all my other friends are dead.” He then folds his arms and looks directly into the camera, dead silent. It’s a completely arresting moment. The effect of having this non-stop torrent of Dee Dee suddenly halted is akin to the dead stops experienced at the end of sides one thru three of Lou Reed’s “Metal Machine Music” noise opus ((so thank your lucky stars no one invented a locked groove for video yet)) – as if somebody had you pinned to a wall with a force field for ninety minutes and, without a word of warning, suddenly let you go—a bizarre, passive-aggressive crescendo of, like, sudden nothing. It’s kinda cool. Rounding out the DVD is a twenty-two minute conversation with the drummer for Die Toten Hosen about the time Dee Dee, Stiv and Johnny Thunders tried to form a band in Paris. Where’s Mike Wallace when you need him? Comes with a bonus CD of Dee Dee playing “blues” guitar around the house, while he feeds his cat and old Westerns play on TV. Don’t know how much pot i would have to smoke before i thought that CD was a good idea, but i guess i should keep an open mind and remain willing to investigate such things. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I received this DVD in the mail seventeen years to the day that i first met Dee Dee Ramone. –Rev. Nørb (MVD)