With an over-reliance on exclamation and cliché, but a proper dose of attitude, King pulls back the curtain on her life with Dee Dee Ramone (1951-2002), founding bassist of the first punk rock band and "the baddest and loudest boy in the room." Born Douglas Colvin, King's Dee Dee is a creature of extremes: obsessed with violence, he spent years collecting knives and martial arts weapons, but also made love to King up to five times a day. Married to Dee Dee from 1978 to 1995, King's adoring account doesn't gloss over the physical and mental abuse she suffered-including the night Dee Dee almost beat her to death-or her husband's multiple drug overdoses (the only episode she does sugarcoat is his ill-conceived foray into rap). She also shares her own struggle with brain cancer, but her focus is on the mayhem, much of which is amusing and highly opinionated; she portrays late guitarist Johnny Ramone as a tyrant and producer Phil Spector as a psychopath. Unfortunately, this quick read misses the opportunity to put the Ramones' significant body of work into greater context. Though her narrative can be compelling, King's amateur style may be too DIY even for Ramones fans. 24 color photos.
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"I'll always be grateful to Vera and thank her for loving and taking such good care of my son for so many years. Her story tells it all and this final tribute to Dee Dee will keep his legacy alive long after he's gone. I know he's smiling down from heaven."
"Vera Ramone was Dee Dee Ramone's wife, lover, punching bag, babysitter, and support system. In this riveting memoir of a romance on the edge, she chronicles both the recklessness and the poetry of a disturbed but talented punk god."
Michael Musto, Village Voice
"The sweet, heartbreaking tale of Vera Ramone's shattered romance with Dee Dee unflinchingly told from the flickering gloom and glitter of the Punk bunker."
David Dalton, founder of Rolling Stone magazine and author of El Sid: Saint Vicious
"As Dee Dee Ramone's wife, Vera Ramone King was half of punk-rock's royal couplebut at tremendous cost. Her inspiring memoir 'Poisoned Heart,' while vividly portraying a marriage savaged by the late Ramone's mental illness, also shows King to be a true survivor, not only of an abusive relationship but one of the most exhilarating periods in rock 'n' roll history
. 'I have chosen, rather than to cry over what I've lost, to smile about what I've had,' she concludes, her own heart anything but poisoned."
Author, "RAMONESAN AMERICAN BAND"
"King contends that Dee Dee was the soul of the band, and while she provides plenty of harrowing instances of his cruelty, she also depicts him warmly as a Peter Pan man-child 'musical genius with a heart of gold.' His overdose at age 49, in between the too-early deaths, of co-founding bandmates Joey and Johnny, is truly tragicif seemingly inevitable. But while King understandably worries about a Ramones Curse, she herself has clearly survived: 'I have chosen, rather than to cry over what I've lost, to smile about what I've had,' she concludes, her own heart anything but poisoned."
Author, "RAMONESAN AMERICAN BAND"
"As one who was really there and lived to tell the tale, Vera Ramone has written a beautifully tragic love story about her life with Dee Dee Ramone and the band. It's all in here, sex and drugs and rock and roll and death. Vera's book is a great read, a real page turner and hey, Daddy-o, it's all true!"
Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club
"Like the Honeymooners on speed, Vera and Dee Dee's knockdown drag-out coupling is full of escapades, cataclysms, and good old-fashioned affection. A love story for the ages
Lenny Kaye, author of Waylon: An Autobiography
"Personally knowing Vera and Dee Dee for many years, Vera finally blows the lid off her explosive marriage to the punk icon. Her compelling story is told with brutal honesty and heartfelt compassion right down to the tragic ending. Can't wait for the movie
Bob Gruen, author and legendary rock photographer
"Vera truly peels back the curtains in her exciting yet tumultuous memories while reliving the wild side of the '70s punk extravaganza through the eyes and heart of a punk bride. A real lesson in passion and survival."
Keith Green, famed New York rock photographer