Poisoned Heart is a must-read for all those loyal Ramones fans and true music lovers everywhere.
Even if you are not a Ramones fan, you’ll love reading Poisoned Heart: I Married Dee Dee Ramone. Written by Vera Ramone King former wife of original bass guitarist, Dee Dee Ramone this book is the intimate and shocking story behind the Ramones and her years with the wildman of punk rock.
As one reviewer recently described Dee Ramone: “Dee Dee Ramone defined the punk-rock lifestyle. Rash, often violent, and plagued by his addictions and his own demons, Dee Dee was also a brilliant music pioneer who lived and breathed his art and found his greatest joy playing live for ecstatic fans. Stripping rock n' roll to the basics – three chords, a blaring guitar, chaotic rhythms and often mindless lyrics, the Ramones took the 70's by storm.”
Poisoned Heart has dozens of never-before seen photos and never told till now stories that dig deep into the drama surrounding Dee Dee’s first heroin overdose while filming Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, the chaos behind the recording the End of the Century album with Phil Spector, and of course the tumultuous events that led to the band’s inevitable breakup.
In the following interview Vera Ramone King discusses with THE MAC WIRE how the book came about and what her life is like now.
I understand a consulted with a psychic. Is that what drove you to write Poisoned Heart?
Actually, Linda Drake is NOT a psychic. She is a channelor. Someone like John Edwards, who can channel loved ones to us from the other side after they have passed on. I don't normally seek this sort of thing out but she was very highly recommended to me, and I was told to contact her that it might give me some inner healing that I so badly needed.
How did your story come to the attention of Phoenix Books?
After the manuscript had been condensed and put into print in a book form, I got a great agent who REALLY loved my book. She then shopped it to several different publishers till we found the right fit and that turned out to be Phoenix Books in Los Angeles. There was an immediate connection and I had the best editor to work with who allowed me to tell MY story in MY own words and NOT have it sound like someone else. THIS was VERY important to me.
What is your life like now in Florida married to a non rock and roll guy compared to how it was when you were married to Dee Dee?
I Love my life and after finally getting off the roller coaster and the daily rock n' roll soap opera that I had been used to for so long, I had forgotten what it was like to live a peaceful and somewhat normal existence. I don't think I would have survived another 10 years of that and probably would not be here today sharing my story with you or let alone, think about writing a book.
How do you think you assimilated into the Ramones "family"—did you enjoy touring with them?
To say that I didn't enjoy touring with my extended RAMONES family would not be truthful. We traveled all over the world and when your young and in love, to be able to experience something like that is a memorable experience and I wouldn't change it for the world, despite everything I wouldn't change a thing! My life's experiences are what made me who I am today. So, no regrets!
What do you hope the reader will learn from your story?
I don't think I'm preaching any lessons to be learned to anyone or giving advice in any way. I'm just telling MY story and let the reader take it for what's it's worth to them. So far, every person I have spoken with has asked me different questions about what I went through. This tells me that each reader has gotten something different out of the book than the next person. Each story has struck a different chord with a different reader. There are the people that knew can and us both relate exactly to what I'm saying because they were there. Then there are the diehard RAMONES fans who ONLY knew what they read and that was mostly crazy, drug stories when there was SO much more to the man than anyone ever told. He was the whole package and he had many wonderful qualities that I felt he should also be remembered for.
Do you plan on writing a second book?
Not at this time. But never say NEVER. I didn't expect to write this one in the first place but it has truly been very therapeutic and allowed a part of myself to heal from within and I'm glad I did it.
How do you see yourself five years from now?
After you read the end of the book, I can only say that I take one day at a time and am grateful each day that I have been given because life itself is a gift and we should never take it for granted. Life as you know it can be changed in a heartbeat, so just appreciate what you have and whatever will be will be. You can't change destiny.
Thanks so much Vera and we wish you great success!
Thank you for letting me share my story with you and your readers. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Vera Ramone King will be signing copies of Poisoned Heart on June 8th at Barnes and Noble in Tribeca. The time is 7PM and address is 97 Warren Street, New York, NY 10007; phone 212-587-5389. Also be sure to check out Vera's myspace page www.myspace.com/veraramoneking!