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Wednesday, 18 September, 2002, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Ramone killed by overdose
Dee Dee Ramone (courtesy officialramones.com)
The Ramones bassist was found by his wife
Dee Dee Ramone was killed by a heroin overdose, a coroner has concluded.

The bassist and founder of punk rock group The Ramones was found dead on 5 June at his home in Hollywood.

An overdose was suspected because drug paraphernalia, including a syringe, was found nearby.

Ramones
The band had a distinctive look
Coroner's office spokesman David Campbell confirmed the cause of death, saying that that a toxicological examination of blood samples taken during the autopsy showed that Ramone had a lethal amount of heroin in his body.

His death, at the age of 50, came just months after the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - and 14 months after the group's 49-year-old lead singer Joey Ramone died of cancer.

Dee Dee Ramone, whose real name was Douglas Glenn Colvin, had written of his struggle with drug and alcohol abuse in his autobiography, Lobotomy: Surviving The Ramones.

One of the band's key songwriters as well as its bassist, and he was part of the band's first line-up when it was founded in Queens, New York, in 1974.

All of the group's members adopted the surname Ramone and dressed in torn blue jeans and leather jackets, as a tribute to 1950s rock stars.

The band, whose first record, Ramones, was released in 1976, are widely seen as pioneers of the punk rock movement, bring a no-nonsense, fast and raucous sound back into pop music.

Among the group's best-known songs were Sheena Is A Punk Rocker, I Wanna Be Sedated, Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue and Teenage Lobotomy.


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