Marky Ramone has a new book coming out, Tommy Ramone is being memorialized on a shirt, and last night, as expected, the late Dee Dee Ramone had his moment in the spotlight, as paintings by the Ramones bassist and songwriter went on display at the Chelsea Hotel Storefront Gallery.
Dee Dee often stayed at the Hotel Chelsea, as evidenced by a photo that Keith Green took in 1993, during what the photographer said was a “period of recovery” for the musician. In it, Dee Dee, who was then working on his autobiography, Poison Heart (Surviving The Ramones), is shown looking over his balcony, with a can from Pearl Paint on a table at his side. Obviously, a lot has changed since then: Pearl closed earlier this year, to the dismay of many, and the new owner of the Chelsea Hotel has to the remaining holdover residents.
That didn’t stop Chris Stein and Bob Gruen, whose photos are featured in this new exhibit, from showing up at the gallery last night. As Ramones songs played, Dee Dee’s fellow bassist Jerry Only worked the crowd in full Misfits regalia, occasionally slapping the Dee Dee signature bass that Fender will soon release.
Dee Dee’s paintings had a sort of primitive Jean DuBuffet style, and some of them depict his friend Sid Vicious, the Sex Pistols bassist who would party with Dee Dee at the Chelsea until the blood-soaked night in 1978 that ended in Nancy Spungen’s death in Room 100. Two decades later, Dee Dee would publish Chelsea Horror Hotel, in which he recounted being visited by Sid’s ghost there and imagined his own death by overdose. A year later, in June of 2002, he’d be dead of an actual overdose.
Pieces from Chelsea Horror Hotel were on display last night. Click through our slideshow to see what else was on the walls. The exhibit will be at Chelsea Hotel Storefront Gallery, 222 W. 23rd St., from Dec. 10 to Jan. 1.