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RockNotes: Keeping It Real With Oasis, Dee Dee Ramone & Jack White

By Don Jacobson

1. From the Department of Couldn't Agree More.

Former Oasis guitarist Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs says the group should have broken up years ago, at its height in 1996.

According to music writer Rick Sky of the British entertainment news website Bangshowbiz, Bonehead, who co-founded Oasis with The Fabulous Gallagher Boys, says the group's legendary shows at Knebworth in 1996 - which the BBC calls the crowning moment of Britpop - should have been the moment to go out on top.

"I always thought we should have bowed out after the second night at Knebworth. Walking out on that stage gave us a feeling I can't explain, a sea of people. It was big!" Bonehead told Mr. Sky.

And I have to say I agree. It's been a fitful and inevitable slide into inconsequence for them, much like that of the Labour Party England they're so closely associated with. As the Tories are about to retake the country, officially ending the 1990s nine years late in Britain, the Gallaghers have become even more of an anachronism. Will there be a Tory Knebworth moment in 2013? Does England have an equivalent to Ted Nugent?

Meanwhile, Buzzshowbiz says Liam Gallagher reckons the band's new tour has "the potential to be even better than the Knebworth shows. It's been a top year for the band, and we're approaching these shows at the top of our game. My mind is totally on it. We're a miles better band than we were at Knebworth and we'll show it. People will have their heads blown off."

If by having his "mind on it," Liam means he's going to avoid the kind of phoned-in performances he's been doing for the last 13 years, then alright, I suppose. It's about time. Though I'm guessing the heads-getting-blown-off part will start happening once Oasis stops getting booed off the stage like they were in their hometown of Manchester; they had so many sound problems they canceled the show, promising refunds to 70,000 fans.

It might be worth taking a quick look at the Knebworth Oasis show and mourn the fate of a once-hopeful England:


2. Dead Dee Dee Dictates Tell-All Ramones Book.

The fact that Dee Dee Ramone died seven years didn't stop him from telling his long-suffering former wife to write a book about him. So says Vera Ramone King, who asserts she was contacted by the late besotted bassist through a medium and was told to work up a tell-all tome. Thus, Poisoned Heart: I Married Dee Dee Ramone came to be.

Vera told The Deseret News that she's not doing it for the money - she's doing it because Dee Dee told her to. Not only during the seance, but at several other points along the writing process.

"There were times when it got really difficult," she said. "I would be remembering some of the hardships and heartbreak and felt like I couldn't go on, but then I'd get a phone call from (the medium) a few seconds after I stopped writing and she would tell me that Dee Dee wanted me to continue writing."

Who knew that once he died Dee Dee would be such a taskmaster? Actually, Vera says the book is mostly about living with an addict and the nature of addiction. To have been married to Dee Dee Ramone for 17 years must have required a kind of true love and patience that I know I'd never be able to understand, so for that reason alone it would be interesting to see what she has to say.

Oh, and she also reportedly has new stuff to say about the filming of Rock 'N' Roll High School, during which Dee Dee suffered a massive overdose, and the infamous gun-wielding Phil Spector recording sessions, which, now that the Wall of Sound inventor will be behind a Wall of Prison for the rest of his life, sounds like it could be worth a look.

In honor of Poisoned Heart, here's Dee Dee Ramone in Rock 'N' Roll High School:


3. "Non-genuine" Jack White Moves to Nashville.

Record producer Jim Diamond deserves a lot of credit for being probably the most influential guy behind the Detroit garage rock sound, which I absolutely adore. To me, he's this generation's Phil Spector (minus the guns and dead B-movie starlets, see above). And Jack White is its superstar. So, please, dudes, get along, OK?

Three years after Diamond lost a lawsuit against the White Stripes looking for royalties as co-producer of the Stripes' first album - a suit in which White said Diamond had little or no role in coming up with their signature sound - the producer is still making great records, and this month is working in Phoenix with the Love Me Nots.

But he's still taking shots at Jack White. In an interview with the Phoenix New Times, Diamond first praises White, saying, "I thought Jack was a very talented guy, and he probably had a greater sense of, you know, having a good look than anyone else in Detroit, and, you know, they worked really hard, they toured a lot. So, having some talent, having a good look, and touring a lot - that's a big piece of the puzzle."

So okay, its sounds to me like he kind of jabs at him here for having "a good look." Sounds at bit like, "I admit he's ultra-successful but Detroit bands really don't care too much about . . . ummm . . . 'looking good.'" But maybe that's just me. Then, though, comes the clincher. When asked by New Times about White's recent move from Detroit to Nashville, well, pretty much only phonies and sell-outs do that kind of shit.

New Times: And Jack White moved to Nashville?

Jim Diamond: Yeah, he moved to Nashville.

New Times: Why the hell did he move to Nashville?

Jim Diamond: I don't think he had many friends left in Detroit. I think he alienated a lot of people.

New Times: Yeah, no one cares for putting on airs in Detroit.

Jim Diamond: Exactly. You're absolutely right, no one puts on airs. Yeah, that's one thing about Detroit, most people are pretty genuine, I've found . . . When they're not genuine, they move to Nashville.

Let that be a lesson to you, Mr. White: It doesn't matter if Detroit loses its last job, turns the factory keys over to the U.S. Department of Basket Cases and sells the Hummer to the Chinese . . . it just keeps on getting more genuine. Because it is Detroit Rock City . . . and you, sir, well . . . please remember to recycle your hair gel cans in your fancy Nashville condo, OK, now?


Our RockNotes rule. Comments welcome.


Posted on June 8, 2009

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