120 Reasons To Live: Dee Dee King

Nothing did more to further the cause of Alternative Nation-building than 120 Minutes, MTV’s Sunday-night video showcase of non-mainstream acts. For nearly two decades, the program spanned musical eras from ’80s college rock to ’00s indie, with grunge, Britpop, punk, industrial, electronica and more in between. MAGNET raids the vaults to resurrect our 120 favorite and unjustly forgotten videos from the show’s classic era.

#61: Dee Dee King “Funky Man”

Apologies for the poor audio/visual quality of this clip, but ask yourself: Do you really want to experience Dee Dee Ramone’s rap video with any more definition than this? 1987’s “Funky Man” later appeared on 1989’s Standing In The Spotlight, issued under the name Dee Dee King and featuring the Ramones bassist rapping in both English and German on one track. Why didn’t he make a video for that song, too? Like videos by King Missile and Mojo Nixon, “Funky Man” provided a welcome diversion from, say, a Cocteau Twins or R.E.M. clip. Unlike those other jokers, however, it wasn’t entirely clear whether Dee Dee was kidding around. But the biggest question of all happens around the one-minute mark: Why does Dee Dee pick up his mail in the foyer and take it outside?