At the Rat 1977
The Damned came to Boston from England. It was a complete surprise. We had no warning. At the end of the second night, with absolutely no one dancing, The Damned were entirely pissed off! They began their last set by bringing tables and chairs on stage and proceeding to eat pizza while playing. At the end of the first song guitarist Brian James said to the audience: "You see, we can sit on our asses just like you. After a couple songs with still no reaction Brian says: "Welcome to our television room. Enjoy it, watch it, eat your food, have a nice time." Looking at the audience we must admit that they are not only not dancing, they are immobile!
Finally before their last song Brian announces, "We're falling asleep up here. We're not used to this sort of shitty reaction. This one's called 'Neat Neat Neat". It's properly known as a dance number. If ya can't dance, you might as well fuck off, ya know what I mean?"
Now a word in our defense, first of all they played on a Monday and a Tuesday night and were totally unannounced. So the crowd was small. Though they were there to see The Damned, they loved the band and were taken by their stage show, the fact is the music wasn't anything the audience here is used to so we couldn't dance!! Sorry boys!!
The interview was taken on Tuesday night before their last set. It begins with David alone. We're hoping he'll wait awhile before turning into a bat and flying away. We actually talked with and got information from David Vanian up until the point when they rest of the band came in. After that kids, it was one Damned mess.
DAVE - Yeah, so what do you want?
PAUL- You're over here to get a contract?
D- Maybe, yeah.
P- Is that the main reason? You came out of the blue! We weren't expecting any English bands at all.
D- Yeah, well it's about time you had a few. It'll liven up your thoroughly down music business.
P- Have you heard any of our guys? Doesn't the Boston scene get over there now?
D- Boston doesn't seem to be too rocking. It seems pretty laid back.
Miss Lyn- Audience wise or band wise?
D- Both. But you'll find that London is much more excited.
P- Do you have a dancing crowd?
D-Yeah, very much. We get them all crammed into the club and they have this thing where they just leap up and down. They stand with their arms by their sides and just leap. It's called The Pogo.
P- You're on the charts over in England, aren't you?
D- That's right.
P-Any other punkers in England got albums out?
D-The Clash has got one out but I don't know what the stakes are chartwise. We have a different way of doin' it than you.
P - You've got one chart. You got Perry Como on the same chart you're on. Does your name have anything to do with the movie?
D- The Damned? No, nothing at all. It was Brian who named the band originally.
P- Who writes the songs?
D- Mostly Brian and Rat at the moment. We all write but we haven't the time to work everything in. We've only been together since July. Only 8 or 9 months.
P- Who do you listen to? Or do you listen to anyone?
D- Lots of things. You know, from Iggy and The Stooges to Beethoven and Wagner. The thing I listen to the most is Nico.
P- One of your songs is the riff from Beethoven's Fifth, do you know that?
D- No, it was unconscious on our part.
P- I can't believe you actually listen to the classics! The sound comes from nothing!
D- The "sound" is coming from boredom, mostly. There was nothing at first so we decided to create the sound. That's what we've done I hope!
P- You guys strike me as dangerous.
The rest of the band comes in. Rat Scabies (drums) and Captain Sensible (bass) are standing to Paul's right. Brian James (guitar) sits to Paul's left and Jake The Damned's manager/owner walks around next to Brian. After this David shuts up completely. Most of the remaining interview is Rat and the Captain 'cause they took the tape recorder away from Paul and wouldn't give it back untill the end.
CS- OK! This is Captain Sensible.
P- Born in Surrey.
CS- Yes! How did you know?
P- How come you guys have such different accents from The Beatles? They're from outside London, right?
CS- WAY out!! They're about 20 miles north of London and that's where the funny accents start. WE'RE FROM LONDON!!
Rat and Captain start talking with cockney accents, making fun of it.
CS- Waaaaaaal, ya know waaaaaa ah main, wack? All that fuckin' shit.
P- So you guys sound higher class to us.
CS- Oh well, we ARE higher class! We're the greatest!!
P- Don't you hurt yourself out there? You gotta electrocute yourself when you start pouring beer all over yourself.
CS- Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
R- He gets electrocuted all the time. He'd died twice!
CS- I've been electrocuted on stage LOADS of times!!
R- It's only been twice, Cap. Don't exaggerate. We've saved him every time.
Rat and Captain begin to conduct their own interview…..
R- So how did you get together?
CS- Well I was an anteater and I…..
R- Who writes the songs?
CS- Ah….a carpet!
R- How do you like the United States compared to England?
CS- Thirty squares past pythagarus, roots of the pi…
R- But what do you think of the anteater's semen?
CS- Yes, I love it!
P- So how many clubs are there in England?
CS- Shit in your face turkey brains! Morons flying through the air at 25 thousand miles an hour.
R- Let's do the American Express ad! The airport one! You be the bloke, I'll be the woman.
CS- OK The airport!!
There's a pause. It seems Captain has forgotten his lines. Rat whispers them then…
CS- I'd like a ticket to France please.
R- Well, the plane's just leaving.
CS- American Express!!
R- I think you can just make it!! Let's do the Hertz car one!
CS- I need a car immediately please!!
R- I'm afraid you'll need a deposit.
CS- American Express!!
R- Well, fuck off!! We don't take those! Not a Barclay Card, nothing!!( A pause then, Rat smiles…)
R- That'll do nicely. That'll be twenty thousand pounds for that meal. Please. Can you pay up now? Immediately?
CS- American Express!!
Rat- (screaming) Up your fucking bum, you cunt!!!!
P- Say something to the American people.
R & CS (in unison) - FUCK OFF!! Oh, sorry! WE LOVE YOOOUUUUU!!!!!
P- I want to know your sexual preferences.
R- I fuck dogs! While they're hanging from chains!! And then I hit them with logs with nails in. And after that I get the tear gas out and the Wellingtons, then I roll 'em back in runner sheets with olive oil!
CS- I fuck ants!!
P- Any enormous lengths in the group?
R- I've got two and half inches and mine's the longest.
P- You're going to three cities?
R- I don't know. I expect we'll drive through some.
P- NO! I mean playing in places!
R- No we don't play anywhere.
CS- How large is your brain?
R- let's have a look……
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