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The Damned’s Dave Vanian on what 40 years of punk has taught him

You don’t spend four decades at the forefront of British punk music without picking up a lesson or two. Following a sold-out gig at the London Palladium, Dave Vanian of The Damned talks death, addiction and… parenting.

“Is she really going out with him?”

Contrary to whatever you’ve been told, punk began not with the snarl of Johnny Rotten and the Sex Pistols, but with the whisper of The Damned’s Dave Vanian. His “Leader Of The Pack” homage is the precursor to the primal tom-toms of the charmingly named Rat Scabies and the crunching New York scuzz riff of Brian James that unleashed the speedy avalanche of The Damned’s debut single, “New Rose.” Released in October 1976, it predated the Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy In The UK” by a month, and the Clash’s “White Riot” by five, and stands up better than either… read more >

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