Well, did he like you? Come on, he must have liked you still deep down.
CS: No, when you look back at those days, the punks scene you know... it looks as though it was a scene and everyone was like sort of getting on and all this stuff. But like with most sorts of things, there's like dreadful rivalries going on, we absolutely hated the Clash and the Clash hated the Pistols and the Pistols hated Siouxsie and the Banshees, it was one of those sorts of things. I remember the Clash went 'round to see Johnny Rotten one day because he'd slagged them off in a music paper and Joe Strummer walked out crying, or was it Mick? You know, really upset. It wasn't like everyone sort of going "Yeah, great to see you" and all this stuff. It's fine now.
Johnny Rotten called you a "glossed-over Eddie and the Hot Rods". Dave, Dave don't leave. Dave, what do you think about that?
DV: For one thing, it's the wrong kind of music, so I don't know why he said that.
'Cause I think that's kind of mean though, isn't it? That is kind of mean.
CS: Yeah, lots of bands say lots of things about each other.
Are you going to make up with them at all? I mean, are just going to just forgive him and put him on the guest list for your upcoming L.A. gig at all?
CS: Who John?
CS: He's great, great bloke. I think he's a tragically overlooked talent, especially in our country, in Britain. He should have his own TV program. But because he's like a bit raunchy and he doesn't suffer fools gladly, he's had to come over here to work. It's bloody terrible isn't it?
DV: He has his own TV show I think...
CS: Yeah, they pulled the plugs on it after one series though.
DV: It was too controversial I guess.
You guys recorded "New Rose" on "cider and speed". Now what did you record your brand new Nitro release on?
CS: (laughs) Tonic wine.
Tell us more about that Captain Sensible.
CS: It used to be a tragedy. Touring in the States was really difficult because there was no decent beer, it was Molson, Coors, Schlitz, Budweiser, Miller, stuff like that. It was appalling, absolutely tragic. But nowadays you got these micro-breweries and blah blah blah. Apparently we're going to do a tour of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, which is our particular favorite, so it's safe to tour the States again.
At the beginning of the interview, you hauled out some bananas. Now there's always bananas around the Damned. Are there going to be bananas on stage tonight Dave? And how have you avoided bananas and has the Captain used ice cubes too?
DV: I always avoid anything that looks like a dangerous weapon, which is usually a banana.
Now how come you've never slipped in any bananas?
DV: I have.
What? Please, tell us a little bit about Dave's experience.
DV: I've ended up on my unceremonious rump many a times sir. (laughs)
Captain, what's going to happen with the bananas tonight and ice cubes? There's always bananas, up ass! Ice cubes, up ass... and other places too, Captain. You've still got it, you're Captain Sensible and Dave Vanian of the Damned!
You've also got Pinch in the band from English Dogs, who's a shirt lifter.
DV: (laughs) Good God, he's not a shirt lifter is he?
He's a shirt lifter! Pinch is a shirt lifter.
CS: He wouldn't be the first. We had that bloke out of Culture Club, he was in the Damned for five minutes.
DV: John Moss!
CS: John Moss. (laughs) He was a shirt lifter. God bless him though, nice bloke.
So how much snot and gob has got thrown at you guys?
I mean in the early days, is there any good example of snot and gob?
CS: That is Rat Scabies. (laughs)
Come on, you must have taken the brunt of it too, he's behind the drums, he's safe.
DV: Nah, he always used to get off the drums and run round the front.
And then he'd get the snot and gob.
Captain and Dave of the Damned, I wanted to ask you about this press clipping. I've shown it to so many bands over and over again, but if anybody is authorized to examine this and tell me the history behind this, maybe you can.
DV: (looking at the clipping which shows actors dressed as punks beside the Queen Mum) See that one there with the wooden leg? That's Captain's sister.
Let's just read the caption here, "Remembering punk: a group of youngsters representing the punk era walk past the Queen mum and Prince Charles."
CS: Oh, fucking great.
Now did you ever think that punk would end up this way there Captain Sensible? "Walking by the Queen mum, a group of youngsters representing the punk age"?
CS: Yeah, the Queen mum's looking great. The reason we're out on tour though at the moment is that we hear rumours that she's going to die while we're away, so the next few days, I think you might be hearing some tragic news from Britain, and hopefully they'll get it all over with and we can go back and it'd be safe. When she pops her clogs, you won't be able to open the newspaper or turn the TV on without oh, "she won the second World War, the most marvelous granny in the world," and all that old bullshit. Yeah. They're still about, this is why punk has got to work harder to get rid of them.
I said Captain.
CS: I said wot?
I said Captain.
DV: What you want?
I said Captain.
I said Captain.
CS: I said fuck off shithead or I'll fucking knee you in the bollocks you cunt!
It's funny you say the word shithead, Joey Shithead of the rock and roll band DOA, he put out some of your records. Do you even know that? DOA from Vancouver, Joey Shithead of Sudden Death Records. You're on Sudden Death Records, do you know that Dave?
DV: He obviously owes us money.
Ok, well, we'll edit that part out.
DV: Where is he?
He's on tour, he's on tour, I swear. I swear. Now you also have a song called "She" on Grave Disorder, "She"...speaking about "She", sorry if I spat on you right there, "She, she", Chrissy Hynde, can you give me a little Chrissy Hynde tidbit because I think she kinda was around back then.
DV: You leave her tidbits alone!
Just a little bit of Chrissy Hynde-ing, please there Captain. What do you remember about Chrissy Hynde, cause she always, you know, brags about being around back then, what was she like there Captain?
CS: She was great, she's great now. She got in terrible trouble for saying "Bomb McDonalds" didn't she, when she was on an animal rights demonstration.
She was a punka back then eh?
CS: Yeah, I hate McDonalds as well, bloody shit they are.
You don't like Siouxsie Sioux, what's the deal on Siouxsie Sioux, why is she such a schnob?
CS: Well, she just is. She's an appalling snob. Only marginally worse than Steve Severin who's a complete tosser.
How bout Paul Weller?
CS: No, Paul's alright, nice bloke.
DV: He's just a bit miserable. (laughs)
Dave, tell me about your motorbikes?
DV: I'm not telling you anything.
Oh, please, come on. Tell me about your motorbikes. You have some Harley's don't you?
DV: They've got two tires and handlebars, what do you want to know?
Yeah, I want to know which ones you have, like what model, if you're into it, etcetera, etcetera. Is Dave being elusive right now Captain, what's going on?
DV: Nine point two.
CS: (mumbles something)
What can you do with that banana Captain? Could you maybe help us out with that, please?
DV: He's very good at origami.
Yeah, is there anything you can do with that banana there Captain Sensible of The Damned, for us, you can examine or show?
(The Captain then gives Nardwuar a banana "face wash." Mumbling, grunting ensue)
Ah, ooooh, that's pretty good, that's pretty good Captain Sensible and Dave Vanian of The Damned, thank you very much for giving me a face wash with the banana. Too bad you don't have any ice cubes there Captain Sensible!
CS: Do you like cheese?
I love cheese, oh I love cheese, I love cheese. Can I rub my face and your face now too?
Let me rub my face and your face...(before Nardwuar can rub his face into the Captains mug the Captain pushes some chunks of cheese into Nardwuar's ears)... Oh! I love cheese, thank you.
(The Captain then throws some water at Nardwuar almost hitting Dave)
Oh! See, Dave never gets hit. That's where I am going to move, over by Dave. 'Cause I don't think Dave ever gets hit with anything.
CS: (grabbing microphone and singing) "It's only a game so put up a real good fight, I'm going to be snuggering you tonight, whoo hoo!" Buy my records you cunts!
The Damned, Dave Vanian and also Captain Sensible. Now winding up here Damned, have you guys ever been to a dam? Have you ever been to a dam? And what is your favourite dam?
CS: Well, round the top of Holland, they're actually building a huge dam which they're draining this whole piece of land which is hundreds of square miles, which is going to add a huge portion of land to Holland. Very interesting. Because over the top of the dam is a motorway as well. And it's a great bit of civil engineering.
Now do you find it hard explaining something serious like that, looking at my face just covered in banana and cheese?
CS (chuckles): You're making me hungry.
You love eating don't you? Wasn't your nickname "Eats" too? Didn't you have a nickname "Eats"?
CS: It was! You know too much! That's amazing. God bloody blimey.
You're Captain Sensible but you're also "Eats" too.
CS: Marlon Eats, yes, that was my preferred nickname. Then I ended up with Captain Sensible.
DV: What about Dame Edna Beverage?
CS: Oh yes, mmm, yah, knock, knock, knock... Who's there?
DV: (spotting a picture in the book the "Album Cover Art of Punk") Malcolm McLaren looking like a teddy-boy.
CS: He's a fucking wanker.
Yeah, that's what I wanted to ask you guys, Malcolm McLaren, to me he seems like a genius, touring the south and all the crazy stuff. There was some neat stuff about Malcolm, wasn't there?
CS: He invented everything, everything in the world, you know, he told everyone to do this and that and blah, blah, blah. Yeah, he invented punk and rap and he did this and ah! Genius, absolute genius.
What did he do wrong to you guys Dave?
DV: He didn't do anything wrong with me.
Well what was wrong with Malcolm McLaren then?
CS: No, but I mean I think as a Sid Vicious's manager, I don't he was really looking after his own interests to say "Here take these drugs and go beserk Sid." It may have escaped his attention that drugs actually kill people-especially heroin, you know, it's not a good one. And so I just...Sid was a...when he was off his face he was an appalling human being, when he was straight he was a good bloke. And I blame that partly on McLaren...you'll have to run that by your legal people, I'm afraid. (laughs)
Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible of the Damned, here we are winding up with this interview, is this what it often looks like at the end of a Damned gig Dave?
DV: No, but it looks like the end of the dressing room.
The dressing room here at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Damned are back! Grave Disorder, right there Captain Sensible?
DV: Arr, arr!
CS: (laughs) Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen, it's so kind of you.
Now that's an ad there for your new LP Grave Disorder, but you've done some other ads haven't you there Captain Sensible, Weetabix, what are you doing with Weetabix?
CS: (laughs) Yes, the sensible choice, Weetabix. I needed the money to be quite honest.
And you also have a commercial for the telephone company in France or something?
CS: How do you know these things? Yeah!
DV: Oh god!
CS: I've actually recorded "Captain I say Wot" and it's the captain of the French football team who's done it. And uh, yeah, I can hear the sound of cash registers as we speak. (laughs)
I said Captain...
CS: I said wot?
I said Captain...
DV: Lots of Euros. (laughs)
So Dave and Captain Sensible of the rock and roll band The Damned, anything else you'd like to add to the people out there?
CS: Yeah, I've noticed in Vancouver there's quite a lot of sushi houses, so I'm going to and get some food.
Why should people care about The Damned? Why should people care?
DV: If they like music.
CS: We're better than Britney.
Alright, thanks very much and doot doola doot doo...
CS and DV: Dooo dooo.