Nardwuar vs The Damned  
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Nardwuar: Who are you?
Dave Vanian: I have no idea.

You're Dave Vanian of The Damned!
Capitain Sensible: I'm Phil Collins and buy my records 'cause I need some hair restorer.

You're Captain Sensible of The Damned!
CS: Ahh, thank you. Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen. Buy my records. I need the money.

Who else is in The Damned these days right now Dave?
DV: There's piles of them.

What other people...come on, your wife (Damned bass player Patricia Morrison), your wife, don't forget your wife!
DV: Oh yeah right. He plays drums. His name's Mr. A. Pinch . He's from...I was gonna say Reservoir Dogs but---

The English Dogs!
DV: He's from The English Dogs. See this man knows more about us 'cause we're actually imposters.

Well, this is kinda what I want to learn more about.
DV: Any minute now, it's all gonna be "scooby dooby doo" and it all comes off (Dave pretends to take mask off) and I'm actually the caretaker!

And who else is in the band, Captain Sensible? Please explain.
CS: A friend on mine called Monty Oxy Moron playing keyboards. He's actually won awards for playing jazz. He's was a jazz keyboard player the year of 19---
DV: 87
CS: Yeah...(laughs)...And now he has joined the Damned. So he's added a new dimension.

He's a punk Floyder isn't he?
CS: He's a pun...yeah, it's a good name for a band isn't it?

So, Captain Sensible of The Damned, I understand you've got something to show us on the wall over here. This is a picture of your school. Could you please explain what this is all about.
CS: (looking at old photo of schoolkids) Well...uhmm...I was 'round me dad's and he was clearing some old junk out and amongst the garbage was this old photograph of this old school, Stanley Tech in South Norwood Hill, and I though, well, it would be fun to chuck it up on the Website and do a competition where if they can find where I am in the picture, I would give them a Hammond Organ 'cause I just recently moved into a flat and I haven't got much space, you see, so I need to get rid of it. So if anyone wants to win my Hammond Organ, they can pick me out of this rag bag of old toss-pots there---


Dave, how do you feel about that, giving away a vintage organ from the history of The Damned? What's the Captain doing?
DV: Well, I'm surprised he isn't doing it for money actually. Does it not work or something (laughs)?
CS: No, it's alright. You occasionally have to fix it with an elastic band, you know, the tone wheels, but cut that bit out, it is in perfect working order! (laughs)

Dave and Captain, it's great to have you back. Thanks for coming back together again, Grave Disorder!
CS: (laughs) Fuck off!

Yes, a brand new record, a brand new record together. (The Captain grabs and shakes Nardwuar) Now how long has it been there Captain? How long has it been Captain since you guys did an album together. You got a brand new album out? How long has it been ? Out come the bananas! (The Captain starts eating a banana)
DV: Twelve years!

Twelve years of rock. Now you were almost lost to the Misfits there, weren't you Dave?
DV: No.

Did the Misfits approach you---
DV: No.

CS: Oh yes they did! (laughs)

Oh yes they did, tell us Captain!
CS: I have absolutely no idea. I don't know what you're talking about.

You were going to be singer of the Misfits for a little while, according to Jerry Only.
CS: You'd better take that up with him then. (laughs)

Ba-boom. Now let's move really forward to about two weeks ago. Guess who was in this very room? Billy...
DV: Connelly

Billy I...
DV: Billy I...I know. Billy I...have a fiver to give to Captain Sensible!

That's what I was wondering, do you have any good Billy Idol stories? He was just here at the Commodore Ballroom two weeks ago Captain.
CS: Yeah, he shagged Rat Scabies missus. (laughs) When we was out on tour in the States, apparently he was seeing to Rat's missus while we were out working you know. And when we got back--- it was a terrible hoo-ha actually. I remember whenever we went into a pub and the juke box had, I don't know, White Wedding or something, yeah, I'd put on White Wedding on and Rat would go "Oi! Turn that fucking shit off!" (laughs)

Rat isn't here right now, but how would he react to the knowledge that the Clash played their first North American gig here, at the Commodore Ballroom in 1979, two years after you guys played New York. The Clash played here, Dave, the Clash, where you're playing here tonight!
DV: You're a very excitable chap, aren't you? (laughs) Clash, yeah, fantastic.

Just wondering if you have any Canadian connections? I want to bring out the Canadian connections.
CS: We only came here a couple of times, that's the trouble. We came here once in '77 I think, and then there was a big gap before we came back.

I thought you didn't really come to Canada until you came to the El Mocambo in Toronto, in the early '80s when you destroyed the El Mocambo's sign. Do you remember that at all Captain Sensible?
CS: (Silence, then banana eating noises) ...To be quite honest I don't remember much about anything really, because my brain was usually addled with drink and drugs. There you go.

Dave, you like Donald Sutherland though. He's a Canadian.
DV: He is a Canadian, yeah, he's done some good films.

Do have any Canadian connections? Are there any Canadian connections at all for you guys in the Damned?
DV: We don't do we? None that I can think of, have we.
CS: I have a particular hating of Molson beer, does that count?

That's kind of Canadian. Billy Cowsill, he lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
CS and DV: Ahh, yeah!
DV: The Cowsills yeah! (sings) "The rain, the park and other things, ta-da ta-da, da-da da-da..."

What's Captain Sensible's obsession with Billy Cowsill there?
DV: He loves the Cowsills.
CS: They're an exceedingly good band and I think a Cowsill revival would be long overdue. In actual fact, you know how bands have got web site things going on...I checked out the Cowsill's web site, they've got this new album out called "Global", actually. So I bought it on the internet and they took my money and sent me the record. And it's jolly good as well. I think, you know, there's a lot to be said for the Cowsills, and the Internet. The great thing about the internet is that obscure things...there's no one in Britain who likes the you can get in touch with people who equally have this Cowsills fetish.

"Would be so hot" is the name of a new song on the Damned record, right there Dave?
CS: No, "Would you be so hot."

"Would you be so hot"! Now, Mister Captain Sensible, excuse me, that has some Lennon-esque references in it, doesn't it?
CS: Yeah, I think John Lennon would be really pissed off the way people are talking about him as being some messiah, Jesus figure and stuff. He'd be really pissed off. So we're basically agreeing with John there.

Did he ever hear you guys? Did you ever run into John Lennon? Did they ever have a Damned record at all?
DV: No idea.
CS: I think he was busy in his flat in New York wanking at the time.

Because isn't there another connection between John Lennon and the song "W" on your new record too?
CS: No.

Yes there is, because "W" stands for Wings. And did you not displace Paul McCartney's Wings with "Love Song" in the charts years ago Captain Sensible?
CS and DV: Yeah! (laughing)

What is the story behind that?
CS: I think that week less people bought McCartney's song than bought ours. It's as simple as that, I'm afraid. (laughs)

You guys also have a song called "Looking for Action" there, Dave from the Damned.
DV: Dave of the Damned, that's me, yes, and?

You also have a song called "Looking for Action." Now did not Robert Plant go looking for some action too at a Damned gig? Robert Plant checked out the Damned and actually enjoyed you guys?
CS: That's an interesting segue there isn't it? Yeah, he did, down at the Roxy, the old punk club.

So you have a lot of the old rockers checking you out and enjoying you, because I heard a story when you first came to New York in 1977, that the Rolling Stones left you guys some hookers and some b-b-blow--
CS: (silence)


CS: Yeah, some pies and um, what else? Oh yes, some hookers. That was nice of 'em wasn't it?

The Rolling Stones supported the Damned, that's incredible.
CS: Some of them liked us. I mean Marc Bolan liked us from T-Rex, he could see it. But some of them were threatened, people like, well, probably nobody remembers Phil Collins now, but I remember at the time he said, "I've looked at this so-called punk phenomenon and I see nothing of any worth." But Bolan thought it was brilliant and he took us out on tour with him.

Sir Cliff Richard didn't like you guys, did he? He didn't want to introduce you on some TV show, Dave?
DV: That's the name, he objects to the name.

He just wanted nothing to do with you?
CS: No, but we had people outside our shows in California, didn't we, the first time we went over, with banners saying like 'This Damned menace" and "Send 'em back home" and stuff like that.

But let's not say that America hates you, because you guys recently were at Joey Ramone's birthday party. That was a real touching event, maybe you could comment about that there Captain or Dave?
DV: Which one is it? (laughs)
CS: Well, we loved the Ramones, and Joe was such a nice bloke and he nearly got to his 50th birthday, but he missed it by a few days. So his mum organized the gig anyway, and he had his birthday party anyway, and it was quite touching back stage. The Ramones meant so much to everyone really, apart from Phil Collins who hated them.

And you guys got flown over to that event, you're like one of the few bands from out of town that actually played.
DV: Yeah, it was really a New York event with Cheap Trick, Blondie, it was like being at a big family event, it was quite good.

Now the Damned weren't always New Yorker family-type people, were you? You have that song "Idiot Box" don't you Captain Sensible?
CS: Tom Verlaine you hideous snot, you should have wrote the golden shot. Yeah---

CS: Television pulled out of a gig with us, which actually caused us financial hardship. Because we were doing a gig with them on the West Coast in 1977 was it? We had to put a box on the door saying, because Television right booted us off their gig or whatever, "If you want to see The Damned, if you want to send them home, put some money in this money in this box." It was full actually. We had Rod Stewart and all sorts of people on the guest list for that one, didn't we?
DV: Except Jake Riviera (Damned manager) tore up the guest list. Yeah, he said, "they could pay!" (ripping sound)
CS: (laughs)

Jerry Nolan of The Heartbreakers, he dissed you guys too, that's another New York guy. He said you were kicked off the Anarchy Tour because you were sissies.
CS: The truth about the Anarchy Tour was that we were on a small label with Stiff and the other three bands were on big labels. And we were staying at a little Bed and Breakfast, I don't know if you know what Bed and Breakfasts are over here-they're tiny sort of little flea pits-you're lucky if you've got a phone in there. They were staying in swanky, flash hotels. So anyway, our manager went over---

NW : "They" being the Sex Pistols right?
DV: Yeah.
CS: They went over to negotiate---

You're not afraid to say that word, are you Captain Sensible? "Sex Pistols," soon to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! (The Captain then grabs Nardwuar and pretends to punch him) How do you feel about that there Captain Sensible?
CS: I love them, I think they're great. (singing) God bless the Sex Pistols! They're a bunch of wholesome blokes!

Why was Sid always chucking stuff at you? Hey Dave, why was Sid always chucking stuff at you?
CS: Cause he was fucking out of his mind on heroin, what do you think?

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