The Age of Innocence #3
The Damned, 1976
This is my first attempt to piggyback on a theme started by Tom, and when I saw it, I knew I had to get the jump on The Damned, who I've long credited as my second favourite band (we'll get to my first favourite later). I first heard about these musical miscreants in the pages of Creem magazine, a review of Machine Gun Etiquette I believe, and when I saw an import copy of their double-LP The Black Album in an indie record store for the then-ungodly sum of $20, I pounced on that puppy promptly. Granted, Wait for the Blackout may not in retrospect have the same impact of New Rose--the first official release by any of the original British punk bands, on Stiff Records in 1976--but I was hooked with the first power chord. But this photo comes from the sleeve of New Rose, the first broadside against the U.K. musical establishment, with its "Is she really going out with him?" intro and some of the coolest sounding raw fuzz guitar imaginable. On the label of the single sits the simple instructions 'Turn It Up' and the flipside is a metamphetamine cover of The Beatles' Help, played twice as fast and eliminating some of the lyrics, in a vain attempt to only pay half-royalties.
Plus you've got to love a band that somehow managed to combine Iggy and the Stooges and German Expressionism.
God bless The Damned.
for the series: The Age of Innocence