Rock Hall to Screen Documentary about British Punks the Damned


The Damned spearheaded the punk rock movement in the UK, but the group is often criminally forgotten when one thinks of quintessential punk bands. Also known as “the first UK punks on wax,” the band famously played its first show ever opening for the Sex Pistols at London’s 100 Club. That show was later released as a live album. Known for its outrageous on and off stage behavior, the group somehow managed to get kicked off of a tour with the Sex Pistols, an accolade that really speaks for itself. THE DAMNED: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead, a documentary from director Wes Orshoski (Lemmy), features commentary from artists who were influenced by the band, including members of Blondie, the Clash, Buzzcocks, and more.

The film screens at  7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 21, in the Museum’s Foster Theater. Following the screening, Orshoski will participate in a question and answer session with the audience. The event is free with a reservation through the Rock Hall website or at the Rock Hall box office. Seating is limited. Rock Hall Members can RSVP starting at 10 a.m. EST on Monday, July 20. Non-Rock Hall members can RSVP starting at 10 a.m. EST on Tuesday, July 21.

The film also celebrates the group’s 35th anniversary as the band currently has two original members of the group left, lead singer Dave Vanian and guitarist Captain Sensible. The band’s history is definitely not one that is free from controversy, which is what gives the film (and the band) so much life. Their story includes smashed instruments, fighting between band members, mosh pits and their downright reckless attitude that would be hard to match by anyone’s standards. However, they weren’t just a mindless, angry band. As Chrissie Hynde says in the film, “They were better musicians than the other bands. Musicianship was not a dirty word to them. They wanted to play.”

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