I can't stop to mess around
March 19, 2018 9:28 AM   Subscribe

The perfect punk song.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:33 AM on March 19, 2018 [4 favorites]

I'd hoped a few years back that we'd see some "40 years ago in punk history" as those dates started to come around, but of course, we were understandably distracted. Thanks for posting this!
posted by kimota at 10:13 AM on March 19, 2018

It's interesting that Craig Ferguson remembers "Neat Neat Neat" as the flip side of "New Rose," when it was actually the successor to it.
posted by layceepee at 10:31 AM on March 19, 2018

One bar of that intro and I'm right back in the lost world of cheap cats-piss speed and pints of snakebite in shitty nicotine-brown London pubs with sticky floors and bastard landlords.

posted by Devonian at 10:38 AM on March 19, 2018 [7 favorites]

I like "Love Song" better but it's hardly the same impact.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:08 AM on March 19, 2018

In the last ten years, in NYC at least, The Damned have gone from being the kind of show you could get in to after they start playing to an act you have to get your tickets for weeks in advance. They're still on the club circuit but it really seems like they've never been more popular. And it doesn't hurt that they always put on a hell of a show.
posted by Devoidoid at 11:09 AM on March 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

Damned Damned Damned and Machine Gun Etiquette should be in everyone's collection although The Black Album might be my personal favorite.
posted by cazoo at 11:15 AM on March 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

Strawberries changed my life.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:26 AM on March 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

I wonder how direct the influence of this song is on The Undertones' Teenage Kicks

The verse riffs have quite the similarity for me.
posted by rhizome at 12:30 PM on March 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

I remember reading an interview in which Captain Sensible railed against synthesists - heavily in vogue at that time - with the exception of the young German synth programmer who'd just worked on The Black Album, one Hans Zimmer. I think that is my favourite Damned album too (but I'm now planning to plumb the depths of Spotify to reassess).

In any case, New Rose is one of the greatest singles ever made. How odd that Brian James wrote that and Neat Neat Neat and then... did he ever come close to that greatness again? He was in a lot of bands I've never heard, so perhaps he did, but in that case surely someone would have mentioned it.
posted by Grangousier at 12:53 PM on March 19, 2018

One of my good friends goes and sees them every time they come around and says they put on a great and non-depressing show.
posted by rhizome at 1:29 PM on March 19, 2018

The Black Album is where they got the mix just right, but yeah, everything.
posted by lumpenprole at 2:04 PM on March 19, 2018

Long ago, when I was in my first year of college, I co-hosted a radio show on campus radio with a friend. The station was only on air from 7 to midnight if memory serves, except during finals when it was 24 hours (assuming enough of us volunteered for random 3 AM slots).

While working one of the shifts in the wee hours (it may have well been 3 AM) my friend Mike said he had just acquired a new Damned live record, "Not the Captain's Birthday Party," and was intent on playing a whole side of it. I think we assumed that almost no one would be listening at that hour, and what could possibly go wrong. We queued it up and let it rip. After a few seconds of crowd noise with some hooting and hollering, Dave Vanian walks up to the microphone and shouts something to the effect of, "You're all a bunch of bloody @#%&$!!". I don't think the first song was even half over before there was a call from a very irate station manager. If I'm not mistaken we were banned for several weeks.

Anyway, the point (finally) is we sadly never made it to New Rose, and God I love The Damned.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 2:42 PM on March 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

the Damned's May appearance in Austin was easily in the top 5

I saw them last year, too, and they were fucking transcendent! "New Rose" sent my adrenaline so high that I nearly flung myself into the mosh pit for the first time in a good 25 years.

On my first real date in high school, my sweetheart picked me up in their a rusty old beater, with "New Rose" cued up on the cassette deck. Aw, teenage suburban punks in love.
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 3:19 PM on March 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

posted by rock swoon has no past at 3:37 PM on March 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

A couple of crusty old London punks of my acquaintance co-own a canal boat called Newroseis.

It may have sunk by now.
posted by Devonian at 3:43 PM on March 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

Got to see The Damned last year in Toronto, the one where the captain fell off stage and broke a rib. You could say it wasn’t very… well, you know. The show was fucking great, except for their more Metloafian stuff, which was probably great too just not to my tastes. They really do a good show, especially Captian Sensible, and I was practically sick with worry about this old punk grandad, checking the internet constantly until they put out an update saying he was alright.

Also, the previous-isher post about Captain Sensible riding a tiny train is pure delight.
posted by rodlymight at 4:07 PM on March 19, 2018

LOL, "There ya go. Don't hold back, kids."
posted by rhizome at 4:19 PM on March 19, 2018

Never mind The Beatles in Hamburg or The Pistols at the 100 Club ... given a time machine the first gig I'd go to is the ELO one where The Captain, still a bog cleaner at the venue, jumped up on stage, grabbed one of the cellos and started sawing away.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:24 PM on March 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

My fan-adjacent understanding is that Captain is one of the best people to come out of the Punk era, period. Like "Nick Lowe" best.
posted by rhizome at 4:27 PM on March 19, 2018

Got to see The Damned last year in Toronto, the one where the captain fell off stage and broke a rib

Must have been a rough tour for them. When I saw them in Denver, Dave Vanian had his arm in a sling. The Captain told everyone to met him across the street after the show so he could cadge drinks at the same beer hall he'd been in before they came on. While I'm usually skeptical about a majority of performances done late in a musical career, they put on a great show.

Anyway, despite my love for the Pistols, and probably aided by my complete indifference to the Clash, the Damned are my faves from the initial wave of English Punk. Thanks for this!
posted by talking leaf at 5:43 PM on March 19, 2018


posted by delfin at 6:45 PM on March 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

At first I read this as "The Damned: how we made a new Rosé"
posted by retrograde at 7:01 PM on March 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

I know it's linked in the post, but I just had to revisit "Only pop music can save us now!"
posted by Lexica at 7:09 PM on March 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

God damn, I love the damned. Thanks.
posted by Capybara at 7:37 PM on March 19, 2018

some Capt. Sensible solo work (and lyrics)
posted by kurumi at 7:47 PM on March 19, 2018

I love the Damned. They were the first band I saw live, back in (I think) 1987. (One one of their several farewell tours...)

Best of all, we met them in a chip shop before the gig and got to say an awestruck teenage hello over a bag of chips.

And the gig was amazing. Don't think I ever saw as much energy on a stage again. Capt Sensible wasn't with them at the time though, would have been nice to see him play live.
posted by dowcrag at 1:15 AM on March 20, 2018

I've always liked their music; glad to see they are still at it, though I hope they have some kind of retirement plan. Touring has to get a bit harder every year.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:19 AM on March 20, 2018

I hear from well-placed sources that touring for bands of the Damned's vintage and profile is still quite doable; the major problems are co-ordination (because everyone's got other projects) and careful husbanding of what hearing remains. There's enough cash in the process to ease the matter of moving increasingly creaking carcasses from place to place, and by and large everyone's got the hang of not over-indulging on- and off-stage (although you do run the risk that one good sesh on the brandy fucks your voice for weeks and endangers the entire tour, to the major displeasure of your bandmates).

You may not be on speakers with everyone else, but you know what to do and by and large you've survived long enough to not let the BS get in the way of things. It's a bit like the old married couple who realised quite they'd had enough of each other and agreed to get cordially divorced; they looked at the spreadsheet of how much it would cost, realised they could buy a new BMW for the money and did that instead.
posted by Devonian at 8:35 AM on March 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

Let's put it this way -- in some ways, it might be easier. They don't have the pressure of putting out a new album with radio hits every year or two; their audience is baked-in. They don't need to reinvent themselves at intervals to remain viable. They can write new stuff when/if they want to, but their fans are quite content to sing along with the classics. And why not? The band's certainly earned it.

Now, you can coast your way through the same 10 songs in town after town and collect a paycheck or you can put on a great show. The latter takes sweat and desire, but that's true at any age.
posted by delfin at 10:17 AM on March 21, 2018

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