The REAL reason The Damned were thrown off the Anarchy In The UK tour

Metal Hammer

The Damned were the first UK punk band to release a record, the first UK punk band to tour America, the first to split up (in 1978). By the time they reformed, six months later, The Clash were still only on their second album. 

A frantic and furious British version of the Stooges and the MC5, their debut single New Rose made The Clash look timid and the Sex Pistols look turgid. New Rose came out in October, their debut album Damned Damned Damned came in February 1977, and in-between was the small matter of the Anarchy In The UK Tour

The Anarchy Tour doesn’t even get mentioned in Danny Boyle’s Pistol series. Which is weird because,  as a punk package tour featuring the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned and Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, it was kind of a big deal. It happened right as the Bill Grundy scandal kicked off, at the beginning of December ’76. By 7 December, the Damned had been thrown off and labelled ‘punk traitors’.

The Damned live in 1976

The Damned at Leeds Polytechnic, 6 December 1976: the first date of the ‘Anarchy Tour’ to go ahead. (Image credit: Graham Wood/Getty)

In Derby, the second proposed date of the tour, the council had refused to let the Pistols play, but said the other bands could. The Clash and the Heartbreakers refused, but the Damned? Well the Damned were willing to consider it. And that made them sell-outs.If you believe Malcolm McLaren’s side of the story, that is. 


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