Captain Sensible admits the late Lemmy Kilmister “saved” The Damned.
Former Damned member Rat Scabies formed Les Punks with singer Dave Vanian, co-founder Captain Sensible and Motorhead’s Lemmy for a gig in 1976. The Damned briefly reformed with the Les Punks line-up in early 1979, but originally performed as The Doomed so they wouldn’t run into legal issues with trademarking the moniker. Captain Sensible switched to guitar and keyboards and they had Lemmy on bass for some demos and a handful of live performances.
As well as wishing they did more shows with the ‘Ace of Spades’ rocker, who was offered the role of bassist permanently but declined, Sensible admitted the punk rock group wouldn’t still be here today without the “encouragement” of Lemmy – who died in December 2015 aged 70.
Asked if he wishes they’d done more shows with Lemmy as The Doomed, Sensible told May’s issue of Uncut magazine: “Yeah, that would have been good. In fact, we did offer him the job permanently, because he saved the band, really. When Brian James] left in ’77, he was the main songwriter, and I think we were considered to be pretty washed up. Without Lemmy and his encouragement, I don’t think we would have gone on. But he had another band to do, so he couldn’t do it full-time.”
He said of the late Hawkwind rocker’s nature: “Lemmy was a great man – a real charmer, an absolute gentleman. But he always reserved the right to be as f****** rude as necessary if the occasion demanded it!”
The original line-up – comprising Dave, guitarist Sensible, bassist Paul Gray, and keyboardist Monty Oxymoron – reunited for a tour and new album, ‘Darkadelic’, with new drummer Will Glanville Taylor in place of original member Pinch.
And Sensible admits he can’t believe their friendships have survived through all the “arguments and nastiness” of the past.
He said: “I was thrilled to make that noise again.
“The fact we could still do it was terrific.
“But the real revelation was the friendship with members of the band. Any arguments and nastiness in the past, that didn’t seem to matter. I mean, we’re all old b******* now! Backin’76/77 we were a bunch of drunken egotistical narcissists, and with our volatile personalities it was always gonna implode. But it was a genuinely nice atmosphere on those shows. We’d love to have done more and I’d still like to do more.”