Old friends MOTORHEAD and THE DAMNED both tour the UK in November. What better time to take a look back at their close ties and short-lived THE DOOMED? Read more about Motorhead, The Damned and The Doomed in the upcoming issue 5 of Vive Le Rock!

It's actually over thirty years since the unholy alliance first hit the stage. When The Damned, the band that released the UK's first punk, split from original guitarist Brian James in 1978 the remaining three members - gravedigger turned singer Dave Vanian, bass player Captain Sensible and drummer Rat Scabies - were worried about the legal percussions of using the name they thought lay with James so they adopted their original name for reunion gig. The Doomed were booked in at The Electric Ballroom on Tuesday, September 5, 1978. With Captain Sensible switching from bass to fill Brian James's shoes on guitar they were left without a bass player so they drafted in Motorhead mainman Lemmy. Lemmy said: "We had about five hours of rehearsal. I learned eleven of their songs, and they learned one of mine, which they wound up fucking up on stage. I shouldn't have even bothered having them do one of my songs, really."

It was one of the most productive periods in the career of The Damned and their comeback album, Machine Gun Etiquette, was probably their most frenetic and manic offering ever. Lemmy offered his services for more than their comeback gig as well. He ended up on the 'B' side of The Damned's Just Can't Be Happy Today single, the third seven inch offering from Machine Gun Etiquette. Lemmy said: "We recorded a couple of songs - a version of the Sweet's 'Ballroom Blitz' and a Motorhead tune, 'Over the Top'.”

So how are both outfits doing thirty years on? Well they both share an uncanny ability to go through a multiple of line-up changes. Only Lemmy remains from the Motorhead that were playing everything louder in the late 1970s. The Damned fare slightly better - Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible remain of the original (though Captain has had a few years off himself). Both bands have had their fair share of ups and downs over the decades but the 2009 tour with support from another enduring rock act, Girlschool, was a big success.

Lemmy sums up what's on the agenda quite aptly: "Here we are again boys and girls, come and get your fuckin' head blown off! - in the best possible taste."

It was the last chance to see the Motorhead frontman before he is truly immortalised on the silver screen in 2010 in the shape of 'Lemmy: The Movie'. Directed/produced by Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski, the film took two years to make and includes feature interviews with friends, peers, and admirers such as Dave Grohl, Slash, Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper, Peter Hook of Joy Division/New Order, Dee Snider, Mick Jones of The Clash, Jim Heath of Reverend Horton Heat, Slim Jim Phantom of The Stray Cats, Mike Inez, pro skateboarder Geoff Rowley, pro wrestler Triple H, C.C. Deville of Poison, Fast Eddie Clarke, Johnny Knoxville, Jarvis Cocker, Marky Ramone, former Hawkwind bandmates Dave Brock and Stacia, and Steve Vai.

The Damned's Captain Sensible is more than happy to have worked with Lemmy once again on their 2009 tour. "He's the real deal, the absolute antithesis to all that the likes of Simon Cowell stand for. And for that we should all be grateful", says Captain Sensible. "This tour will be a celebration of all things rock 'n' roll... pity the poor roadies is all I can say!"
Neil Anderson

Motorhead tour in November with UK Subs and ANL:

2 Wolverhampton Civic Hall
3 Newcastle City Hall
5 Glasgow Academy
6 Liverpool University Mountford Hall
8 Bristol Colston Hall
11 Norwich UEA
12 London Hammersmith Apollo
14 Plymouth Pavillions
15 Southampton Guildhall
17 Nottingham Royal Centre
18 Manchester Apollo

The Damned tour in November:

9 Bristol Academy 2
10 Birmingham O2 Academy
11 Cambridge Corn Exchange
12 London Roundhouse
13 Brighton East Wing
14 Norwich UEA
15 Nottingham Rock City
17 Newcastle O2 Academy
18 Leeds O2 Academy
19 Manchester Academy
20 Edinburgh Picture House

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