Great shot of Dave Vanian, singer of the mighty Damned, 1977.
My wife and I blasted “New Rose” out of the stereo at my folks house the day we were married. That was our life back in 1979, punk rock. Punk rock and craziness and falling in love somehow. And there we were, a year later, on November 29, 1980, borrowed rings on our fingers, hitched. Feeling goofy all decked out. Someone dropped the Damned 45 onto the turntable. Is she really going out with him? Then that monster nasty riff, a big huge punk rock ugly slab of guitar, and then those crazy frantic drums and then heaven. So fast, so unrelenting, so barely in control. Was it even two minutes long? Did it matter? Two minutes a side almost seemed too long for a tune. Everything was so packed and concentrated then. We were young, it was a crazy time, the music was a zillion miles an hour. Louder harder faster. Us dressed to the nines with the Damned bouncing off the living room walls. My wife–how new that must have sounded that day, my wife–danced across the floor, her dress flouncing. The drums made me antsy, like grabbing a live wire and hanging on for the rush. The guitar was huge, gigantic, and Vanian jabbering away over everything. He had a new rose, he had it good. A punk rock love song. That’s why she picked it. Everyone else had Nights in White Satin, but New Rose was our song.