Coming of age in the late 1970s, I was in the right place at the right time to enjoy the character-shaping birth of British Punk Rock, as well as having a ground zero experience of the Southern California Punk Rock movement, which was equally legendary.
It was a great time to be a teenage music lover! It was also a blessing that driving up to LA to see a punk band was not always necessary, because Orange County had its own live music venue that booked both US and UK-based acts; a dive-y little joint, hidden away in an industrial neighborhood of Costa Mesa, which was called The Cuckoo’s Nest. It was at The Cuckoo’s Nest in 1979 that I first saw The Damned live, on tour in support of what is arguably still their best and most popular album, Machine Gun Etiquette.
On This Date, November 7th in 1979: The Damned released their amazing third album, Machine Gun Etiquette, which included the singles “Love Song,” “I Just Can’t Be Happy Today” and “Smash It Up (Part II).”Machine Gun Etiquette was the London band’s first album without founding guitarist Brian James. Captain Sensible moved from bass to guitar and Algy Ward (ex-The Saints) joined TheDamned as their new bassist. I actually saw The Damned on this tour in 1979, at the infamous Cuckoo’s Nest in Costa Mesa, California, and hung out with Damned drummer Rat Scabies for most of the evening. Machine Gun Etiquette refuses to sound dated even thirty years after its release, and is still one of my favorite albums, ever. Punk Rock! Read my fantastic interview with Captain Sensible from 2001 at This Link.