Wonders truly never cease. For this week’s Sunday Jam, a band featuring old-school punk rockers brilliantly integrates the essence of Magical Mystery Tour-era Beatles with David Bowie’s classic glam rock ode to a doomed space mission — I can’t believe I just typed that! The song is (appropriately) called “Space Walrus” and the band is Professor and The Madmen; comprised of co-frontmen Alfie Agnew (Adolescents, D.I.) and Sean Elliott (D.I., Mind Over Four) teaming up with legendary original drummer for The Damend, Rat Scabies and current Damned Bassist Paul Gray (who can be seen in the video starring in the role of The Sun). Visually, “Space Walrus” plays out as a Buck Rogers‘ style romp through space that’s just all kinds campy fun. Shot in black and white, the video features a vibrant transition to color at the halfway mark where Elton John and David Bowie drop in to kick out the jams! Amazing!
“Space Walrus” can be found on Professor and The Madman’s upcoming sophomore album, Disintegrate Me, which will be released via FullerTone Records on February 23rd, 2018. Enjoy!
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. Lyrics from that album’s eponymous track now lend themselves to the title of a fantastic documentary on The Damned, Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead, which has just become available on home video. I am overjoyed to report that this film is a must-see for all Damned fans, old-school punks, rock music historians and anyone who was a punk back when the guys in Sum 41 were still toddlers.
One year after it first debuted at SXSW 2015, director Wes Orshoski’s long-awaited documentary on British Punk Rock legends The Damned is finally coming out on DVD May 20th, 2016, and all I can say is it’s about fucking time. I can’t wait to own it, and I will be writing a full review for you once it is in my hot little hands! In the meantime, please enjoy my amazing and hilarious interview with Captain Sensible from August 2001 at This Link, and watch the trailer below!
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.
The Damned Circa the Machine Gun Etiquette Tour, 1979
Rat Scabies (born Christopher Miller), former drummer for The Damned was born on this day, July 30th, in 1957. In other news, you can read my interview with The Damned’s Captain Sensible from 2001 at This Link!