Now since I’ve been doing these “Music Milestones” for several years now, it dawned upon me that every so often the need might arise to do a specific song’s anniversary. This is especially important for those songs that ended up being absolutely iconic and preceded a full body of musical work by several months. The song “New Rose” by The Damned is such a song and it was released forty years ago today on Stiff Records. The band’s full length debut album would be released in the middle of February during the following 1987 year. The song is a fast-paced one with thundering drums by Rat Scabies along with frenetic guitar by Captain Sensible. Singer Dave Vanian leads us into the tune with the words “Is She Really Going Out With Him”. I guess you can consider this a kind of love song but if it’s not that’s fine since the tune kicks some ass and still does forty years later.
Though I didn’t know this until only recently, the song is actually the very first single to be released by a British Punk Rock band and that was a pretty cool fact. It was written by bassist Brian James and produced by Nick Lowe with a B-side of a cover of “Help” originally done by The Beatles. The tune bears very little sonic resemblance to that of the Fab Four.
Speaking personally, I wouldn’t hear about The Damned until my high school buddy George came over with some Punk Rock albums and one of the them had the song “Jet Boy, Jet Girl” on it by the band. The songs scandalous premise appealed to my Punker friend and at the time I thought it was rather funny based on the lyrical subject matter. It would be a few more years until I got into the band properly and began my journey with the album “Machine Gun Ettiquette” and THEN their debut “Damned, Damned, Damned” where this track firmly sits. It seems when it came to listening to The Damned I went backwards. I loved this track and was sad that I didn’t hear it a few years earlier but when it was released I was only “11” so there was not a whole lot of Punk attitude going on in my life. Any rebellion or fracas I caused that that age was getting me sent to my room with no supper or television. Yeah parents were allowed to do that sort of stuff to you back then. Nowadays they turn off your WiFi for an hour.
So anniversaries aside, I must say that I’m pretty excited about hearing this tune live in concert for the very first time because in the coming days I will be seeing The Damned for the first time at The Gramercy Theatre where they are playing for two nights. I’ll be part of the attending media and will be snapping photos and offering up a narrative on the website so please do stay tuned for that report. Happy Anniversary to the song “New Rose” it still kicks some serious ass but I’ve said that already.