Perennial U.K. punk rock favorites The Damned come by DC regularly to perform at the Black Cat. Well, now you can review nearly 40 years of the band’s history in an authorized documentary, “THE DAMNED: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead,” which screens at the Angelika Pop-Up (Union Market, 550 Penn St. NE, DC) on Wednesday, August 12.
Anchored by vocalist Dave Vanian and guitarist Captain Sensible, The Damned certainly have weathered quite a bit since their first show on July 6, 1977, as they race toward their official 40th anniversary show at The Royal Albert Hall in May 2016. U.S. film screenings of the documentary officially begin July 28 in Southern California, and then the movie travels across the country, much like the band would were they on a tour.
Watch the trailer for “THE DAMNED: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead”:
While the DC date offers a straight view of the documentary, drummer Andrew “Pinch” Pinching will participate in three Southern California discussion sessions, and documentary director Wes Orshoski will participate in post-film discussions following the New York and L.A.-area screenings, as well as those on August 16 in Philadelphia (Underground Arts) and August 21 at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum in Cleveland.
“THE DAMNED: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead” tells the story of the only U.K. punk band launched in the furor of the 1976 Punk Rock Big Bang that still tours the world today. They were, of course, the first English punk band with a single (“New Rose” in 1976) and the first with an album (“Damned Damned Damned” in 1977) as well as the first to perform in the United States (CBGBs in April 1977).
In addition to Damned founders Captain Sensible, Dave Vanian, Rat Scabies and Brian James, the film includes appearances by Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, The Clash’s Mick Jones of The Clash, and Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead, as well as other rock dignitaries such as Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), Steve Diggle (Buzzcocks), JJ Burnel (The Stranglers), Duff McKagan (Guns N Roses), Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat/Fugazi), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks/OFF!), Dexter Holland (The Offspring), Jack Grisham (T.S.O.L.), and more.