Howdy! Senior Writer Jason Heller here. Over the course of my many years at The A.V. Club, I’ve never exactly made it a secret how much I love ’77 punk, or one of the movement’s first, best, and most boundary-pushing bands, The Damned. Not only did The Damned famously release the first single and the first album of the British punk movement, the group went on to release a stunning string of songs that range from goth to pop to psychedelia, all while maintaining The Damned’s gleefully morbid flamboyance—not to mention frontman Dave Vanian’s graveyard croon. So it is with great joy in my rotted little heart that I invite you, fellow Denver residents, to tonight’s screening of The Damned: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead.
Brought to you by director Wes Orshoski (the man behind the 2010 documentary about Motörhead’s Lemmy—who, by the way, is a close friend of The Damned and was even briefly a member), The Damned: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead will be screened at 10 p.m. tonight at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Denver. I’ll be on hand to introduce the film and talk about the ghoulish greatness of The Damned. I won’t be alone in that regard; the film features testimonials by high-profile Damned fans, including members of The Clash, Pink Floyd, Guns N’ Roses, The Sex Pistols, The Pretenders, Blondie, Black Flag, and Fugazi. And, of course, Lemmy.
When asked for a comment about how the music of The Damned changed his life, Orshoski had this to say: “Not sure how or if The Damned’s music ‘changed’ my life, other than providing me a lot of happiness and enjoyment. Making the film caused depletion of saving account, credit debt, loss of hair, and took weeks off my life, hahahaha.” Spoken like a true, Damned-loving madman.
But that’s not all! I’ll be giving away a couple of rad prizes to lucky members of the audience: First of all, a pair of tickets to The Damned’s headlining show at the Marquis Theater in Denver on August 28, and second of all, a pair of tickets to Riot Fest Denver on August 28-30 at National Western Complex in Denver, at which The Damned will also be performing (courtesy of Soda Jerk Presents and Riot Fest).
By the way, I’ll be pulling double duty at Alamo Drafthouse tonight: Immediately prior to this doc about The Damned, I’ll be hosting a screening of The Dark Crystal at 7:30 p.m. as part of my monthly Fantastique film series (which, like this film, is sponsored by The A.V. Club). So come on down and laugh at my social exhaustion! Tickets for The Damned: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead are on sale now.