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April 2024

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Manhattan of The Damned

Bayley

The Damned first played New York City’s CBGB in 1977, the first British Punk band to do so (along with having been the first British Punk band to issue any vinyl). During that maiden voyage, the band were famously captured by erstwhile CBGB door-minder/photographer Roberta Bayley in the photo above, posing with great, snotty aplomb in front of the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

The band ended up playing four April nights at CBGB, sharing the bill with their Buckeye counterparts in the Dead Boys. Here’s a shot of them during one of those doubtlessly volatile evenings, this one taken by Ebet Roberts.

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Today, meanwhile, in trawling around the `net, looking for nothing in particular, I came across this uncredited photo from the same era. I’m making some assumptions here but based on the line-up (with guitarist Brian James still in the ranks), I’m guessing this was snapped during that same span of April days. I have no idea who took it, but my question is – where in Manhattan was this photograph snapped?

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I’d say the awning behind Dave Vanian on the left is a big clue, as are the terraced apartments behind Captain Sensible’s head. I have a hunch which I’m going to investigate, but where do YOU think it was taken?

The Damned are coming back to New York City (with original drummer Rat Scabies with them, this time) this May, but the next day is my son’s graduation, so I don’t think we’ll be going. We did just see them in October, anyway.

Meanwhile, here’s a taste of one of those shows…


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