Wes Orshoski’s highly anticipated documentary, The Damned: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead, premiered on March 18 at SXSW. Founding members David Vanian and Captain Sensible, keyboardist Monty Oxymoron, drummer Pinch and bassist Stu West attended the premiere and performed later that evening.
"It seems like every other scumbag who was ever in a punk band got a film made about them," says Captain Sensible. "Now it's our turn, and at least we have some real stories to tell. Hopefully, this will cause a bit of a stink, but that's what it was always supposed to do."
The Damned: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead comes four years after Orshoski's award-winning portrait of legendary Motorhead frontman, Lemmy Kilmister. The dedicated filmmaker captured footage of the British punk pioneers around the world over the past four years.
The film details the band’s unique history, including fighting and reuniting. At one point there were so many departures it threatened the longevity of the band but they managed to overcome the obstacles and remain a source of inspiration to many for decades. Members of Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Melvins, T.S.O.L., Buzzcocks, Adverts and the Offspring appear in the film, detailing the importance of the band's role in sparking the punk movement in America. "I'm incredibly honored to be working with a band who I feel has registered as an immeasurable impact on artists from across the musical spectrum," says Orshoski.
The documentary also includes appearances by Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders), Mick Jones (The Clash), Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Lemmy Kilmister (Motörhead), Duff McKagan (Guns ‘N’ Roses), Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat/Fugazi), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), actor/comedian Fred Armisen, and more.
Leading the British punk movement alongside the Sex Pistols and The Clash, The Damned were the first to release a punk single: "New Rose."
Watch the "New Rose" video from 1976:
No theater release dates have been announced. Keep an eye on the Damned Documentary Facebook page for details.