Rat Scabies On Nick Mason’s ‘Not Spectacular’ Work With The Damned

Some collaborations might become some of the greatest musical works, whereas others might not be as dreamy. For instance, when Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason produced a record for the Damned, things didn’t go as planned. More recently, the Damned’s Rat Scabies joined Classic Album Review as he recalled working with Nick and why their work wasn’t as good as they expected.

Nick collaborated with the Damned to produce their second record, ‘Music for Pleasure,’ back in the late ’70s. However, the team-up didn’t receive the expected publicity and achieved low critical acclaim upon its release. So, when Scabies was asked why the record had failed, the drummer had a few theories.

“I always got on really well with Nick,” Rat noted while referring to his collaboration with the Pink Floyd icon. “I used to quite like what he did with Pompeii. You know, he’s one of the greatest… for me, anyway. Probably his finest hour for me because it was a guy on the drum kit, playing his heart out, you know, that was a thing.”

The drummer then mentioned how the record company wanted to hire Mason to bring in more sales and publicity. The musician disclosed, “Then, I think the record company and men in suits thought just having that Pink Floyd connection would do us a lot of good in America and, again, would help sales somehow.”

Rat Scabies continued by recalling the creative differences between Mason and the Damned. He remembered, “I think… Brian and Captain and Dave were expecting… probably wanted to make a more psychedelic record than it was, whereas Nick took the approach that punk rock was really all about honesty, and I think that was how he recorded it.”

“So you could hear what we’ve done, and I think he tried to catch the best performances,” Rat concluded. “Well, we did it, you know; I think he did okay. I think… it wasn’t particularly spectacular, and it wasn’t up to him to make it spectacular. It was up to the band to do that.”

So, even though Rat Scabies was pleased with working with Mason and respected him as a drummer and producer, Nick’s work with the Damned didn’t bring the expected outcome since the drummer and the band had creative differences that weren’t addressed. So, even though a collaboration with the Pink Floyd icon sounded promising, the record wasn’t as spectacular in the end.