Rat Scabies Recalls The Damned Receiving Led Zeppelin’s Support

Punk rock bands rejected the ’70s rock music, but it seems like Led Zeppelin didn’t dismiss one of the first representatives of the genre. According to the Damned’s Rat Scabies, Led Zeppelin endorsed them, and this contributed to their success. In a recent interview with Classic Album Review, Scabies revealed the details of what happened.

In 1977, the Damned took to the stage to perform at the Roxy nightclub. However, they weren’t aware that Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Bonham were among the audience. As it turns out, they were big fans of the band. However, their set was so short for drunken John Bonham, who was used to playing lengthy performances with Zeppelin. So, he jumped on the stage and asked for more. Recalling those days, Scabies talked about Led Zeppelin’s support of the Damned.

“At the time, it was kind of double-edged,” recalled Scabies, “because, on the one hand, you’re going, ‘Wow, that’s Led Zeppelin telling us that they think we’re great,’ and on the other hand, every punk rocker in the audience goes ‘Led Zeppelin? Who cares what they think?’ So, I remember Mark Perry gave me a particularly hard time at the Roxy because I spoke to Robert Plant, and I thought that was a narrow attitude, anyway.”

Scabies continued, “The fact that they were there and liked what we were doing was a good thing. So, to reject that, if you are like, an ally in such a powerful position just out of hand because of who they were, was a bit narrow-minded. On the other hand, it probably did us a lot of good with Led Zeppelin fans, but I don’t know how much. What can you say about something like that?”

In various interviews, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant admitted they loved the Damned’s music. However, the incident at Roxy caused them to receive a negative response from the audience, thanks to John Bonham. As it turns out, Rat Scabies also received criticism for talking to Plant and admitting that a band like Led Zeppelin supported them.