Rat Scabies Says The Damned Once Offered Sid Vicious The Lead Singer Role

In a recent episode of VintageRock Podcast, drummer Rat Scabies shared the story of when the Damned wanted to hire Sid Vicious to be their lead vocalist since he had the attitude they were looking for during the early years of the band.

Besides a great singing voice, bands often look for artists who have the whole package. The lead vocalist’s attitude, energy, aura, and fashion sense should go hand in hand with the persona the band is trying to portray to the outside world. However, finding an artist that perfectly combines everything the band is looking for takes a lot of work.

When the Damned started their musical journey in the industry as a hardcore punk and gothic rock band, they were searching for someone to carry the band. They asked Sid Vicious and Dave Vanian to come and audition to be the band’s singers, but Vanian was the only one to show up and get the gig.

The Damned drummer Rat Scabies recently recalled how they found Sid Vicious and asked him to become their singer in the podcast episode. He shared that finding the perfect artist with the right attitude was much more challenging because there weren’t many people who would suit that description in London at the time.

They would go to Sex Pistols gigs and secretly seek out people that might be the right fit for the Damned. There would be the usual crowd, but Vicious caught their eye the second he walked into the venue with his padlock, gold jacket, and spiky hair. Scabies said they were impressed by his attitude and approached him to offer him the job.

Rat Scabies’ words about Sid Vicious:

“There were very few people that had the right attitude, you know, and we weren’t interested in finding anyone that was a singer of such we wanted somebody that had a personality. There were very few people in London at the time; you’d go to a Pistols gig, and there would be 15 or 20 spiky haircuts, and the rest would be regular public music fans. You know because in those days you didn’t really go to see the band you just went to your local pub and they’d have a band on, and if you like that band that was good and if you didn’t it didn’t matter you know because you could go back the next day.

So when you go and see the Pistols, it’d be Malcolm and Vivian and the usual crowd. There’d only be a few people with short hair and plastic trousers and, you know, stuff, so when somebody like Sid walks in wearing this little gold lame jacket with his spiky hair and the padlock. We were like; he looks great, you know, let’s go and find out who he is and if he’s up for doing it.”

You can watch the interview below.