Damned ex Merrick dies

Former Damned bassist Byrn Merrick has died at the age of 56 after a battle with cancer.

He was a member of the band from 1984 until 1989, appearing on two albums including 1985’s Phantasmagoria – their best-selling title.

He passed away in hospital in Cardiff.

Guitarist Captain Sensible, who wasn’t with the band during Merrick’s tenure, said: “What a character he was. I didn’t see as much of him as my colleagues, but I’ve heard many funny stories about the lovable rogue over the years.

“Like the time he wandered into a pub across the road from the band’s American hotel, asking if they ‘had any fags about the place’. Of course it was a gay bar. There’s loads more – car theft, prison spells, and all the rest of it – truly, there was never a dull moment with our Mr Merrick.”

Sensible spoke to Merrick last week after hearing the bassist didn’t have long to live. “I called on Thursday, letting him know he was much loved in Damned circles and thanking him for his important part in the band’s history. But hearing the news that he’d died just before we hit the stage at Chicago Riot Fest was still a real shocker.

“Our set was thus dedicated to the great man, just before we played his fave song, Ignite. Bryn liked the fast stuff – it was the way he lived his life.”

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.