Damned and Dead Kennedys Members Respond to Bruce Dickinson's Punk Slur

Punk icons refute singer's claims that genre is "rubbish."

Ultimate Guitar

Bruce Dickinson is a man not afraid to make strong statements. Last week, the Iron Maiden vocalist told the Guardian newspaper that he didn't think much of punk music, stating that the genre was "rubbish."

"The closest the art establishment ever came to embracing metal was punk. The reason they embraced punk was because it was rubbish.

"The reason they embraced rubbish was because they could control it. They could say: 'Oh yeah, we're punk, so we can sneer at everybody. We can't play our f--king instruments - but that means we can make out this whole thing is some enormous performance art.'

"Half the kids that were in punk bands were laughing at the art establishment, going, 'What a f--king bunch of tosspots. Thanks very much - give us the money and we'll f**k off and stick it up our nose and shag birds.'

"What they'd really love to be doing was being in a heavy metal band surrounded by porn stars."

Now, asĀ Classic Rock Magazine reports, members of high profile punk bands have taken to the internet to refute Dickinson's claims. Rat Scabies from the Damned posted the following rebuttal on Facebook:

"Bruce Dickinson can think what he likes - but I defy Iron Maiden to play 'Smash It Up' as it was written."

As well as this, Dead Kennedys observed: "I don't think he has ever heard East Bay Ray play guitar."

Iron Maiden recently headlined Sonisphere festival, bringing their three year Maiden England tour to a close.

23 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I love Iron Maiden, the Damned and the Dead Kennedys. CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?
    the bands that got offended aren't even that bands that Bruce was referring to "half the kids" yeah aka pop-punk bands.
    That's clearly not what he's on about at all. He's talking about a lot of the early punk bands, presumably taking his view from bands at the time that tried to latch onto the punk fad and thought it was cool to play badly on purpose.
    Go back in time to the late 70's / early 80's , every other interview with Steve Harris was about being offered a contract if they cut their hair and played Punk . They said no . At the time they hated punk - Buzzcocks , Undertones , Sham 69 etc . They considered them more of an enemy than disco . Punk rebelled against prog rock etc , NWOBHM was supposed to be rebelling against punk (plenty of NWOBHM bands were as musically inept as the bands they railed against!) . Maidens anti punk sensibilities are deep rooted . Lets face it , a lot of those punk bands back then were not skilled musicians , big deal , some of them made good music , a lot didn't . Same with NWOBHM , anyone remember the shite like Crucifixion , Warfare or Axewitch , not at all on par with Maiden . Bruce has since become Maidens mouthpiece (lets face it Smallwood/Harris run the band), but I reckon he speaks for the band as a whole , big tittied ****ing deal . Although I'm a diehard Maiden fan , there are some lyrics I cringe at , less so with bands like DK ..... Just sayin
    Rat Scabies from the Damned posted the following rebuttal on Facebook: "Bruce Dickinson can think what he likes - but I defy Iron Maiden to play 'Smash It Up' as it was written." That was the only part of this article that UG hasn't already published.
    I just kind of find it weird that the two sides seem to differentiate from each other. Maidens first two albums had a real punk influenced sound to them and a lot of punk bands incorporate elements of metal into their music.
    Somebodies jealous that Maidens last tour outlasted their whole career. As far as I challenge you to play - ANYONE with half a brain and 2 months of guitar lessons can play punk. The only limit would be the fact that a real musician is trying to apply technique and skill --something punk lacks and was probably written to hide.
    As the DKs responded: "have you heard East Bay Ray?" East Bay Ray is an awesome player, at the time that DKs started, he was already like 34 and had played in multiple bands with genres of Rockabilly, Surf Rock, Doo Wop, and early R&B. He didnt just pick up a guitar and go "ooh,I think I'll play guitar in a punk band." Listen to his solos, although they arent as proficient or epic as Iron Maiden, they still have soul and thats all that matters. Dead Kennedys get alot of flack because of Jello Biafra (singer) and his ridiculous views, but the musicians in that band are very very talented at their instruments, go listen to Plastic Surgeries and get back to me.
    The idea that DK made this type of statement reveals how far they've drifted away from their punk/activist roots . I always admired the fact that they would stand (with FULL knowledge) against things that mattered . Not reacting to little soundbites , get a grip DK , the big battles you fought were never won , keep on keeping on .
    I feel embarrassed for you that you though it was a good idea to post this
    Stop the madness this is like soul music fighting against rap they can exist at the same time.
    Really? Smash It Up??? HAHAHA They should go to a Iron Maiden concert first before saying things as stupid as that. I don't even play guitar and I can play that...