By Kieran Webber
Former bassist of one of Britain’s biggest and arguably one of the most important punk bands has unfortunately passed away after a long battle with throat cancer. Bryn’s family and friends shared the sad news, adding that he had passed peacefully in the early hours of the morning. He was just 56.
His official studio debut with The Damned came via their single ‘Thanks For The Night’, and it’s B-side ‘Nasty’ (written for and performed on an episode of The Young Ones); alongside his former Victimize band mate, Roman Jugg, becoming a full time member of the band. Bryn went on to play with The Damned until their split/hiatus in 1989, recording two of the band’s most commercially successful albums, Phantasmagoria and Anything, and their biggest selling single to date, ‘Eloise’.
Damned guitarist Captain Sensible posted a heartfelt tribute via his official Facebook page:
“The Damned touring party has been hit with the sad news that our chum Bryn Merrick has passed away… and what a character he was. Bass player during the Damned’s successful MCA Records period (my exile years) meant 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 (adopts Welsh accent..) “had any fags about the place”. Of course it was a gay bar. There’s loads more – involving brawling, car theft, prison spells, and all the rest of it… truly, there was NEVER a dull moment with our Mr Merrick.
Bryn was often to be seen backstage at Damned gigs in recent years and I got to really like the bloke – he’d mellowed into a really nice chap and the air would be filled with laughter as he reminisced with DV about the glory days.
But knowing time was running out I called Bryn 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 hitting 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.
Bryn Merrick RIP.”