LLANDOUGH, Wales (CelebrityAccess) — Bryn Merrick, formerly a bassist for the UK gloompunk group The Damned, has died after a battle with throat cancer. He was 56 at the time of his death.
Merrick played bass for the band starting in 1984, stepping in for Paul Gray, who had exited the band to join UFO. Merrick played with the band for 2 albums, Phantasmagoria and Anything before he too exited in 1989.
After his tenure with The Damned, he performed with a UK-based Ramones tribute band The Shamones until they broke up in 2015.
The Damned's biographer Wes Orshoski memorialized Merrick's passing in a post on the band's Facebook page.
"Incredibly sad to report that former Damned bassist Bryn Merrick passed away this morning from his years long battle with throat cancer. I met Bryn in Cardiff a couple years ago through his former bandmate and lifelong friend Andy Johnson. Bryn was really rather off the grid at the time, and Andy connected us for the Damned film.
"I immediately loved the guy. Full of life and love, smiling and joking, and just radiating warmth. A working class guy who loved music, and, like me, loved the Ramones (so much so that he played in a Ramones cover band with Andy in these last years of his life). Andy said on his Facebook page this morning that if you met Bryn, you probably became immediate friends. And I believe that. He’s definitely one of my favorite people who I met while making the film…. I had already interviewed both Bryn and Paul Gray for the film by the time they were both diagnosed with throat cancer. It was too surreal: both men former bassists in the Damned, both living in Cardiff, both diagnosed with the same form of cancer at the same time by the same doctor. If they were up for it, I had to make this a part of my film. They kindly agreed. So I headed back to Cardiff to do an interview with the two of them together, and, to me, that scene is the most powerful in the film. It’s probably my favorite in the film, because it’s the most human. Here are a couple shots I snapped that day of Bryn, and the three of us. I had hoped to see Bryn many more times in the future, but obviously it wasn't meant to be. I'm really happy that I had a chance to say goodbye to him via phone on Friday (his son held the phone to Bryn's ear, he couldn't respond to me, but he could hear it). Anyway, Cheers to Bryn! A good man, a good friend, and a fantastic human being. We will all miss you! — Wes Orshoski
– Staff Writers