|Birth name||David Lett|
|Born||12 October 1956|
|Origin||Hemel Hempstead, England|
|Genres||Punk rock, gothic rock, rockabilly|
|Occupation(s)||Gravedigger, singer-songwriter, musician|
Big Beat Records
|Associated acts||Captain Sensible|
Dave Vanian (born David Lett, 12 October 1956) is a rock musician and lead singer of the punk rock band the Damned. Formed in 1976 in London, the Damned were the first British punk band to release a single, an album, have a record hit the UK charts, and tour the United States. Despite a fluid line-up since their founding, Vanian has been ever-present, the only member to have been so.
Born in Hemel Hempstead, Vanian changed his name from Lett to Vanian in early life after a previous stint as a gravedigger – Vanian being a play on "Transylvanian". He remains one of the early influencers of gothic fashion, wearing dark and otherworldly clothing both on stage and off. He is known to be a fan of renaissance art, film noir and horror movies, all of which manifest in his stage appearance. In November 1976, the British music magazine NME stated that Vanian "resembles a runaway from The Addams Family".
Vanian has kept his personal life out of the limelight, even opting out of any input towards the Damned biography The Light at the End of the Tunnel by Carol Clerk. He married his first wife Laurie in 1977, the year after he joined the Damned, but they separated in the mid-1990s. Not long after their split, he married former Sisters of Mercy bassist Patricia Morrison and now lives in north-west London. In 2004 Morrison gave birth to daughter Emily Vanian.
Vanian sang with the MC5 for their 40th anniversary singing "Looking at You", which was released as part of Revolution: A Celebration of the MC5. In 2008, with the band The Throb, played "Let's Get Lost (Sailor Jerry's Story)" to the compilation The Original Sailor Jerry Rum – Music To ........... To.
Outside of the Damned he has led the rockabilly band David Vanian & the Phantom Chords, hosted Dave Vanian's Dark Screen on the UK-based television channel Rockworld TV and composed the soundtrack for the 2009 film, The Perfect Sleep.
- The Damned (official site): Dave Vanian section
- Interview (while touring with the Phantom Chords), November 1993 (QuickTime Video)