Screaming Lord Sutch

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David Edward Sutch
Screaming Lord Sutch.jpg
Born 10 November 1940 (1940-11-10)
Hampstead, London, England[1]
Died 16 June 1999 (1999-06-17) (aged 58)
South Harrow, Greater London, England[1]
Occupation Musician, perennial candidate

David Edward Sutch (10 November 1940 – 16 June 1999),[1] also known as 3rd Earl of Harrow, or simply Screaming Lord Sutch, was an English musician. He was the founder of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party and served as its leader from 1983 to 1999, during which time he stood in numerous parliamentary elections. He holds the record for losing all 40 elections in which he stood.[1] As a singer he variously worked with Keith Moon, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, Charlie Watts and Nicky Hopkins.[1]

Musical career[edit]

Sutch was born at New End Hospital, Hampstead, London.[1] In the 1960s, inspired by Screamin' Jay Hawkins, he changed his stage name to "Screaming Lord Sutch, 3rd Earl of Harrow", despite having no connection with the peerage. His legal name remained David Edward Sutch.

After his career as an early 1960s rock and roll attraction, it became customary for the UK press to refer to him as "Screaming Lord Sutch", or simply "Lord Sutch". Early works included recordings produced by audio pioneer Joe Meek.

During the 1960s, Screaming Lord Sutch was known for his horror-themed stage show, dressing as Jack the Ripper, pre-dating the shock rock antics of Alice Cooper. Accompanied by his band, the Savages, he started by coming out of a black coffin. Other props included knives and daggers, skulls and "bodies". Sutch booked themed tours, such as 'Sutch and the Roman Empire', where Sutch and the band members would be dressed up as Roman soldiers.

Despite self-confessed lack of vocal talent, he released horror-themed singles during the early to mid 1960s, the most popular "Jack the Ripper", covered live and on record by garage rock bands including The White Stripes, The Gruesomes, the Black Lips and The Horrors, the latter for their debut album.

In 1963, Sutch and his manager, Reginald Calvert, took over Shivering Sands Army Fort, a Maunsell Fort off Southend and in 1964 started Radio Sutch, intending to compete with other pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline. Broadcasts consisted of music and Mandy Rice-Davies reading Lady Chatterley's Lover. Sutch tired of the station, and sold it to Calvert, which was renamed Radio City, which lasted until 1967. In 1966 Calvert was shot dead by Oliver Smedley over a financial dispute. Smedley was acquitted on grounds of self-defence. About this time Ritchie Blackmore left the band. Roger Warwick left to set up an R&B big band for Freddie Mack.

Sutch's album Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends was named in a 1998 BBC poll as the worst album of all time, a status it also held in Colin Larkin's book The Top 1000 Albums of All Time,[citation needed] despite the fact that Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Jeff Beck, Noel Redding and Nicky Hopkins performed on it and helped write it.

For his follow-up, Hands of Jack the Ripper, Sutch assembled British rock celebrities for a concert at the Carshalton Park Rock 'n' Roll Festival. The show was recorded (though only Sutch knew), and it was released to the surprise of the musicians. Musicians on the record included Ritchie Blackmore (guitar); Matthew Fisher (keyboard); Carlo Little (drums); Keith Moon (drums); Noel Redding (bass) and Nick Simper (bass).

In the Rolling Stones song "Get Off of My Cloud", the guy who shows up "All dressed up just like a Union Jack" was Lord Sutch uninvited in Mick Jagger's room.[citation needed]

Political activities[edit]

In the 1960s, Sutch stood in parliamentary elections, often as representative of the National Teenage Party. His first was in 1963, when he contested the by-election in Stratford-upon-Avon caused by the resignation of John Profumo. He gained 208 votes. His next was at the 1964 General Election when he stood in Harold Wilson's Huyton constituency. Here he received 518 votes.

He founded the Official Monster Raving Loony Party in 1983 and fought the Bermondsey by-election. In his career he contested over 40 elections, rarely threatening the major candidates, but often getting a respectable number of votes. He was easily recognisable at election counts by his flamboyant clothes and top hat. It was after he polled several hundred votes in Margaret Thatcher's Finchley constituency in 1983 that the deposit paid by candidates was raised from £150 to £500. This did little to deter Sutch, who increased the number of concerts he performed to pay for campaigns. He achieved his highest poll and vote share at Rotherham in 1994 with 1,114 votes and a 4.2 per cent vote share.

His most significant contribution to politics came at the Bootle by-election in 1990. He secured more votes than the candidate of the Continuing Social Democratic Party (SDP), led by former Foreign Secretary David Owen. Within days the SDP dissolved itself. In 1993, when the British National Party gained its first local councillor, Derek Beackon, Sutch pointed out that the Official Monster Raving Loony Party already had six.

He appeared as himself in the first episode of ITV comedy The New Statesman, coming second in the 1987 election, ahead of the Labour and SDP, which saw Alan B'Stard elected to Parliament.

Adverts in the 1990s for Heineken Pilsener boasted that "Only Heineken can do this". One had Sutch at 10 Downing Street after becoming Prime Minister.

Private life[edit]

Sutch was friends with and at one time lived at the house of Cynthia Payne.[2]

Sutch suffered from depression and committed suicide by hanging on 16 June 1999, following the death of his mother the previous year. At the inquest, his fiancée said he had "manic depression".[2]

Sutch is buried beside his mother in the cemetery in Pinner, North London.

Sutch is survived by a son, Tristan Lord Gwynne Sutch, born in 1975 to American model Thann Rendessy.[3]

In 1991, Sutch's autobiography Life as Sutch: The Official Autobiography of a Raving Loony (written with Peter Chippindale) was published. In 2005 Graham Sharpe, who had known Sutch since the late 1960s, wrote the first biography, The Man Who Was Screaming Lord Sutch.

Discography[edit]

Sutch released records from 1961 onwards. Later works include:

  • Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends, also known as Smoke and Fire (1970)
  • Hands of Jack the Ripper (1972)
  • Jack the Ripper (Studio, 1976)
  • Alive and Well (Live, 1980)
  • Jack the Ripper (Compilation, 19??)
  • Rock & Horror (Compilation, 1982) Ace Records CDCHM 65
  • Story/Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages (Compilation, 1991)
  • Live Manifesto (Live, 1992)
  • Murder in the Graveyard (Live, 1992)
  • Raving Loony Party Favourites (Compilation, 1996)
  • Monster Rock (Compilation, 2000)
  • Midnight Man (EP, 2000)
  • Munster Rock (Compilation, 2001)
  • The London Rock & Roll Show DVD ASIN: B00007LZ56

Elections fought[edit]

Election Type Constituency Party Vote % vote Place Candidates
15 August 1963 BE Stratford-upon-Avon National Teenage 209 0.6 5 5
31 March 1966 GE Huyton 1 National Teenage 585 0.9 18 22
18 June 1970 GE Cities of London and Westminster Young Ideas 142 0.4 5 5
10 October 1974 GE Stafford and Stone Go to Blazes 351 0.6 4 4
24 February 1983 BE Bermondsey Official Monster Raving Loony 97 0.3 6 16
23 March 1983 BE Darlington Official Monster Raving Loony 374 0.7 4 8
9 June 1983 GE Finchley 1 Official Monster Raving Loony 235 0.6 5 11
28 July 1983 BE Penrith and The Border Official Monster Raving Loony 412 1.1 4 8
1 March 1984 BE Chesterfield Official Monster Raving Loony 178 0.3 5 17
4 July 1985 BE Brecon and Radnor Official Monster Raving Loony 202 0.5 5 7
10 April 1986 BE Fulham Official Monster Raving Loony 134 0.4 5 11
17 July 1986 BE Newcastle-under-Lyme Official Monster Raving Loony 277 0.7 4 7
14 July 1988 BE Kensington Official Monster Raving Loony 61 0.3 7 15
10 November 1988 BE Glasgow Govan Official Monster Raving Loony 174 0.6 7 8
15 December 1988 BE Epping Forest Official Monster Raving Loony 208 0.6 7 9
23 February 1989 BE Richmond (Yorks) Official Monster Raving Loony 167 0.3 6 9
4 May 1989 BE Vale of Glamorgan Official Monster Raving Loony 266 0.6 8 11
15 June 1989 BE Vauxhall Official Monster Raving Loony 106 0.4 10 14
22 March 1990 BE Mid Staffordshire Official Monster Raving Loony 336 0.6 7 14
24 May 1990 BE Bootle 2 Official Monster Raving Loony 418 1.2 6 8
27 September 1990 BE Knowsley South Official Monster Raving Loony 197 0.9 6 7
8 November 1990 BE Bootle 3 Official Monster Raving Loony 310 1.1 5 7
7 March 1991 BE Ribble Valley 3 Official Monster Raving Loony 278 0.6 6 9
4 April 1991 BE Neath Official Monster Raving Loony 263 0.8 7 8
16 May 1991 BE Monmouth 4 Official Monster Raving Loony 314 0.7 4 7
4 July 1991 BE Liverpool Walton Official Monster Raving Loony 546 1.4 5 6
9 April 1992 GE Huntingdon 1 Official Monster Raving Loony 728 1.0 6 10
9 April 1992 GE Islwyn 5 Official Monster Raving Loony 547 1.3 5 5
9 April 1992 GE Yeovil 6 Official Monster Raving Loony 338 0.6 5 6
6 May 1993 BE Newbury Official Monster Raving Loony 432 0.7 7 19
29 July 1993 BE Christchurch Official Monster Raving Loony 404 0.8 5 6
5 May 1994 BE Rotherham Official Monster Raving Loony 1,114 4.2 4 5
9 June 1994 BE Bradford South Official Monster Raving Loony 727 2.4 4 5
9 June 1994 BE Eastleigh Official Monster Raving Loony 783 1.4 5 14
16 February 1995 BE Islwyn Official Monster Raving Loony 506 2.2 5 7
25 May 1995 BE Perth and Kinross Official Monster Raving Loony 586 1.4 5 9
27 July 1995 BE Littleborough and Saddleworth Official Monster Raving Loony 782 1.9 4 10
1 February 1996 BE Hemsworth Official Monster Raving Loony 652 3.0 5 10
11 April 1996 BE South East Staffordshire Official Monster Raving Loony 506 1.2 5 13
31 July 1997 BE Uxbridge Official Monster Raving Loony 396 1.3 4 11
20 November 1997 BE Winchester Official Monster Raving Loony 316 0.6 5 8

Notes:-

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 1998 – 1999". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Lord Sutch fought long battle with depression. – Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "Minor British Pop Star And Leader of the Monster Raving… News Photo | Getty Images | 3140812". Getty Images. 1 January 1975. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
General
  • Chippindale, Peter. "Sutch, David Edward (1940–1999)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/72456
  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1950–1973, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Parliamentary Research Services 1983)
  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1974–1983, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Parliamentary Research Services 1984)

External links[edit]

Party political offices
New creation Official Monster Raving Loony Party Leader
1983–1999
Succeeded by
Howling Laud Hope and Catmando