Screaming Lord Sutch was born one David Sutch, an only child, on the 10th of November 1940, in London.
He was leader of the Monster Raving Loony Party.

As a musician, inspired by Punch & Judy, Sutch found fame in the 60's as one of the first rock stars to sport long hair.
Musically, he achieved a rather mediocre success as singer, although he did make over 250 performances, and collaborate with musicians like John Bonham and Jimmy Page.

His fame however, came as the longest serving party leader in British history. The Monster Raving Loony Party would be described as fringe politics, and they were frowned upon by the other parties. Even after the electoral registration fees were increased to get rid of these so-called politicians, that just made them even funnier, with Sutch attempting to get his dog "Splodge" elected for a seat in the London elections.
One of his wacky proposals was to convert the "Butter Mountain" into a ski slope. Another was to get all the unemployed and joggers to get together on a giant treadmill so that cheap electricity could be produced.

Behind the madness though, Sutch suffered greatly from depression, due to the death of his mother two years previously (1997). There are also stories of financial troubles stemming from money owed to him from his career as a pop singer, but these are just rumors.

What is known is that he was taking a lot of anti-depressants up until the time of his death on the 16 June 1999, aged 58. He was found hanging by his partner Yvonne Elwood. Although nothing has been said about the nature of his death since it happened, Scotland Yard said they were treating it as suspicious.

Sutch's leadership of the party after his death, was entrusted to a cat named "Mandu".
The party are still in existence today, although weakened by the loss of their leader.

Eccentricity aside, he will be remembered as one of the great british political leaders of the 20th century.

ps. can you believe this was a nodeshell rescue?

Lord David Sutch began his career as a rock singer, but went on to define himself in the public eye as a parliamentary candidate, eventually for the Official Monster Raving Loony Party. For 30 years his manic grin and leopardskin top hat were a staple part of election night entertainment.

Powerful politicians - for Sutch had a penchant for standing against party leaders - not merely had their portentousness deflated by his presence, they were even obliged to look amused, at least before the cameras.

Beginning in 1963, Sutch stood for Parliament 39 times, polling some 15,000 votes, forfeiting more than £10,000 in lost deposits and incurring £85,000 in campaign expenses. He also fought one Euro-election, in 1989, but had to admit he was no match for the Euro-loonies in Strasbourg.

Sutch's strongest showing was at Rotherham in May 1994 when he polled 1,114 votes, only some 200 short of the number required for saving his deposit. His most significant result, however, was at Bootle in May 1990, when he scored 418 votes to the Social Democrats' 155 - a result which helped to convince Dr David Owen that the game was up for his party.

In the aftermath Sutch offered Owen a merger with the Monster Raving Loony Party, and even spoke of relinquishing the leadership in his favour. Owen, he recalled, "gave a sad little smile and turned it down". Sutch's last coup was at the Uxbridge by-election of 1997, when he scored 10 times the vote of Dr Alan Sked's UK Independence Party.

Sutch liked to claim (with some justification) credit for local radio, the introduction of votes at 18, the abolition of the 11-plus, and the Beatles' MBEs. Rather more certainly, his candidacies led to the raising of the deposit for parliamentary candidates from £150 to £500.

David Edward Sutch was born at Kilburn on November 12 1940; he was not, of course, a lord. His father, a policeman, was killed in the Blitz, his mother helped to look after Sutch until her death in 1997, and was always on hand to pick up the pieces when his latest girlfriend left him.

After school in South Harrow, Sutch worked as a plumber until turning to rock 'n' roll. The nickname "Lord" came from his first stage headgear, a fur-lined crash helmet topped with bobbles to resemble a coronet. In 1968 he adopted the name by deed poll.

Once, he said, he had tried to change his name to Mrs Thatcher, but was told it would be too confusing when he got to the House of Commons.

Sutch was probably the first long-haired pop star. He would emerge from a coffin with buffalo horns on his head and a lavatory seat around his neck, set his hair on fire, and with his leopard-skinned group The Savages launch into frantic rock 'n' roll, with ghoulish lyrics.

He hit the headlines in March 1961 when a woman police sergeant sent her 17-year-old daughter to Coventry for planning to marry him. That July he tried to elope to Gretna Green with a 16-year-old, only to be foiled by her mother. The next week he was fined £12 for assault after an on-stage brawl at a Dumfriesshire miners' club. On the whole, though, Sutch presented a genial image on stage. It was in private that he was prone to depression.

The nearest he came to a hit in Britain was the Dracula-esqe Till the Following Night in 1962 but the act which Sutch developed was soon earning him £1,000 a week on the road. In 1963 he spent a month's pay on a Chevrolet. "Why be normal and earn £10 a week?"

In the early 1970s he enjoyed a minor success in the American charts with an album called Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends. The Friends included Noel Redding, Jimmy Page, Keith Moon and Jeff Beck. It was voted the worst rock album of all time in 1998 by record buyers on both sides of the Atlantic.

Sutch's first venture at a by-election came in 1963 when he stood as National Teenagers' candidate at Stratford-upon-Avon, a seat rendered vacant by the resignation of John Profumo. He gathered 209 votes and provoked the deputy Mayoress into walking out when he sat in the mayoral chair.

In 1964, after a brief involvement with pirate radio, Sutch announced that he would stand against Harold Wilson at Huyton in order to fight discrimination against long hair and to promote knighthoods for the Beatles but his nomination papers were rejected. Wilson, who was anxious to corner the Beatle vote himself, at first refused to shake Sutch's hand, but later relented to the extent of giving him a cigar.

In 1966 Sutch did stand at Huyton, polling 585 votes. At the next general election, in 1970, he appeared in the City of Westminster as a Young Ideas Party candidate, offering to build council flats in the Buckingham Palace garden as a boost to Prince Philip's finances.

Rejected by the voters, Sutch turned to direct action. In 1972 he was arrested when he accompanied five naked women to Downing Street to protest at the shortage of rock music on the BBC. Yet he was also capable of shrewd political thrusts. "Why is there only one Monopolies Commission?" his manifesto demanded. And many warmed to his campaign slogan: "Vote for Insanity - You know it makes sense!"

In October 1974 Sutch contested Stafford and Stone for the GB - "Go to Blazes" - Party. But he continued to insist that he was serious about entering Parliament, and in 1980 drew great encouragement from the triumph of Ronald Reagan. "You elected a B Movie actor," he told the Americans. "We can all make good, you know."

It was not until February 1983, at Bermondsey, that he first appeared as a Monster Raving Loony candidate; this was the by-election in which Simon Hughes, for the Liberals, trounced Labour's Peter Tatchell. Sutch, while scoring only 97 votes, obtained as much publicity as either of them.

In the general election of that year the Loonies, having merged with the Green Chicken Alliance, fielded 11 candidates. Sutch himself stood at Finchley against Mrs Thatcher, who proved rather less adept than other leaders at pretending to be amused by his antics. He finished fifth out of 11 candidates, with 235 votes.

By this time Sutch invariably finished well ahead of the other fringe candidates. But when he stood for Southgate in 1984, he was disqualified for proposing his dog Splodge as a candidate as well as himself.

In April 1987 the Monster Raving Loony Party won its first seat, its chairman, Alan Hope, being elected unopposed for Ashburton parish council in Devon.

For the general election that year Sutch put together a Rainbow Alliance of fringe parties. "We are quite confident we'll get 400 to 500 seats," he said. In fact one of the Loony candidates did attract as many as 747 votes. That autumn the party held its first conference, at Alan Hope's pub and two years later it even managed a split over the leadership style.

On Mrs Thatcher's overthrow in 1990, Sutch wrote to The Daily Telegraph noting that he had seen off his fourth Tory leader. "Thatcherism may come and go," he declared, "but Loonyism, which we believe represents the true spirit of the British people, will go on for ever."

Nevertheless he joined the Conservative Party in order to stand for the leadership, only to suffer the indignity of being ruled ineligible.

In 1991 Sutch ventured into print with Life as Sutch: Autobiography of a Monster Raving Loony. It wasn't well-received. In the by-election at Islwyn, Neil Kinnock's old seat, in 1995, Sutch pulled in 506 votes, well over half the number polled by the Conservative. At this time Barclays Bank was threatening to foreclose on a loan of £194,000, but William Hill, the bookmakers agreed to finance his election deposits, and the bank re- scheduled his repayments, so that in July he was able to record one of his best results (782 votes) at the Littleborough and Saddleworth by-election.

Sutch had hoped to stand for the second time in John Major's Huntingdon constituency at the general election of 1997, but was compelled to stand down when his mother fell ill. In 1998 he felt compelled to admit that, with the deposit at £5,000, the Loony Party could not afford to stand in the Euro election.

Sutch never married, but is survived by a son, Tristan Lord Gwynne Sutch, born in 1975 to the American model Thann Rendessy.

Sources:

  • http://freespace.virgin.net/raving.loony/
  • http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/election.htm#british
  • http://www.election.demon.co.uk/

For anyone interested in UK Election statistics, i can't recommend that last URL highly enough. They have everything you could ever wish to know.

Lord Sutch was, if not the inventor, at least the most visible reveler in the phenomenon known as Death Rock. Previous write-ups on Lord Sutch and The Savages are great, but are lacking the data below; Line-up of the group and discography.

Lineups of Screaming Lord Sutch and The Savages included:

Lord Sutch - Vocals

Bernie Watson - Guitars

Rick Brown - Bass

Nicky Hopkins - Keyboards
(session keyboardist for numerous bands including The Who, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones.)

Carlo Little - Drums

Roger Mingay - Guitars

Andy Wren - Keyboards

Ritchie Blackmore - Guitars
(later of Deep Purple and Rainbow)

Dave Wendels - Guitars

Tony Dangerfield - Bass

Jimmy Evans - Drums

Avid Anderson - Bass

John Lawson - Bass

Lord Sutch's first LP (Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends, 1970) also featured:

Jimmy Page - Guitars
(also of Led Zeppelin)

Jeff Beck - Guitars
(also of The Yardbirds)

John Bonham - Drums
(also of Led Zeppelin)

Lord Sutch's second LP (Hands of Jack the Ripper, 1972) featured:

Keith Moon - Drums
(also of The Who)

Noel Redding - Bass
(formerly of The Jimi Hendrix Experience)


Discography:

Singles

1961:

Til The Following Night b/w Good Golly Miss Molly (as Screaming Lord Sutch And The Savages)

1963:

Jack The Ripper b/w Don't You Just Know It (as Screaming Lord Sutch)

I'm A Hog For You b/w Monster In Black Tights (as Screaming Lord Sutch And The Savages)

1964:

She's Fallen In Love With The Monster Man b/w Bye Bye Baby (as Screaming Lord Sutch And The Savages)

Dracula's Daughter b/w Come Back Baby (as Screaming Lord Sutch)

1965:

The Train Kept A-Rollin' b/w Honey Hush (as Screaming Lord Sutch)

1966:

The Cheat b/w Black And Hairy (as Screaming Lord Sutch)

1970:

'Cause I Love You b/w Thumping Beat

Election Fever b/w Rock The Election

1972:

Gotta Keep A Rockin' b/w Flashing Lights/Hands Of Jack The Ripper

1976:

Monster Ball b/w Rang-Tang-A-Lang (as Screaming Lord Sutch)

I Drink To Your Health Marie (Pt.1) b/w I Drink To Your Health Marie (Pt.2)

LPs

1970:

Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends (Atlantic)

1972:

Hands of Jack the Ripper (Atlantic)

1982:

Alive and Well (Babylon)

1994:

Rock and Horror (Ace)

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.