Het is vandaag ook al twintig jaar geleden dat David Edward Sutch, also known as 3rd Earl of Harrow, despite having no connection with the peerage, or simply Screaming Lord Sutch, committed suicide by hanging, following the death of his mother the previous year. At the inquest, his fiancée Cynthia Payne said he had “manic depression”. Sutch is buried beside his mother in the cemetery in Pinner, North London. He was survived by a son, Tristan Lord Gwynne Sutch, born in 1975 to American model Thann Rendessy (one of the girls in the picture, taken in 1972, een jaar later dan toen ik de groep aan het werk had gezien in Hastings voor een welhaast lege zaal).

During the 1960s, Screaming Lord Sutch, inspired by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (“I put a spell on you”), was known for his horror-themed stage show, dressing as Jack the Ripper (also the title of his greatest hit), pre-dating the shock rock antics of Alice Cooper. Accompanied by his band, the Savages, he started by coming out of a black coffin. As a singer he variously worked with rock-icons like Keith Moon, John Bonham, Noel Redding, Matthew Fisher, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, Charlie Watts, Nicky Hopkins en de Portugese broertjes Antonio en Fernando Lameirinhas, die in België opgegroeid waren, en daarnaar zouden terugkeren om de J.J.Band (“Move”) te vormen (veel later zou Fernando bij Raymond Van het Groenewoud gaan spelen).
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. In 1964 he started Radio Sutch, intending to compete with other pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline. Broadcasts consisted of music and Mandy Rice-Davies (remember Profumo!) reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Afterwards 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. Still, 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.

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