Before there was Alice Cooper, Rocky Horror, Dr. John the Nightripper, The Cramps or Sabbath, there was Screaming Lord Sutch.
On June 16, 1999, David Sutch was found hanged at his home in London. For his friends and fans the world over it was a terrible and unexpected blow. Sutch’s obsession with horror movies and the macabre was well known, an integral part of his image, but it was strictly for laughs. If he had a dark side he kept it well hidden. True, he had been suffering from depression in recent years, especially since the death of his mother, but no one expected this surprise ending: dead by his own hand at the age of 59. Sutch was well loved by his many friends. He was a household name in Britain—practically a national treasure. He was to make a highly anticipated headlining appearance in Las Vegas at Halloween, only a four months away. Surely he had everything to live for. Lord Sutch in 1969 But when clinical depression wraps its dark cloak around a man, he’s completely alone. Tragically now, he’s gone but not forgotten. David Sutch will be remembered for many things. His colourful, larger than life personality was a fixture of the British political landscape as well as the entertainment world. Certainly his amazing recorded legacy ensures his place in rock’n’roll history in perpetuity: the wild rock’n’roll and horror sides he cut with Joe Meek, the demented mid-‘60s gems like “Train Kept A-Rollin’” and “All Black and Hairy”, the proto-psychedelic “The Cheat”, the hard rockin’ Heavy Friends - for someone supposedly with no discernible musical talent he sure made some great records. And if you make great records you live forever.
Read a fascinating and funny interview with the Lord at Ugly Things.
Here’s a documentary from 1964 of which there is little information to be found on the Internet. It’s filled with wonderful footage of Sutch performing live and that’s enuff for me.