Thursday

Screaming Lord Sutch & A Host of Savages: Mid 1965 - Mid 1966


After the departure of Ritchie Blackmore in May '65, various guitarists followed: e.g. Mick Abrahams founder member of Jethro Tull and Blodwyn Pig, Malcolm Longstaff later with Nice, Geoff "Eaton" Tindle of The Primitives, John Irvine later with German band Somefolks or future comedian Dave Adams.

Mick Abrahams
played with Screaming Lord Sutch & his Savages on a few gigs - at Walthamstow Baths, Dunstable California Ballroom and a dance hall in Leeds - sometime in 1965 (1).
Carlo Little had joined up Neil Christian in June 1965 and actually rolled some members of his Crusaders to fill in until Sutch got a few new guys in his regular band.


Incidentally some months earlier, Christian had lost his previous band - which included Tornado Evans, Arvid Andersen  and Ritchie Blackmore - to... Screaming Lord Sutch! (2)

After this brief stint with Screaming Lord Sutch, Mick Abrahams went on to join The Yenson's Trolls and then The Toggery Five from Manchester in late 1965.

Dave Adams was guitarist in a different band also called The Crusaders (2) from Darlington before joining a comedy group. He later became one of the North East's top club and cabaret comedians.

During the first part of July 1965, Malcolm Longstaff formerly with two North East bands The Kylastrons and The Vermen also played in the Savages. It was in fact his second stint with them (see 1964). According to saxophone player of The Kylastrons Roger Smith, he did some earlier work with Screaming Lord Sutch as a stand-in guitarist in 1964. Just before they eventually broke up The Kylastrons replaced Smith with bass player Keith "Lee" Jackson. A few years later Longstaff would play and record with Jackson in the Nice, appearing on the Nice’s ‘Ars Longa Vita Brevis’ album.


Notes:
(1) Mick Abrahams:
"My time with David Sutch was short indeed  but memorable !"
"We had to dress up in orange shirts, tight black trousers and white boots and wiggle our asses. If you saw how fat I was then  
 you'd know why I didn't fancy it"

“David Sutch did exactly the same set as Neil Christian hence it was easy to do it without extensive reheardsal !  Near enough all the same songs. Incidentally, he still owes me £15.00 for the last gig!”


(2) When Blackmore, Andersen and Evans left in early '65, Neil Christian had to bring in all the members of a band from Luton called The Hustlers to be the new Crusaders. But 5 months later they all left in turn except of Abrahams who teamed up with Carlo Little and 3 others...

(3) Was he "Dave Dent" lead guitarist with The Durham-based Crusaders?



Sutch A Hot of Summer '65
By July 1965, Screaming Lord Sutch was dressed for all the world like Fred Flintstone, in a leopardskin off-the-shoulder dress, and carrying a hefty caveman’s club, for an appearance at Willesden County Court in a case involving a hire-purchase agreement on a van.
He then had first visited the USA, promoting “The Train Kept A-Rollin’” invited by Ron Kellerman, who was the vice president of the Jerry Lee Lewis fan club. During this promotional tour, he was guested for a chat on Johnny Carson Show. He was also able to cause a stir internationally now, walking to Las Vegas Hotel carrying a 10-inch knife and an axe to plug “Jack The Ripper”…

Back in the U.K., Screaming Lord Sutch was on hand to congratulate the winners in the different heats of the Melody Maker National Beat Contest from Friday July 30th to Sunday August 15th: The St Louis Union, The Big T Show and The Vogues.
The Big T Show from Eastleigh eventually backed Sceaming Lord Sutch at Bob Potter Venue in Camberley, with Wee Willy Harris.

On Thursday August 5th, Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages opened a “Dracula's Ball”, at Skewen Ritz Entertainments Club , South Wales, supported by The Kingpins and The Iveys (1).

The day before the final of the Melody Maker Beat Contest, Screaming Lord Sutch & his Seven Savages took part of a concert billed 'The Show of the Year' at the Waldb├╝hne open air arena, Berlin, Germany, alongside The Kinks, The Pretty Things, Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, and the Fortunes before 20,000 spectators.
It was actually Sutch who inspired the riot, after the venue was secured with the appearance by mounted police bearing truncheons. However people were permitted to bring bottles into the venue. As a result, when the Screaming Lord show took off during the evening performance, someone lobbed a life-sized straw doll onto the stage and set it on fire right on the wooden boards, and the fire brigade had to put it out, in the meantime one of the saxophonists was accidently injured. The crowd was beside itself, fans throwing bottles onto the stage, and many were injured (2).


Notes:

(1) The Iveys later changed name to Badfinger. The Kingpins consisted of The Neale brothers, Ray on lead and Keith on bass, who formed together Orange Seaweed during the Psychedelic era and then The Ray Neale Band before playing with The Savages in the late Seventies (see The Savages Featuring Wild Bob Burgos).

(2) The "Seven" Savages who backed Screaming Lord Sutch at the Waldb├╝hne arena were probably Arvid Andersen on bass, Jim Evans on drums, The Four Saxes plus an unknown guitar player. The injured saxophonist was probably Dick Errington who decided to leave about this time.





Screaming Lord Sutch & The Others: Mid '65 - Mid '66


As the rhythm section of the Savages had taken a gig in France, Screaming Lord Sutch went to see Liverpool band Derry Wilkie & The Pressmen in Esher, Surrey, in search of a new band (1). Phil Kenzie remembers him talking and laughing (probably drinking too) with Derry Wilkie and then The Pressmen were at his house in North London rehearsing - with the two remaining members of the Four Saxes, Noel McManus and Ashton Tootell - to be the new Savages.

The members of the Pressmen worked for Screaming Lord Sutch for a considerable time, playing a lot of dates with him in England, Scotland and Germany.

They were the set of Savages that backed him on the recording session of "One Eyed Flying Purple People Eater" (2) - with Nicky Hopkins on piano - and during a German TV Show called "Die Drehscheibe", filmed at Kiel Star Palast and aired in January 1966, that almost turned into a riot.

For the start of the new school year, Screaming Lord Sutch & his Savages were invited by grammar school students to perform at Oldenburg Weser-Ems-Halle, North Germany. But things weren't getting as he expected there (3). Obviously his stage show was so unusual that it was cut short and Dave Sutch remained misunderstood. He never played in that part of Germany again. 

They also accompanied Dave Sutch during a 3 date trial package tour with 5 acts including The Who, The Fortunes and The Merseys, over a week end in February 1966, starting at the Astoria Finsbury Park, London, and ending up at home, in Liverpool (4).

Wilkie was formerly lead vocalist of the Seniors, the first liverpuldian band who went to Hamburg and eventually paved the way for the Beatles and all the other Mersey Sound bands.
Sutch made him dress up as a woman for one part of the act so he could chase him around the club with an axe. Derry did it as a good sport for a while but he didn't really enjoy having to but the pay was good and they all needed the money. The rest of the band wore striped shirts (Blue stripes on white shirts a la navy) instead of leopardskins.

When Screaming Lord Sutch decided to run for Parliament against Harold Wilson, who was not only the then-British Prime Minister but also the Liverpool candidate - they decided not to continue.

Soon after the departure of Noel McManus, the Savages were approached by heavy-weight boxer Freddy Mac to form a larger "Soul" stage show
called "This 'n' That" which included American vocalists Cleo Sylvester and Ron B. Greaves aka "Sonny Childe".

As a result, the whole band - Derry Wilkie, Phil Kenzie, Derek Bond, Ernie Hayes and roadie Bazz Ward - apart from Billy Adamson ended up involved with this project and left Dave Sutch. Adamson
later went on to play with The Searchers for more than 30 years.

After he had lost his band to Freddy Mac, Screaming Lord Sutch had to use various local bands. He tended to pick up musicians for one night stands if unexpected vacancies occurred. The Loving Kind - whose lead guitarist was Noel Redding later with The Jimi Hendrix Experience on bass - backed him when he appeared at Folkestone's Leas Cliff Hall on a couple of occasions in early 1966.


The next CBS release "She Was A Cheat" b/w "Black And Hairy" came in May 1966, credited solely to "Lord Sutch" and produced by Irving Martin (5).
"The Cheat", Sutch's stab at psychedelia, was a Lee Hazlewood song, on which he was backed by session musicians including The Des Champ's Quartet playing violin and flute, Nicky Hopkins on piano, Ian Buisel on rhythm guitar, Paul Francis on drums (both from The Tony Jackson Group), Jim Lawless on Percussion, and 2 future Led Zeppelin members, John Paul Jones on bass and Jimmy Page on lead guitar (6).    
The musical arranger on this release, sax player Des Champ is better heard on The B-side "All Black And Hairy" which was written by Dave Sutch and remained a hilarious staple of his live act for many years.

At this time, Dave Sutch had fallen out with Joe Meek and was to sue him for unpaid royalties.
Recorded with engineer Mike Ross-Trevor at CBS Studio No.1, Bond Street, London, this was his last single in the decade (7)



Notes:

(1) Finding a London band also called "The Others", Derry Wilkie and his group reverted back to The Pressmen in 1965.

Bazz Ward: "I worked with Derry & The Others (later we reverted to The Pressmen)... All I remember was that Dave came up to us after the gig in Esher and we were asked to do his next show, which we did. After that, we worked together until the middle of 1966. He then decided to run for Parliament against Harold Wilson, who was the Liverpool candidate. As we were from that area, we decided not to continue. Not only that, we were approached by Freddie Mack."

(2) One Eyed Flying Purple People Eater / You Don't Care (Hep House HS04) was released only in Germany in 1966

(3) Indeed, first Dave Sutch couldn't do his usual stage show, entering stage in his coffin with the five-armed-candle holder due to fire regulations. He became so miffed that he had laid hand on firemen's gear - helmet and axes fastened to the wall in case of fire emergency. 

Then he was pulled down by policemen because he was threatening his musicians and hacking away at things such as the amplifiers with his cardboard axe and his rubber knife - what was misunderstood.

As a result, the gig was cut short and a part of the fees was kept to pay for the repairs (broken amps and stage curtains) and Sutch was - not officially - banned in Oldenburg. 

Bazz Ward: "Ernie Hayes remembers the gig because someone pulled a gun on Dave, and, as the ensuing scuffle started, Billy grabbed his kit in one go and split. Our van got trashed a bit too."


(4) These concerts were organised by The Who's managers, Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert, and promoted by Robert Stigwood, with a view to a future 4-5 week tour...

In those days, the Lord's Day Observence Society BANNED stage props on a Sunday, which rather screwed Screaming Lord Sutch's act. When he tried to use props at Liverpool Empire, they dropped the curtain on him, so he started swinging on it. Caused a small riot with the theatre blokes trying to get him off. 

(5) Irving Martin: "I thought the Screaming Lord Sutch band was very poor and I knew I could do better with my own crew. The arranger was Des Champ. The bass player was John Paul Jones... Paul Francis on drums, from Tony Jackson's Group, Nicky Hopkins on piano and Jim Lawless on Percussion...plus some cellos.... I think it was 'Rocker' Ian Buisel also from Tony Jackson's Group on guitar... I played also, I over-dubbed a lot of the fuzz guitar on after the session was recorded. My good friend Mike Ross-Trevor was engineer..."

(6) Nicky Hopkins, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones worked again together some weeks later, helping out Jeff Beck for the recording of the B-side of his debut single, "Beck's Bolero", at De Lane Studios. When they decided to organize a band together, Keith Moon named this unit "Lead Zeppelin"...
Incidentally when they built up Led Zeppelin in the summer of 1968, Page and Jones first thought of the drummers on these sessions, Clem Cattini and Paul Francis.    

(7) Sutch's self-penned ditty "Black and Hairy" was published by the Big L- associated Pall Mall Music.
At around £35 for a mint copy, the single is now highly collectable.


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