Screaming Lord Sutch & The Stoner Blues Band: 1974 - 1981

Glen Stoner, whose father used to teach violin and trumpet, went to school with Richie Blackmore and taught him the rudiments of guitar. They formed together a first band the snappily titled 2 I’s Coffee Bar Skiffle Group which also included "washboard, tea-chest-bass and two chick singers".

While Richie Blackmore achieved notoriety with Deep Purple, Glen Stoner had a hard time playing with less successful
bands such as Turnpike Trust, Stoner, The Eddie Stoner Blues Band or The Snagger Band.

Turnpike Trust was a band, led by Bullen brothers, playing in the working mens clubs mostly around London in the early 70's. Ian and Gareth Bullen were multi-instrumentalists and both played guitar/bass/sax/clarinet. They originally formed this band with drummer John Hickson and Irish bass player Patrick McMullan. The latter was eventually
replaced with Bob Skeat in the mid 70's. Glen Stoner guested with them sometimes and then became their lead guitarist prior to forming his own band simply titled "Stoner".
Dave Sutch came along to some gigs and met his future musicians that way...

Along with Pat McMullan: 1974 - 1977

After their stint with Turnpike Trust, Glen Stoner and Patrick McMullan (1) formed together Stoner with Adrian Pearse on vocals, Neil Besmoori from Iraq on rhythm guitar, and Brian Hillier on drums. However after a couple of years on the road, touring Germany, Glen Stoner was fired because of his drinking.
Neil Besmoori went on to join Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages in 1973, teaming up with drummer Peter Williams and saxophonist Brian Juniper. The following year, he brought in his mates Patrick McMullan and... Glen Stoner. They played together for 3 years until 1977, mostly touring Britain (2).
Patrick McMullan brought Charlie Morgan (3), he had previously played with in some bands, to play drums with Screaming Lord Sutch for some gigs when Pete Williams was unavailable.

In February 1976, the Sex Pistols supported them during 5 gigs, the first being a Valentine’s Dance at High Wycombe College in Buckinghamshire. But Screaming Lord Sutch "slung’em" off the tour because they'd smashed up the PA (4).

By August 1976, Dave Sutch met french costume jewellery designer, Giselle Menhennet.
They recorded "Jack The Ripper"/"Dance & Jive" for Charly Records, which was released as single in October 1976 (5).

In August 1977, Pat McMullan joined The Count Bishops after Steve Lewins left to join Wilko Johnson's Solid Senders.
Therefore some of the guys in the Bishops also played with The Savages once or twice.
McMullan brought Charlie Morgan to play drums with The Bishops after touring Australia in November 1979.
Together they recorded "Taste And Try" live at the Hope & Hanchor. This song was included on "The London R & B Sessions", a compilation of 12 bands caught live there in late 1979.

5 years later, American guitarist of The Bishops John Crippen "Johnny Guitar" arranged for Pat McMullan to join Dr Feelgood.

When Pat McMullan left The Savages in 1977, Screaming Lord Sutch replaced him with another bass player from Turnpike Trust: Bob Skeat.


(1) Patrick McMullan was born on 20th September 1952 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He began playing bass at the age of 16 and previously played in a band called Doll's House for 3 years before leaving Ireland in 1972.
After the Savages, he joined The Count Bishops from August 1977 to December 1979; Dr Feelgood from April to December 1982; and then Austrian band called Headless Nation in 2005. He now leads Paddy@The Gas Station, a 6 piece band based in Budapest, Hungary.

(2) Patrick McMullan:
"It was a great time for me and I learnt a lot from David Sutch... 
I also played in Stoner.... We had to fire Glen because of his drinking. But after that nothing much happened with the band... I was a friend of Neil's and he got me in. After the Savages I joined the Count Bishops and once or twice some of the guys in the Bishops played with Sutch too..."
"I brought Charlie Morgan to play drums with Screaming Lord Sutch for some gigs when Pete couldn't come. Charlie and I had played together in some bands previously.... "

(3) John Charles Morgan
was born on 9 August 1955 in Hammersmith, London, England.
Fisrt educated in west London, at St Peter's Primary School, Hammersmith, Chiswick & Bedford Park Preparatory School, and Latymer Upper School, where he met up with Bob Skeat.
He then moved to Geneva, Switzerland in 1967, where he first began playing drums.
He left school in 1973 to pursue a career in the music business.
After several early attempts at stardom, signing contracts with a several bands, he decided to concentrate on session work. First successes came with Kate Bush's "Lionheart" album in 1978, followed by a single and world tour with the final line-up of the Tom Robinson Band (March - July 1979).
By 1985, he attracted the attention of Elton John, who booked him to play on his "Ice on Fire" album and invited him to play with his band at Live Aid. This was the start of a 13 year period of recording and touring with Elton.

(4) Screaming Lord Sutch: "I did about 5 gigs with them as my support band - and they started smashing up the PA. I slung’em off the tour"

(5) "Jack The Ripper"/"Dance & Jive" (United Kingdom, Charly CS 1016 - October 1976)

"Rhino": "It was The funniest gig I have ever done... the first show I ever saw Jeff Rich playing at"

In an interview he'd given to Mike Stax ("A Loony Remembered"), April 1993, Screaming Lord Sutch said:
"All these have been in my Savages all over the years. We've had Richie Blackmore, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck... and even John Edwards, a member of Status Quo was with me."

John "Rhino" Edwards (1) had been bass player with Status Quo from 1986 to 2000. He and drummer Jeff Rich (2) were brought in by Rick Parfitt who had previously booked them for the recording sessions of his own solo album "Recorded Delivery" and for the Norwegian Trond Granuld. They both made their debut with the band in Belgrade after the recording sessions of the 'In the Army Now' album, in April 1986.

"Rhino" had a very short time as a Savage. His appearances with the assemblance were purely in a live capacity only... In fact, he only did one gig with Screaming Lord Sutch: at the Windmill club, near Colchester, Essex, in early 1977 (3).
Nevertheless it was whilst gigging in his group that he met Jeff Rich, who was in the house band.

The guitar player was Glen Stoner, and the drummer was Charlie Morgan who was standing in for Pete Williams.
"Rhino" remembers that Stoner was so drunk he had to lean against the stack all night in case he fell over.
He was laughing so hard he found it hard to play. It was the funniest gig he has ever done.
John Edwards got the job through Charlie Morgan who actually brought him in the Savages to stand in for Patrick McMullan on that day. "Rhino" and Morgan had played together in The Sunday Band, Rococo, and The Spam Band during 1976. Later they both played together in the Judie Tzuke Band, White & Torch and Rhino...

"Rhino" was so impressed by Jeff Rich that he got him the gig with the Judie Tzuke band. He later recommended him  to The Climax Blues Band and White & Torch.

Later Charlie Morgan became a tip-top session drummer recording with Kate Bush ("Lionheart" album in 1978), Mike Oldfield, Elton John, Paul McCartney (1987), Tina Turner, Nik Kershaw, Gary Moore, Alan Stivell, Pete Townshend (Iron Man)...

(1) John "Rhino" Edwards
was born on 9 May 1953, in Whitton, Middlesex, England.
He learnt classical violin as a child, winning a scholarship at the London College of Music when he was aged just 11, in 1964.
He starded out with a band called Maniak Mouse, then joined Berlin and Rococo, in the 70s.
His first hit record in the UK was "Magic Fly" by French group Space. By 1980, he joined Judie Tzuke's backing band where he acquired the 'Rhino' nickname for being so clumsy, after working with Sandie Shaw. He also took time out to play with Dexy's Midnight Runners and his own eponymous band, 'Rhino'. He later went on to work with the Climax Blues Band alongside Jeff Rich. Together with Jeff he worked with Rick Parfitt on his solo album, and became a permanent member of Status Quo in 1986.

(2) Jeff Rich
was born on 8 June 1953. England
He starded out doing recording sessions for Jackie Lynton (The Jackie Lynton album -1974, WWA) and Danny Kirwan (1976).
He then worked with  several bands: Stretch (1975 -1976), Scoundrel (Ariola, 1978), Sammy Mitchell Band (London & Spain, 1979), Champion (Early - March 1979), The Bucks (Spring - July 1979), Judie Tzuke's backing band  (1980-81), Free-Ride  (1981),
Climax Blues Band  (1984), and Status Quo  (1985 - 2000)

(3) Interview by Anthony Bentley (08/02/2010 - for
"I was playing with Screaming Lord Sutch... I was doing this gig with him at The Circus Tavern in Purfleet and the band was Screaming Lord Sutch and The Savages, with the completely alcoholic guitar player - He spent the whole evening propped up against his stack. The drummer was Charlie Morgan - he's a tip-top session drummer. And Judie Tzuke, funnily enough!"

Anyway, I'll always remember the rehearsal because I said "Dave (Sutch), what's our rehearsal?". So he came in an hour before and said "There's a bit in this song - it was called Rocket From The Crypt or something - and it's a bit tricky". And that was it. "And?!" I said. "No, it's a bit tricky". I spent the whole evening p*ssing myself laughing, it's the funniest thing I've ever done. But the drummer in the house band was Jeff Rich, and I saw him and thought 'he's pretty good'...
Then, when we put the band together with Judie Tzuke, we put an ad out in Melody Maker and Jeff answered it. So I said, you got to give him an audition, he's really good. And he got the job! It was a toss-up between him and Mark Brzezicki. Then eventually, we parted company again with Judie Tzuke and I get Charlie Morgan in - because he's just so easy..."

(4) John "Rhino" Edwards
"I only did one show, It was not the Circus tavern, it was at the Windmill, near Colchester, Essex. The drummer was Charlie Morgan, and the guitar player was a guy called Glen, who was so drunk he had to lean against the stack all night in case he fell over... I was standing in for Pat Mullen... It was the first show I ever saw Jeff Rich playing at, he was in the house band. I remember thinking he was really good, so that is how he got the gig with the Tzuke band..."

Along with Bob Skeat: 1977 - 1979
Bob Skeat (1) played with Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages from 1977 to 1979, alongside Glen Stoner on guitar, Brian Juniper on sax, and different drummers: e.g. Bobby Woodman, Johnny Hickson, a guy called "Jes"...

Bob Skeat remembers that during the earlier part of that time "The Savages" backed Dave Sutch on all the gigs, but later in late 78 he started to use another band, probably Rock Island Line for some of the gigs in the north of UK... The Savages then only played with Sutch down south. However they did many gigs with him all over UK, for example, playing The Greyhound in Fulham (2), London and an event in Blackpool where they played alongside White Plains, Helen Shapiro and Streetband...

In no time at all he was learning all there was to know about low-paid gigs, unending motorways, dodgy promoters and greasy spoons.

This was the late seventies but mercifully an opportunity to escape turned up in the form of Wildlife, a stylish outfit from the early eighties.

From there Bob Skeat played with solo artists such as Hazel O'Connor, Chris Farlowe or Gilbert O'Sullivan... before hitting the road with Wishbone Ash halfway through the nineties.

(1) Bob Skeat was born in 1956. He went to school with Charlie Morgan. At 19, he studied string bass - like his uncle - and piano in a music college, and soon after turned professional with Turnpike Trust. After leaving The Savages he worked with Colin Blunstone, Hazel O'Connor, Chris Farlowe, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Princess Stephanie of Monaco, Toyah Willcox... Between 1996 and 2006, he was part of various bands: Blodwyn Pig, Wishbone Ash, and Bad Influence. He now played with Phoenix.

(2) Bob Skeat:
"The Greyhound in Fulham was a music club, basically a very large pub, very popular, I have a vague memory that we may have been on with Desmond Decker.... Can't remember if Dave Sutch came on in the coffin, sometimes he did, sometimes he didn't... that coffin was heavy, made from metal!! He also had his own PA system, big heavy old Davoli cabinets!!"
"I really enjoyed my time as a 'Savage'  lots of fun and a great introduction to life on the road!!"

No comments:

Post a Comment