lundi 6 octobre 2008

The Story Of Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages

In Europe, during the 1960's, there were two emulators of the black american Rock sorcerer "Screaming Jay Hawkins": the french "Hector The Chopin of Twist" and the british "Screaming Lord Sutch".
Both had very long hair before that would eventually become the mood.
Both, like their model, started their shows by coming out of big coffins carried by their musicians before to front an audience with a repertory of horror songs.
Both were backed by bands featuring tremendous musicians.
Over the years the line-up of their backing bands would include some of the key musicians of the Sixties and Seventies in both France and Britain.
If the Médiators, the Hector's backing band, revealed some great talents such as Jean Sarrus (Les Charlots) or english guitarist Micky Jones (Foreigner fame), the Savages proved to be a real Nursery of Rockstars. Indeed, many rock legends such as Ritchie Blackmore, Nicky Hopkins or Freddie "Fingers Lee" and even movie stars such as Paul Nicholas passed through the ranks and started out in the Savages. Anyway, their story have crossed with an incredible number of other famous groups...

· The Character of Lord Sutch

"Screaming Lord Sutch" was a very enigmatic Character who eventually took his own life, aged just 58, by hanging himself on the 16 June, 1999 and despite the joviality of his career.
He was a key figure in the British political and pop music world, despite never winning an election and never achieving a hit. Probably the UK's longest serving political leader and entertainer. Some of his main campaign issues finally materialized such as lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 or abolishing the 11-plus school exams.
He always was the opposite of the mainstream and enjoyed provoking the bourgeoisie.
Lord Sutch was one of the most recognisable of all politicians and musicians because of his extreme look: He was the first long-haired pop star … since early 60’s!

David Sutch changed his name to Screaming Lord Sutch, 3rd Earl of Harrow despite the fact that he had no connection with the peerage.
This stage name derived from the fact that he could not sing, but only scream and he always had a top hat which made him look a bit like a lord.
In fact, Sutch wore this top hat to hide his long hair that he would pull it up over his head during the early 60’s.

· Not a true Lord, Far away from The House of Tories

David Edward Sutch was born in Hampstead on 10th November 1940 and was named after 'David Copperfield' from Charles Dicken's novel.
Since his birth, despite he wasn’t from the upper class, he was predestined for entertainment.
He began his career of entertainer with puppet shows as a very young child.
Later, he entered a talent contest at Butlins Holiday Camp in Clacton-on-Sea and and won a clockwork mouse with his rendition of Patti Page's 1953 Hit "How much is that doggy in the window".
He left school at the age of 16 and started to work at a sheet metal factory then became a plumber's apprentice and spanner boy for a garage mechanic.
Meanwhile he had developed a passion for american Rock'n'Roll listening to Radio Luxembourg. By 1957, he went to see Bill Haley & his Comets in Brixton.

In March 1958, Dave Sutch took part in a walking between Aldermaston and London to campaign for the nuclear disarmament.

· The Beginnings – From Elvis To The 'Wild Man of Borneo' : 1959

Resolved to be a rock'n'roll singer, originally he had an Elvis Presley look-alike apparel and hopped onto his newly acquired BSA Bantum 125cc motorbike* and headed to Coffee Bars such as Ace Cafe on North Circular Road and the Cannibal Pot Coffee Bar on Harrow Road.
*It seems that would be legend: David Sutch would never had a motorbike but just a Vesper scooter that had to be push started.
There he met a 'Big Ginger Bill' who persuaded him to buy his window cleaning round for £15.
Now as self employed and part-time window cleaner but outlandish full-time layabout, he was free to develop his desire to stardom.

In 1959, David Sutch attended auditions at the famous Two I's Coffee Bar in Old Compton Street, Soho, London.
Although auditions were interrupted because the auditioner got fed up with all the Elvis Presley look-alikes who came. So Sutch decided to swap his former apparel for the 'wild man of Borneo' look after he saw a pair of old buffalo horns for sale at 2/- in a place called "Jack's Second Hand Shop".
The next day, he returned to the Two I's Coffee Bar, disguised with buffalo horns glued to his crash helmet and his aunt's leopard skin jacket, which he tored the sleeves off. He therefore spent the proceeds of his first two gigs reimbursing his aunt the cost of the coat. Waiting for the big day, David Sutch let his hair grow...

· Screaming Lord Sutch & The Original Savages : First Part of 1960

…Early 1960, now he wore 18 inch long hair! In those days men's hair was generally kept short. As it was really extreme to have long hair Sutch would pull it up over his head and wore a top hat during the day.

On 6th February 1960, David Sutch met drummer Carlo Little at The Cannibal Pot Coffee Bar in Sudbury's Harrow. Little was fresh out of the army where he was for two years.
Sutch proposed to Carlo to get a Rock & Roll group together whom he would be the manager.
Initially the plan was to be an instrumental band just copying American records

A few weeks later Carlo Little had purchased his first full drum kit at Macarie's Music Shop in Wembley. Then he begun to recruit the rest of the band: ending up with guitar/bassist Rick Brown (aka Fenson) then classically trained guitarist Bernie Watson who worked at the Wembley Music Salon. This latter suggested classically trained pianist, Nicky Hopkins who conveniently lived just near Carlo’s home. All very young musicians between 15 and 16 year old.

They first met together at the Sudbury Swan pub. Soon after, Carlo Little suggested Sutch to be the singer of the band after an event that happened at the Oldfield Hotel, Greenford.
David Sutch was dancing to the live band, Dougie Dee & the Strangers. Bernie Watson played a 12 bar rock and roll jam with them.
Excited by Bernie's playing who screamed his guitar loudly, Sutch shook his head, letting his hair fall down and all over his face, then screaming his head off. He looked unusual enough to do a stage act... He finally became the showman of the band.

Building a rock horror act, David Sutch renamed himself with the stage name "Screaming Lord Sutch" to compliment this. He was actually inspired by the black singer "Screaming Jay Hawkins" who had hit earlier in America with “I Put a Spell on You”. Later Sutch finally borrowed most of his hollering-horror act lock, stock and barrel from this latter such as the entrance out of a coffin, the company of skulls…

Three months later the new group had perfected enough songs - essentially Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Elvis Presley numbers - for an act.
The first photo of the band was taken at a school in Wembley where they were rehearsing.

According to saxplayer Pete Newman, who played on Screaming Lord Sutch’s debut single, Dave Sutch came up with the name The Savages, inspired by The Shadows record hit during summer 1960, “Apache”.
Though the Shadows released later a single entitled “The Savage” in late 1961.

· The First Break : 1960 - 1961

In June 1960, Screaming Lord Sutch & his Savages got their first gig in Camberley for a Bob Potter. A guy called Alf from the Oldfield (a tree surgeon by day) took them there in his van and became their first roadie. Although most of the members of the band, who were still at school, were too much young to tour throughout the country or abroad.
And despite they were ready for gigs and to tour they finally parted company. Sutch only toured with this line up well later, from September 1961.

So Dave Sutch had auditioned at the 2i's Coffee Bar then the manager Tom Littlewood decided to put him on the road for a summer tour, backed by the Vince Taylor Playboys alongside Paul Raven who later found fame under the name of Gary Glitter in the 1970's.

Meanwhile the Savages started rehearsing with a girl called Sylvie (a groupie also from the Oldfield) who had agreed to be their singer. The only number she ever got through was 'The Train'. It was about that time the band decided that Rick Brown should get a bass.

One day Rick Brown met a small-time film extra and con-man called Frank Maher who offered to be their "manager" and came along to a rehearsal. Carlo Little saw through him almost straight away, and left the band to join Dougie Dee & The Strangers, semi-professional, until April 1961.

The three remaining Savages, Bernie, Nick and Rick stayed with Maher. They recruited a new drummer called Johnny Jenks and the band became the "Saxons". They eventually toured the American Bases in Brize Norton, Mildenhall...

· The Forgotten Savages : 1960 - 1961

The period from June 1960 to April 1961 regards Screaming Lord Sutch’s carrer still unclear.
Though, according to rock historian Pete Frame, he was booked by 2i's Coffee Bar manager Tom Littlewood for a summer package tour, this latter seems to omit a line up of The Savages during this period evolved out of a London based Rock’n’Roll band called Johnny Dark & the Midnighters.
In fact, according to their guitarist Vic Clark, David Sutch approached them one night, while they had a residency at The Black Bull in Whetstone, North London.
He introduced himself and said he had this fantastic Act inspired from the American performer Screaming Jay Hawkins but he needed a band.
So the members of the Midnighters invited him to their next rehearsal at The Black Bull.

According to Vic Clark, Screaming Lord Sutch did his first live gig ever with them the following Saturday at 'The Athenium' at Muswell Hill, North London, the place where Emil Ford had been discovered and where they were playing once a month.
Sutch renamed them The "Savages" whom line up was to be Vic Clark (Lead Guitar), Charlie Parker (Piano), Pete Newman (Tenor Sax), Jeff Wickens (Baritone Sax) and the late Brian Norman (Drums).

At that first gig, sax player Jeff Wickens introduced David Sutch as the "Wild Man from Borneo". They did their usual act - comprising Chuck Berry's numbers "Johnnie B Goode", "Sweet Little Sixteen", Buddy Holly's "That'll Be The Day", "Peggy Sue", Cliff Richard's "Move It", Johnny Kidd's "Please Don't Touch", instrumentals such as Johnny & the Hurricanes "Red River Rock", "Beatnik Fly" and "Wild Child"- and then Sutch did just one song " The Train Kept-a Rolling", a Bradshaw/Mann/Kay number popularized by the Johnny Burnette Trio, to close the show. As Vic Clark said “It absolutely 'brought the house down”!

"When he went on stage David Sutch kept his hair under his Top hat and during a song the hat would be thrown off, his hair would fall down and this created quite an impact. Girls would scream from sheer fright."

According to Vic, It seems that David Sutch never had a motorbike but just a Vesper scooter that had to be push started. "It was quite an experience trying to jump on the back of a moving scooter while holding my guitar with one hand. Those were the days!"

Once They became The Savages, the vocalist Johnny Dark (who, according to Vic, wasn't a very good singer but whose father owned The Black Bull and that allowed them to have free rehearsals there) went, then Pete Newman and Vic Clark took over the vocals With David Sutch finishing off the shows.
Both Vic and Pete had played in the Mike West's band and did stand-ins for Johnny Kidd & the Pirates for whom Mike was a back-up singer until late 1959 ("Please Don't Touch" and "Feelin").

Jeff Wickens was first to leave the band after having meeting a girl with who he fell in love.

Charlie Parker was a great Honkey-Tonk-Blues Pianist. But because in those days it was virtually impossible to Mic-up the piano, he couldn't be heard. Some venues never had a piano. So Charlie couldn't play some gigs then he had to go.

As they had difficulties to get a permanent Bass player, they borrowed Bass players from other groups. They used occasionally a guy nicknamed "Whip" who used to freelance at the 2 I's. Then Chris Dors, who was studing at the Engineering Department of The Willesden Technical College, joined them. He definitely played Bass Guitar with Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages for 6 months.

On Sunday June 26th, 1960, they performed The Top 20 Club, Swindon, where they were supported by Johnny Haynes and introduced as "Britain's Top Rock Group Direct from The Two Eyes Coffee Bar Soho Triumph Recording Artistes."

They played the 2I's very frequently where Vince Taylor & the Playboys, featuring Tony Harvey and Bobby Woodman, was the main act at that time.

According to Vic, Bobby Woodman was "an amazing rock drummer who really worked his kick-drum - Carlo's inspiration who responded well. One night when they were watching, Sutch grabbed Carlo and said "Thats how I want you to play the drums".

Both bands also played the same venue at The Bongo Club, Canning Town, on Sunday November 27th, 1960 where Lord Sutch was obviously making his East End Debut.
At the Soho's annual street parade and Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages were on their own float. Vic Clark: "Sutch virtually 'stole the show' as he was jumping off the float and going crazy amongst the crowd lining the streets. This event received media publicity."

Most of the songs they performed were american cover stuff. Sutch changed disguise depending on songs :
- The Train Kept Rolling - Wearing Top Hat;
- Bullmoose - Wearing huge horns;
- King Kong - Wearing a massive crown.

Other numbers were Good Golly Miss Molly (Little Richard), Don't You Just Know It, Honey Hush (Big Joe Turner).

They used to let roadie Alf get on stage and sing a couple of songs and for that his 'roadie work' was free.

Here is a funny anecdote that Vic related about those seminal days:
"We arrived at a gig and while we were back-stage before the show started we noticed one of our supporting bands looked well equipped, possibly they were being financed by someone. Their stage clothing was immaculate and their instruments were brand new American guitars and amplifiers. Sutch felt intimidated and concerned as he thought they might put on a better show than us. So when no-one was looking Sutch found a pair of pliers and cut off all the jack plugs from their guitar leads. I can still see their faces when they were due to go on stage standing there looking bemused holding their plug-less guitar leads. All they could do was pack their gear and go home. Sutch was happy!"

After six months their association with Dave Sutch broke off.
Vic Clark:"The manager of the 2I's Tom Littlewood signed-up Sutch and then asked us how much we wanted to tour with Sutch. We said we wanted 20 Pounds each per week. Tom Littlewood just laughed in our faces saying he has musicians hanging around the 2I's who would do it for half of that. So that's when Screaming Lord Sutch and the original Savages parted company."

Pete Newman went to work with Joe Meek as session musician, still working with Lord Sutch on his debut recordings, then joined the Tornados for a while before they backed Billy Fury who replaced the horn section by an organ.
Vic Clark also worked with Joe Meek, at first with Chris Dors & the Del Fi's, who recorded at RGM studio and Phillips from june 1961 and had a couple of releases on the Fontana Label, then with the Sack'o'Woes whose Sax player Pete Semmens played the long continuous note on clarinet that became the high pitch shrill that was used on Screaming Lord Sutch recording of Jack The Ripper. This band supported The Rollingstones then Jerry Lee Lewis in Brighton circa 1964. Then Vic teamed up with Pete again in a band called The Beat Society who evolved into Felders Orioles.

However Vic Clark never played in the Savages along side Carlo Little, they would have a band project together.
"Sometime later, Myself, Carlo, Pete Newman, Johnny (Fruit) Gordon and
Mike West (both from Johnnie Kid & The Pirates) got together to form a band. We rehearsed a few times but it never really worked out. My house was in Federal Road and I suggested the band be called The Federals."

· The Third Incarnation of The Savages : Spring - Summer 1961

Meanwhile the second line up of the Savages backed Sutch in North London circuits, the Playboys and Vince Taylor eventually parted company when the latter went back to California, USA, for some month during 1960.
After the Summer package tour, the Playboys still backed Sutch until early 1961 in some venues such as The Co-op Hall, in Torquay - alongside Johnny Vender & The Victors - and The Twenty Club, Bridgwater, two venues where they both supported Lance Fortune. During this period, the Playboys also backed Terry Dene Danny Rivers and Wee Willie Harris.

Soon after, Sutch took part of the second Gene Vincent’s british tour, in the Granada theatres circuit, backed by the house band The Flerekkers run by a Dutch sax player Pete Flerekker. In March 1961, the package tour, that also featured Johnny Kidd and Keith Kelly, arrived at the Opera House, Belfast, in Ireland.

In April 1961, lead guitarist Tony Harvey left the Playboys to join Nero & The Gladiators run by the pianist Mike O'Neill formerly with Tommy Steele's brother Colin Hicks & The Cabin Boys alongside Laurie Jay on drums - who backed Sutch earlier - and Boot Slade on bass.
The Playboys replaced Harvey with Bob Steel and teamed up again with their former frontman Vince Taylor. They eventually toured and found fame in France...
So Sutch realised he had to have his own group again, he asked Carlo Little if he would reform The Savages.
Carlo brought in the new line-up Ken Payne, the bassist from the Strangers. Keyboarder Andy Wren had been auditioned.

During April 1961, both Roger Mingay and Ritchie Blackmore from the Satellites went to audition for Lord Sutch. Mingay was deemed more experienced and, as he was older, got the job, so Blackmore joined Mike Dee's band the Jaywalkers instead.

The new Savages then became full-time professional, playing all over Britain's dance halls, starting on May 5th 1961 in Reading. Then they toured Scotland in June.
The coffin set came with this incarnation of the Savages.

· The Come back of the original Lineup

In late summer 1961 when Ken Payne decided to leave Sutch, Rick Brown was back in the Savages again soon after that Bernie and Nick had voted him out of the Saxons.
He did his first gig at the Top Rank ballroom in Reading wearing his orange shirt and white cowboy boots.

Roger Mingay was asked to join The Outlaws, the Joe Meek's house band who just had a number one hit backing the actor John Leyton on "Johnny Remember Me", which he did from until October 1962 being replaced by his pal Ritchie Blackmore who also worked for Sutch about that time.
Then finally the original members re-joined the Savages in September 1961.

In december 1961, Screaming Lord Sutch & the Savages cut the Joe meek-produced first single "Till The Following Night /Good Golly Miss Molly " (HMV POP 953) with Pete Newman on Tenor Sax.

'Twist Around The Tower'

Screaming Lord Sutch & the Savages starred an extravaganza called 'Twist Around The Tower' at the Tower Ballroom in New Brighton on Friday 12 January 1962. For this event advertised as 'The Greatest Show on Merseyside' and that introduced the Twist to Merseyside, they were supported by local acts such as Rory Storm & the Hurricanes (Ringo Starr's band), the Strangers and an unknown liverpuldian outfit called...the Beatles. They shared the bill with Philips recording artists Mel Turner & the Bandits.

· Ritchie Blackmore in The Savages : Spring - Autumn 1962

In April 1962, Bernie Watson and Nicky Hopkins had left the Savages to take up a residency with Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers in Hamburg Star Club that had just opened.
That was the place where the Beatlemania begun... And an horde of british bands followed them.
Dave Wendells, from The Crescents, took over Bernie, for some weeks before to be replaced by Ritchie Blackmore the next month.

In fact when Watson left to replace Mickey King the Cliff Bennett’s Rebel Rousers, Blackmore accepted the gig, but had to fulfill his commitments as guitarist with Mike Dee & The Jaywalkers who were backing the Kestrels and Danny Rivers on the Johnny Burnette/Us Bonds/Gene McDaniels package tour until mid May 1962.

Ritchie Blackmore, who turned down a previous audition a year earlier - according to him, because he was only 16 and just didn’t want to leave home - finally accepted to come to an new audition which Pete Townsend also attented but failed before joining a band called The Detours (The What? No The Who?).

These days still bad memories as seminal times for Ritchie Blackmore :
I Had to learn quick : I’d only rehearsed with him and I didn’t know the stage set-up, I didn’t know what was going to happen. We started playing "Jack the Ripper", and Sutch entered the stage in a coffin. I thought, "This guy is nuts and I’m playing in his band! ...

I used to play through an echo chamber.. 3 chords an hour.. Dave Sutch took me out cause I did'nt wan't to come out... I used to hide behind my amps and in the wings... as they just were dressed in animal skin.

I learnt a lot of showmanship from him. He taught me you can get out there and act like an imbecile, and people will think it’s wonderful...You go out on stage and if you look self-conscious people will watch you. If you go out and throw yourself around like a fool, it’s like a show, a whole masquerade. But the moment you start taking yourself too seriously and go into a shell, people see it. He taught me to just get out there and run around. In the end I was running around in a Tarzan outfit and these people were going for it. I can’t believe it!

During May 1962, the Savages became just a three piece when pianist Andy Wren was asked by Brian Jones to join the embryonic Rolling Stones standing in for Ian Stewart during easter holydays and rehearsing in a Londonian pub called The White Bear.
Meanwhile, the Savages visited East Anglia, and were supported by a band called the Escorts from Kings Lynn on a gig at Peterboro Corn Exchange. Futur Deep Purple bass player Nick Simper often deputized for Rick Brown.
Then Andy Wren came back when they headlined at Wembley Town Hall on June 25, 1962 where they were supported by local act Paul Dean & the Dreamers featuring future acting star and futur Savage Paul Nicholas. That night, it was so crowded that many of the girls stood on the bench seats around the hall perimeters to see the band properly and promptly punctured the leather with their stiletto heels, causing a mile furore that made the local papers...
After the gig a young Keith Moon, who was drummer in a local band called the Escorts, approached Carlo to ask him for drum lessons. Moon would take lessons from Little for a few months before practicing on his own and joining a surf band called The Beachcombers then The Who who supported Screaming Lord Sutch & the Savages at The Marquee in late 1964.

· Cyril Davis & His R&B All Stars, The reconstituted Original Savages

In June 1962, Cliff Bennett fired Bernie Watson some weeks after the Rebel Rousers begun their residency at "The Star Club" because "he was difficult to work with". Bernie and Nicky as a good friend of him quit Hamburg and returned to London.

Meanwhile, Carlo Little and Rick Brown had also broken away from Screaming Lord Sutch after a dispute.

In October 1962, the legendary harp player/vocalist Cyril Davies left Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated because on the one hand, he disliked his moving into a direction of mixing Muddy Waters blues with horn-driven Charles Mingus jazz and on the other hand, he'd rather stayed performing at The Marquee with vocalist Long John Baldry instead of The Ealing Jazz Club.
Knowing the fact that the 4 musicians were now all free, Cyril Davies approached them all about starting a new band.
So in November 1962, the original lineup of The Savages got all together to join Cyril Davies in his original lineup of Cyril Davis & His R&B All Stars. Although Jimmy Page was their guitarist before Watson and the previous Cyril Davis Group was actualy the first incarnation of the Blues By Six featuring future Rollingstones, drummer Charlie Watts.

· The Raving Savages Featuring Freddie Fingers Lee

Joe Meek heard about the depart of Carlo Little and Rick Brown. So he proposed Ritchie Blackmore to join the Outlaws who were at this time more well known than the Savages.

In October 1962, a new drummer Derek "Degsy" Sirmon from The Conchords, band featuring Ray Dorset who later formed Mungo Jerry, was recruited into Screaming Lord Sutchs' band "The Savages" after an audition that set one Sunday morning at the 2I's coffee bar.
Sirmon often deputized for Mike Dee & the Jaywalkers so Ritchie Blackmore persuaded Sutch to recruit him.

Derek Sirmon recruited bass player Danny McCulloch from Frankie Reid & the Casuals another band managed by DJ Phil Jay as were The Conchords and Mike Dee & the Jaywalkers.
Then both joined with Geoff "Pussy" Mew on Guitar and "Freddie Fingers Lee" on Vocals and Piano whose real name was Fred Cheeseman and who actually kept forever the nickname that Sutch gave to his pianists.

They begun to perform together at Staines Town Hall.
Screaming Lord Sutch started the show by coming out of a big black coffin carried on stage by The Savages. Then they performed the horror themed songs during, the most popular and well known of which was "Jack the Ripper" that was finally recorded by this lineup and released in February 1963.

After a two week booking at the famous Star Club in Hamburg, the Savages were invited back to Hamburg without Screaming Lord Sutch. They decided to leave Dave Sutch and went back to Germany where they stayed and toured on their own as "The Raving Savages" from May to Late 1963.
They later recruited an "Ace" Sax Player called Ashton "Toots" Tootal and the band romped on to great success.
They headlined all over from Hamburg, Hanover, Lubeck, Luneberg, Dusseldorf...
In early 1964, broken away from their manager Manfred Woitallethey, they came back to England and backed several guest american artistes such as Jerry Lee Lewis, John Lee Hooker and U.K singers Jess Conrad and Mark Wynter. They evolved into The Plebs teaming up with former Nashville Teens members vocalist Terry Crowe and guitarist Mick Dunford .

· Sutch's Entry in Politics - Stratford Upon Avon Election

By June 1963, defense minister John Profumo had to resign due to his affair with a call-girl by the name of Christine Keeler - a new Mata-Hari - and her underground underworld.
After the "Profumo Affair" had caused the resignation of the MP for Stratford upon Avon, a by-election had been called.
Screaming Lord Sutch decided to form a political party The 'Sod Em All Party' whose main campaign issue was lowering the voting age from 21 to 18. Sutch had the chance to stand for parliament for the first time during this election.
With the assistance of Reg Calvert, his promoter from the Two I's Coffee Bar days, Lord Sutch obtained nomination and was on the ballot, much to the disgust of many serious politicians who condemned as a lunatic - he later renamed his party after these criticals. Dropping the 'Sod Em All Party' title for the more subdued 'National Teenage Party' he polled 208 votes. So Sutch found a way of generating publicity and scaring the older generations.

· The Savages Featuring Paul Nicholas

"Toots" Tootal was Sax Player formerly with Paul Dean & the Dreamers - The band who opened for Screaming Lord Sutch & the Savages at Wembley Town Hall in June 1962 and whom leader was keyboarder Paul Beuselinck aka "Paul Nicholas". Paul Nicholas took over for "Freddie Fingers Lee" in the Savages after this latter had fallen into an orchestra pit during a Sutch show and was in hospital for a while.
"Freddie Fingers Lee" wet back to steel erecting in Northampton where he met songwriter Ian Hunter who convinced him to join his band who became then Freddie Fingers Lee & the Shriekers. Hunter later leaded Progressive Rock Mott The Hoople.
Nicholas brought in the Savages lead guitarist Stuart Taylor and drummer Pete Phillips both members of his former band The Dreamers.

During Summer 1963, both Carlo Little and Rick Brown left The All-Stars after having some gigs with The Rolling Stones, the band run by Brian Jones, from December 1962 to April 1963. Amongs other at the Piccadilly and Flamingo Jazz Clubs in London, then the Sandover Hall in Richmond. They depped for The Rolling Stones at an audition for BBC radio on 23rd April 1963.
Rick Brown actually deputized for them when their bass player Dick Taylor quit to study at Art college since September 1962 as they were an opening act for Cyril Davis & His R&B All Stars at The Marquee. Then as their current drummer Tony Chapman due to his day job couldn't play in Londonian clubs at night, Mick Jagger and Brian Jones proposed Carlo Little to be their permanent drummer but he was too expensive for them. Carlo suggested them Charlie Watts the former drummer with Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated who now played with The Blues By Six since his place was taken by a Ginger Baker string-pulled by fellow bass player Jack Bruce.

In January 1963, Rick Brown also played in the original incarnation of John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers alongside the great British folk guitarist Davy Graham, although not leaving Cyril Davies band.

By May 1963, Nicky Hopkins left due to illness and was hospitalized for 18 months.
In June 1963, Rick left both blues bands to join Lord Sutch again meanwhile Bernie Watson joined The Bluesbreakers replacing a John Gilbey who was asked to join The New Premiers, pop band run by another futur Savage Ronnie Harwood.
This left Carlo and Cyril to continue promoting 'Country Line Special', a song they released as single earlier in the year, with a new line-up that consisted of two former members of The Blues By Six, Geoff Bradford (who was the first lead guitarist in the embryonic Rolling Stones), Keith Scott (Piano) plus Cliff Barton (Bass).

The All Stars got to perform 'Country Line Special' in June on 'Thank Your Lucky Stars', the main pop TV show in the UK, and the BBC radio show 'Saturday Club', along with a residency on TV show 'Hullabaloo'. As Carlo suggested to make the sound slightly more up-beat, Cyril sacked him and he returned to The Savages replacing Pete Phillips in August 1963. Mickey Waller, former drummer with The Flerekkers and Joe Brown's Bruuvers, took over him in The All-Stars. He was himself by another Blues By Six member, Bob Wackett who continued with his former pals until Cyril's death from pleurisy on January 7th, 1964.

Towards the end of 1963, guitarist Stuart Taylor had been poached by Ray Randall, former bass player with Paul Dean & the Dreamers to join the Tornados and replace Alan Caddy who departed the Tornados to follow a solo career in spite of "Telstar" worldwide fame.

So Paul Nicholas decided to leave Screaming Lord Sutch’s Savages, together with the only remaining Dreamer Pete Phillips. They were joined by Ronnie Harwood, who replaced Freddie ‘Fingers’ Lee in “The Raving Savages”, then former Savage “Pussy” Mews on lead guitar. The quartet was groomed by Michael Black rehearsing at the Astor Club in Berkeley Square in London.

· The brief stay with Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page had played guitar on two Screaming Lord Sutch singles recorded in 1964.
Dave Sutch asserted that he also performed in concert as part of his backing
group, the Savages.
Page took over Stuart Taylor for the recording sessions of Screamin' Lord Sutch's 3rd single "She's Fallen Love With A Monster Man/Bye Bye Baby" (Oriole CB 1944) released in July 1964 and produced by Joe Meek.
He was actually guitarist with Carter-Lewis & The Southerners, mostly as a session musician, alongside Big Jim Sullivan after having been on the road with Neil Christian & The Crusaders a few time and then left them due to illness.
The new keyboarder after Paul Nicholas was a Tony Marsh who also took part in these sessions.
Backing Vocals on this record were provided by a black female backing singer trio called The Velvettes who worked earlier with the Blues Incorporated then Cyril Davis & His R&B All Stars.

Ricky left them in January 1964. He later joined The reconstitued Trinity with Brian Auger in November 1964, then Steampacket... before to become an orchestral player with the London Festival Ballet touring orchestra in the 1970's.

· The Savages Featuring Tony Dangerfield : January - May 1964

Tony Dangerfield, who was bass player with a brummie trio called Gulliver's Travels, had turned down the chance to replace Ricky Brown in the Savages at a first time as well as he did for The Big Three.
Then a fortnight later, when they were on in Rugby with The Fortunes and The Farinas featuring Roger Chapman, Johnny Bedder, their guitar player, announced him that he and drummer Neil Norman had accepted the job in The Savages for him.
Then Tony Dangerfield joined two days into a five-week-tour out of London during January 1964. Dangerfield prided himself that the Savages could blow the current chart toppers like the Searchers off the stage.

John Gilbey who was formerly with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and The New Premiers alongside Ronnie Harwood was the official replacement for Stuart Taylor on Guitar.

Tony Dangerfield still was with The Savages, who were down to do a single without Sutch, when Joe Meek signed him as a solo artist. Meek tried grooming him for stardom a la Heinz, the former bass player with The Tornados who now was touring all over the country with his own backing band, The Wild Boys featuring Ritchie Blackmore. As he had dyed blonde hair, Meek made him dye it black so as not to clash with Heinz.
Joe Meek let him recruit his own backing band. Tony went back to the Midlands to recruit his former band Gulliver's Travellers, whom Meek promptly re-named The Thrills. Tony also used "Cheap Thrills" as an alternative nickname. This band included pianist Mike Benson and bassist Ron "The Elf" Blackie.

The result single, released in September 1964 by Pye Records (7N 15695), presented two very contrasting sides. The A-side "I've Seen Such Things" was a soulful ballad penned by Manfred Mann's vocalist Paul Jones and bass player Tom McGuinness whereas the reverse-side "She's Too Way Out", a song already recorded by Cliff Bennet & The Rebel Rousers, a heads-down rocker, featuring a pair of scorching guitar solos from Johnny Bedder the former guitarist Gulliver's Travellers. It did'nt feature Ritchie Blackmore as rumoured.
After this record, Tony carried his Thrills throughout the land for a promotion tour and then to Germany where they shared a venue with Ted "Kingsize" Taylor for a month.

Meanwhile, around June 1964, Long John Baldry Carlo Little to join The Hoochie Coochie Men as a replacement for jazz veteran Billy Law. Long John Baldry had actually taken over from leading The All Stars after Cyril Davies decease at the beginning of the year. Carlo backed their second-singer Rod Stewart, from Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds, and made an appearance on Granada TV show 'Scene At 6:30'. Although, after a difference in musical opinion as Baldry was a Blues purist, Carlo Little left for something else...

The remaining Savage, keyboarder Tony Marsh eventually joined Neil Christian & The Crusaders leaving Lord Sutch once again alone.

· The Savages Featuring Ronnie Harwood : A Ready-Made Band May 1964 - Early 1965

Once again Sutch was desperate for a replacement Savages backing band. So he decided to recruit a ready-made band, the quartet groomed by Michael Black: Ronnie Harwood on Bass, Pussy” Mews on lead guitar, Paul Beuselinck aka "Dean" /"Nicholas" on Piano,“and drummer Pete Phillips who agreed to come back to Lord Sutch and to accompany him in his legendary stage act.

Soon after, they were involved in the launch of "Radio Sutch" - a pirate radio station presented as the "Britain’s First Teenage Radio Station" on 194 metres (1542khz).

Indeed, at the beginning of May 1964 Screaming Lord Sutch decided to launch himself into the radio field. He originally hired the Lowestoft registered fishing trawler Cornucopia to anchor off Shoeburyness in the Thames estuary during two weeks until he discovered the Shivering Sands army fort.
During the last week of May 1964, along with The Savages, dressed in animal skins and stone-age gear, Sutch set sail from Leigh-On-Sea, Essex on board The Cornucopia. Along with the motley crew, a large amount of equipment and supplies were taken aboard for later use in the station's new base.
A photo of the event was taken when Sutch's party boarded the London Tower on the Thames. We can notice there were not four but five Savages. Some rumours abound that the fifth Savage could have been legendary guitar hero Jeff Beck. At this time, Jeff Beck was lead guitarist with a Blues Combo called the Tridents run by Lucas Brothers.
It have been said that when Screaming Lord Sutch performed south London R'n'B Clubs such as The EEL Pie Island he was backed by Jeff and the Tridents.

Lord Sutch often claimed that Jeff Beck filled in as a member of The Savages in 1964.
Jeff Beck would have earned a reputation by supporting Sutch, which helped him land the job as the Yardbirds' lead guitarist following the departure of Eric Clapton in early 1965.

Anyway, Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages, supplemented by Jeff Beck for the lead guitar part, recorded “Dracula’s Daughter”, with the B-side “Come Back Baby”, at Joe Meek’s studio in London’s Holloway Road. This single was released in October 1964.

A return to Germany followed, including appearances at the Star Club in Hamburg.
Then BBC TV made documentaries about them in turn.

Fed up with the bureaucratic side of running a pirate radio station and due to touring and recording commitments, Lord Sutch sold the station to his manager Reg Calvert in September 1964 and head to do a tour of Australia & New Zealand, with an American tour lined up for the autumn.
Calvert installed new, and better equipment and changed the name of the station to Radio City.

· The Come Back of Ritchie Blackmore - When The Crusaders became The Savages

In late 1964 and early part of 1965, Screaming Lord Sutch without The Savages toured overseas in Australia, alongside Tony Sheridan and supported by local stars Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs. They notably attracted a record 63,000 punters to a headlining performance at Melbourne's Myer Music Bowl.

Meanwhile The Savages, who stayed in Europe, were invited to Viareggio, Italy. Then Paul Beuselinck aka "Dean" /"Nicholas" took the opportunity to begin a career as movie actor.
So pianist Paul "Dean" started to record on his own, backed by the Soul Savages prior to become actor Paul "Nicholas".

Tony Marsh was then asked to replace him but for a very short period as his former pals in The Crusaders left Neil Christian to join Sutch who offered them more money.
And Ritchie Blackmore was back again in february 1965, this once with bassist Arvid Anderson and drummer "Tornado" Evans.
The trio backed Sutch on a single including two numbers previously recorded by The Johnny Burnette Trio,"Honey Hush"/"The Train Kept A Rollin’ ". Both numbers that predicted heavy metal guitar solos with interesting fuzz box effects.
The recording sessions featured a quartet of saxophonists.
Although, This new Savages mantle would let Sutch down again. In May 1965, Blackmore, with two other former Crusaders stayed in Germany and toured Germany backing Jerry Lee Lewis on some tours towards the end of the year.

· Four then Two Saxes…

Guitar maestro Mick Abrahams deputised for the Savages on a few gigs whereas he still was
a Crusader behind the so unlucky Neil Christian who had to recruit all the members of a band from Luton called The Hustlers to stand for the depart of the Blackmore/Anderson/Evans lineup.

In mid June 1965, Screaming Lord Sutch first visited France, performing main local Rock venues: The Golf Drouot Club and the Locomitive Club, Paris.
In mid August of that year, he took part of concert was billed 'The Show of the Year' at the Waldbühne open air arena, Berlin, alongside the Kinks, The Pretty Things, Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, and the Fortunes in front of 20,000 spectators.

The press predicted riots the day before: "Long-haired Englishmen strut their stuff on the Waldbühne tomorrow in the 'Show of the Year'.
It was actually but Lord Sutch who inspired the riot, after the venue was secured with the appearance by mounted police bearing truncheons. Although people were permitted to bring bottles into the venue. As a result, 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.

In late 1965, while touring Germany, Sutch ended up teaming with Derry Wilkie and his Group. 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. Once again this backing band left Sutch.

Fortunately Ronnie Harwood and Pete Phillips were still in the area in case of hitch.
As the previous saxophonists left with Derry Wilkie and went on to join Freddie Mack organization, Sutch recruited two new musicians: Peter Green on tenor saxophone and another Peter on baritone.
They were part of the pop festival in an open fort, in Provins, France with the Yardbirds and the Small Faces inlate June 1966.
Soon after the Italian tour, in July, featured a lineup supplemented by George “Smelly” on lead guitar.
George the guitarist was nicknamed “Smelly” by the band because of his pronounced body odour.

Ronnie Harwood recounted the time when they were about to leave Mill Hill in North London on their first tour:
With everyone loaded in the van, the smell was so strong that Pete Phillips jumped out, went across to a local store and came back with a can of deodorant spray that he immediately emptied on George, who was apparently totally unmoved!
Phillips later worked with Ian Hunter and "Freddie Fingers Lee" when they started playing the Star Club and other clubs in Germany then with "At Last The 1958 Rock'n'Roll Show" circa 1968.

About that time another single produced by Joe Meek (the last one for Sutch as Meek unfortunately committid a suicide the year after) was released: “The Cheat”/”All Black & Hairy”, probably recorded by an earlier line up featuring Ritchie Blackmore and the Four Saxes.

· The Savages / Circles Another Ready-Made Band : Summer 1966

Carlo Little joined Chris Lamb and the Universals - with who he toured the south of England in 1965/66. This band run by trumpettist Chris Lamb also featured Bill Parkinson (Guitar), John Lawson (Bass), Brian Keith (Trombone) and Paul Raymond (Organ).

The band evolved, firstly, into the Circles, recorded Take your Time on Island records produced by Guy Stevens, then into the Savages. They played the Olympia in Paris and Rouen, France then touring throughout England, recording such gems as Saturday Club with Brian Matthews on the BBC.

Obviously, according to Bill Parkinson, Screaming Lord Sutch was very tight as far as money was concerned.The musicians only received £5 a night no matter where the gig was.
They often used to travel in one car and to sleep in the same room while Sutch drove in his own car and had a bed to himself.

Their first night as Savages was a double gig, the first was in Ware, the 2nd in Stevenage.

Bill Parkinson:
“Little would use my Ford Consul car to transport equipment and 8 Men and Woman to each venue to save him hiring a van, while Sutch travelled in his own car.
The gig at Ware started to a packed hall with Screaming Lord Sutch nearly setting fire to the curtains during the song Great Balls of Fire, the music was fast and furious Rock and Roll, very loud, half way through the next number he was dragged off stage by the crowed and seemed to float on a sea of people and ended up out the front door, Carlo and others chassed after him thinking that he was going to be set upon by the local hard men, John Lawson the bass player and myself continued to play on stage after a few minutes Sutch suddenly appeared back on stage and said were the F… is the rest of the band, he somehow had got free and made his way back to the stage, Carlo returned a few minutes later saying they had got him not realizing that he was back on stage ready to continue, We finished the show with fantastic applause, we then carried on to the following gig in Stevenage to complete the eventful night.”
“One gig that reminds me of the madness of Screaming Lord Sutch was when we got a plane to Paris to do a show at The Olympia, Upon exiting the plane, Lord Sutch thought it a good idea together with Brian Keith to get out 2 real swords, they started sword fencing down the aeroplane steps as a publicity stunt for the television cameras, All hell broke loose when the police arrested him and put him behind bars, we never thought he would do the gig that night, but somehow he managed to make it right with the police and with only minutes to go arrived at the Olympia to great the audience which was mostly full of Beatniks, the show was as usual a great success, suffice to say, Sutch’s generosity came to the fore once more, and we slept top to tail, 7 of us together in one bed while he probably had a bed to himself.
The next day we drove to Rouen, 8 in 1 car, did the gig, then back to the airport, 8 in 1 car, What a nightmare!”
After this, Bill Parkinson went on to join Tom Jones, Brian Keith and Paul Raymond both left to form Plastic Penny.
Tony Dangerfield, who took over John Lawson, stayed and brought into the Savages his former pal from The Travellers and his Thrills, guitarist Johnny Bedder. They were joined by former Crusader Tony Marsh.

· Lord Caesar Sutch' & The Roman Empire : Winter 1967 after J.C.

Dave Sutch called himself 'Lord Caesar Sutch' and, for publicity, the band featuring Ritchie Blackmore,Tony Dangerfield, Johnny Bedder, Carlo Little, organist Matthew Fisher, saxophonist Joel James (sax), were required to dress as Roman Gladiators. Even during winter in Sweden where they toured.
The first gig they did was a benefit for the wife of the late Johnny Kidd, who had died in October 1966 in a car-crash, 6 years after Eddie Cochran. Matthew Fisher on keyboards, who had played earlier with Downliner Sect, had recorded 'Whiter Shade Of Pale' with Procol Harum during his spell here. He actually stayed with the Sutch's Empire for financial security until the record took off.

Carlo Little: "It was thick snow when I went there with the Roman Empire. We were driven around in a big American 4-wheel drive with a little trailer for the equipment to go in towed behind. The promoter had sent a roadie to drive it. It had snow chains on the wheels, that's how deep the snow was. We did abut 10 days of gigs, and always went down well with the crowds, who were really excited. We met and talked to the 'Hep Stars' in one of the dressing rooms, who later turned out to be members of Abba."

Most of them joined the very last incarnation of Neil Christian & The Crusaders in May 1967.
While touring with the latter, Ritchie Blackmore decided to stay in Germany then later found the band that took off his career, DEEP PURPLE.

Summer 1967, Lord Sutch was backed by a trio consisting of Carlo Little, guitarist Ged Peck and another founding member of Deep Purple, bassist Nick Simper. They all three parted company from Sutch to back the female singer Billie Davis, and then in October 1967, they were hired for playing as the live band for The Flowerpot Men.

And the first part of the long Savages saga ends here.
Later Dave Sutch toured America for 6 months during 1969. There he produced with Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin his debut album that was finally released in 1970. Many of his former Savages helped him out for the session recordings and some odd gigs in early 70’s acting as “His Heavy Friends”.

Aucun commentaire: