Lord Sutch found hung in home
LONDON (AP) - David Sutch, who brought a chuckle to British politics as leader of the Monster Raving Loony Party with the slogan: ``Vote for insanity - you know it makes sense,'' has died at age 58. He was found hanged Wednesday at his northwest London home by his partner, Yvonne Elwood, who said that although Sutch had fought a long battle with depression he seemed happy in the days leading
up to his death. A friend said he was taking anti-depressants and Scotland Yard said they were treating the death as suspicious.
Lord David Edward Sutch |
One stupid bio:
This man is a *real life* "Austin Powers"! He's also the inspiration for the character "Screaming
Lord Byron" in David Bowie's landmark video "Blue Jean". This Union Jack painted Rolls Royce
drivin', hereditary British Lord cum swinging sixties rock star assembled rock greats like Jimmy
Page, Jeff Beck, John Bonham, Noel Redding, Nicky Hopkins & more to play on this 1969 album
"Screaming Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends". Droning like Kermit the Frog, often with mercifully
volumed-down vocal tracks, "Screamin'" would "sing" while his "Heavy Friends" let loose a joyful
noise where their instruments do the laughing that they themselves dared not do.
Residence: United Kingdom
Lord David Edward Sutch, also known as Screaming Lord Sutch (stage
name), was born in West Hampstead, England on November 10, 1940. Lord
Sutch, as a musician, has played with Jeff Beck, Ritchie Blackmore, Nicky
Hopkins, Mitch Mitchell, Jimmy Page, Nick Simpler, John Bonham, Noel
Redding, and Matthew Fisher. As a politician, he founded, and leads the
Official Monster Raving Loony Party. In 1964 he started Radio Sutch, a pirate
radio station located in a set of abandoned towers at Shivering Sands, off the
Screaming Lord Sutch
Known as Screaming Lord Sutch, he was Britain's longest-serving party leader and although he was never elected despite running in scores of races, one of his party members, Alan Hope, was once elected mayor in a town in southwest England.
Rivals from across the political spectrum paid tribute Thursday to the veteran election campaigner who with his top hat and gold lame suit blared his party's madcap policies through a rusty loud speaker from one corner of the land to the other.``Screaming Lord Sutch will be much missed. For many years he made a unique contribution to British politics,'' said a spokesman for Prime Minister Tony Blair, speaking on customary condition of anonymity. ``Our elections will never be quite the same without him.'' Hope said Sutch had been in good spirits when he spoke to him on the phone 10 days ago. But, he added, ``He was taking lots and lots of pills - Prozac, I don't know what.''
Sutch, who legally changed his name to add the ``Lord,'' founded the Monster Raving Loony Party in 1963 and first ran for Parliament in 1964. He went on to fight some 40 elections over a period of more than 30 years. He wanted to know why there was only one Monopolies Commission. He wanted to turn the metaphoric ``butter mountain'' created by agricultural subsidies in Europe into a ski slope.
He once proposed that joggers and the unemployed should be compelled to power a gigantic treadmill to generate cheap electricity, and on one occasion he unsuccessfully tried to get his dog Splodge nominated at a London election. Sutch and his followers campaigned in such a style that was to the intense irritation of earnest candidates but to the delight of the massed ranks of Britain's voting population. And at least one of his policies - all-day pub opening - later became a reality.
Attempts to price him and other ``nonsense'' candidates out of the election scene - by increasing the registration fee from $240 to $800 - backfired as increasingly more zany figures, clowns and self-described clueless ones joined the ranks of the hopefuls since the deposit rose in 1985. In 1990, a Russian television company filmed the Loonies' annual conference while producing a documentary on differences between English and Soviet humor. Russian TV viewers saw the arrival of a balloon (fueled by Conservative and Labor party hot air) in which Loony supporters ate pie-in-the-sky.
Harry Greenway, a former member of Parliament for the Conservative Party, said Sutch brought laughter and good cheer to campaigns ``A lot of people complained about the so-called lunatic fringe of politics and criticized people like David Sutch,'' he said. ``But he was the man who brought gaiety to politics and who pricked the pomposity of politicians.''
Sutch was brought up as an only child by his mother Nancy in London after his father, a policeman, was killed during the war by a bomb. She died at the age of 80 on the eve of polling day in May 1997.
During the 1960s he was a rock singer, and until recently performed up to 250 concerts a year throughout Europe. Sutch never married but leaves a 24-year-old son, Tristan, from his relationship with American model Thann Quantrill, who once helped him contest one of his first elections by riding naked through a town on horseback.
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