Sunday, November 4, 2012

MONSTER RAVING LOONEY!

Quite fitting that Screaming Lord Sutch should have a plaque unveiled to his memory at th4e Ace Café so close to Halloween night … you’d have thought London’s East End might have been more fitting given his near hit ‘Jack the Ripper’ and connections with Joe Mee’s Holloway Road Studio than this west London North Circular biker venue.
Nit-picking apart, Sutch played a big part in early rock, and in lightening up the political scene with his Monster Raving Looney Party antics. The plaque was deserved. I went along hoping that perhaps a few of his ‘Heavy Friends’ might turn out. After all people like Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, John Bonham, Carlo Little and Noel Reading contributed to his 1969 album. ‘twas not to be. Jess Conrad was there to do the honours though. Who? I hear younger readers ask… One of Meek’s stable, Jess released a string of singles in the late 50s, early 60s. Classics, if you can count having no less than seven mentioned in the all-time worst singles list as classic! But he was one of the originals, and a sometime TV and film actor, most notably playing the part of Larry Parnes in the biopic of Joe Meek. He was also in the Sex Pistols ‘Great Rock n Roll Swindle’! Rock is made by such men! A guard of honour was formed by several Raving Loonies, including the famed ‘Toby Jug’ – I think possible ‘leader’ of the party. Lots of other old faces there too to honour the ‘Third Earl of Harrow’. Sutch never played the Ace, and almost certainly got there by bus rather than ‘ton-up’ bike, but he enjoyed hanging out there and was instrumental in its 1990s rebirth so perhaps it’s as good a place as anywhere for his plaque.

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