August 16, 2000 – Alan Caddy (Johnny Kidd & the Pirates/The Tornadoes) was born on February 2nd 1940 in Chelsea, London.
Alan Caddy’s father was a dance band drummer who also ran his own jazz club. At the Emanuel School in Battersea, the young Caddy was head chorister and leader of the school orchestra. Naturally talented as a treble, he regularly sang at Westminster Cathedral and he studied the violin at the Royal Academy of Music. But he was enthralled by the emergent skiffle and rock’n’roll, and switched to the guitar. He left school at 17 and played guitar in his spare time, moving through several amateur and semi-professional groups in the Battersea area. One of those bands was the Five Nutters, a skiffle outfit that he joined in 1957, who were based in Willesden and played five nights a week at their own club, known as the KKK. They added a new singer that year, one Frederick Heath, who later started billing himself as Johnny Kidd — and in short order, they were Johnny Kidd & the Pirates.
June 16, 1999 – Screaming Lord Sutch was born David Edward Sutch, also known as the 3rd Earl of Harrow, despite having no connection with the peerage.
He was the UK’s first long-haired pop star, boasting hair over 18 inches long and the self-styled lord was Britain’s longest-serving political leader, standing (and losing in nearly 40 elections). His most famous party was the Official Monster Raving Loony Party.
David Sutch was born in Kilburn, North-West London on November 10, 1940. His father was a policeman who was killed in World War II, when the boy was ten months old.
After leaving school, David worked as a plumber’s mate before becoming a singer. His stage name came from his main influence, Screaming Jay Hawkins, and from the fur-lined crash helmet which he wore on stage, topped with bobbles so that it resembled a coronet.
In 1968, he changed his name by deed poll to Lord David Sutch. Although he never had any ranking hits, his antics on and off stage brought him great notoriety, and he was to record with, among others, Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Jeff Beck, Noel Redding, Ritchie Blackmore, Nicky Hopkins and Keith Moon.
In 1963, he stood for Parliament as the National Teenager’s Candidate in Stratford-on-Avon, following the resignation of John Profumo after the sex scandal with Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies.
Although he gained only 209 votes, nearly all the policies he advocated – reducing the voting age to 18, commercial radio, calling for pubs to be open all day – were to become law long before his death.
In 1963, Sutch and his manager, Reginald Calvert, took over Shivering Sands Army Fort, a Maunsell Fort off Southend and in 1964 started Radio Sutch, intending to compete with other pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline. Broadcasts consisted of music and Mandy Rice-Davies reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Sutch tired of the station, and sold it to Calvert, after which it was renamed Radio City, and lasted until 1967. In 1966 Calvert was shot dead by Oliver Smedley over a financial dispute. Smedley was acquitted on grounds of self-defence. About this time Ritchie Blackmore left the band. Roger Warwick left to set up an R&B big band for Freddie Mack.
He was to contest 44 elections and is mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records as having stood for Parliament more times than anyone else. In the 1980’s, he tried to change his name again, to Mrs. Thatcher, but was refused permission, allegedly on the grounds that it might cause confusion if he did make it to the House of Commons. He was to become Great Britain’s longest serving party leader, having formed the Monster Raving Loony Party in 1983. He was never elected and, indeed, never retained his deposit. However, in May 1990 at Bootle, he received 418 votes to the Social Democratic Party’s 156; following which Dr. David Owen, the leader of the S.D.P and a former Labour Foreign Secretary, retired from politics.
Sutch’s album Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends was named in a 1998 BBC poll as the worst album of all time, a status it also held in Colin Larkin’s book The Top 1000 Albums of All Time, despite the fact that Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Jeff Beck, Noel Redding and Nicky Hopkins performed on it and helped write it.
For his follow-up, Hands of Jack the Ripper, Sutch assembled British rock celebrities for a concert at the Carshalton Park Rock ‘n’ Roll Festival. The show was recorded (though only Sutch knew), and it was released to the surprise of the musicians. Musicians on the record included Ritchie Blackmore (guitar); Matthew Fisher (keyboard); Carlo Little (drums); Keith Moon (drums); Noel Redding (bass) and Nick Simper (bass).
What was not known to the general public was that Sutch suffered from depression and had been on medication for many years. This became more acute following the death of his mother in 1997. In the same year, he met a lady named Yvonne Elwood. (Sutch never married but, in 1975, had a son, Tristram, with an American model.) His last years were dogged with financial troubles, but he seemed to be more cheerful in his last weeks and was looking forward to concerts in Belgium and Las Vegas.
However, in June 1999, he was found by Yvonne at his late mother’s house, 10 Parkfield Road, near South Harrow Station, having hanged himself. The last entry in his diary read : “Depression, depression, depression is all too much.” The coroner at the inquest described Sutch as “A comedian with tragedy in his heart. The public saw the public face, a cheery outgoing character, yet, in the privacy of his room, his true sadness emerged.
“During the 60s, he was known for his horror-themed stage show, dressing as Jack the Ripper, pre-dating the shock rock antics of Alice Cooper. Accompanied by his band, The Savages, he started by coming out of a black coffin. Other props included knives and daggers, skulls and “bodies”. He booked themed tours, such as ‘Sutch and the Roman Empire’, where he and the band members would be dressed up as Roman soldiers. Despite self-confessed lack of vocal talent, he released horror-themed singles during the early to mid-’60s, the most popular “Jack the Ripper”, covered live and on record by garage rock bands including the White Stripes, The Black Lips and The Horrors.
His album Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends was named in a 1998 BBC poll as the worst album of all time, a status it also held in Colin Larkin’s book The Top 1000 Albums of All Time, despite the fact that Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Jeff Beck, Noel Redding and Nicky Hopkins performed on it and helped write it.
He killed himself by hanging on June 16, 1999 at age 58.
He was definitely an original:
His bad time-keeping was the inspiration for his policy of decimal time – where there would be 100 seconds to the minute, and 100 minutes to the hour!
“What can we say about the man who posed the impossible question: Why is there only one Monopolies Commission?
He gave his age as 10 years younger than it was, then added ‘plus VAT’.”
July 17, 1996 – Bryan James “Chas” Chandler (the Animals) was born in Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne in Northumberland England on December 18, 1938.
After leaving school, he worked as a turner in the Tyneside shipyards. Having originally learned to play the guitar, he became the bass player with The Alan Price Trio in 1962. After Eric Burdon joined the band, the Alan Price Trio was renamed The Animals and became one of the most successful R&B bands ever.
The hulking bassist (Chandler stood six-foot-four) was on all of the Animals’ recordings from their first sides in 1963 through late 1966, when the nucleus of the original group disbanded. Chandler’s bass lines were rarely given critical attention but some, including the opening riff of the group’s 1965 hit “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” and “It’s my life” subsequently received praise. Chandler was also the most prominent of the group’s backing vocalists and did occasional songwriting with Burdon. In 1966, despite commercial success, Chandler became disillusioned with the lack of money, recalling that, “We toured non-stop for three years, doing 300 gigs a year and we hardly got a penny.”
However during his final tour with The Animals, Chandler was advised by Keith Richards’ girlfriend, Linda Keith, to go see an up-coming guitarist, Jimmy James, who was playing with the Blue Flames at the Cafe Wha in New York’s Greenwich Village.
Chandler was especially impressed by Jimmy James’s performance of the Tim Rose song “Hey Joe”, offered to be his manager and invited him to London. James asked Chandler if he could introduce him to Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, and his “Yes” clinched the deal. His move across the Atlantic was made possible with the help of Animals manager Michael Jeffery, who suggested that he revert to his actual name Jimi Hendrix, and later suggested naming the band the Jimi Hendrix Experience. In Britain, Chandler recruited bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell as the other members of the Experience.
His enthusiasm fueled Hendrix during the early days. While engineers such as Eddie Kramer, George Chkiantz, and Gary Kellgren were also important to capturing the Experience’s sound in the studio, Chandler was invaluable in helping to select and refine the material. Also he, unlike many producers, had been on the other side of the glass booth; his previous experience in the studio as a member of a top group no doubt helped earn Hendrix’s respect and prepare both of them for the challenge of making the best records possible.
He was also instrumental in introducing Hendrix to Eric Clapton. It was through this introduction that Hendrix was given the opportunity to play with Clapton and Cream on stage. It was Chandler’s idea for Hendrix to set his guitar on fire, which made national news when this idea was used at a concert at the Finsbury Astoria Theatre and subsequently at the Monterey Pop festival. Hendrix’s sound engineer Eddie Kramer later recalled that Chandler was very hands on with the first two Hendrix albums, adding that “he was his mentor and I think it was very necessary.”
Increasingly frustrated at Hendrix’s hectic lifestyle and progressively more time-consuming dallying in the studio, however, Chandler ended his association with the Experience in the middle of the Electric Lady land sessions in 1968, claiming they were self-indulgent. He left management services in the hands of Jeffery in the following year.
Chandler’s role in Hendrix’s career is soften underestimated by biographers, particularly those who insist on viewing Hendrix as a genius manipulated by virtually everyone around him. Chandler risked almost all of his resources to launch Hendrix’s career, funding the “Hey Joe” session before Hendrix had a contract, letting Hendrix live in his flat when the pair arrived in London, and even letting the guitarist use the flat for rehearsal at the outset.
Chandler kick-started Hendrix’s songwriting by insisting that Jimi write the B-side to “Hey Joe,” although Hendrix had written little or no songs previously and wanted to do a cover tune (Chandler also wanted to make sure Hendrix got some publishing royalties). Partially as a result of the books in Chandler’s apartment, particularly the science fiction ones, Hendrix’s lyrics took on a poetic and cosmic influence. Most importantly, Chandler was able, at least at first, to keep the Experience focused and productive in the studio. Had he been able to continue working with the group as he had in 1966 and 1967, there’s reason to believe that Hendrix’s final records, and indeed final years of his life, would have been more coherent and productive as well.
During the two year Hendrix era, Chandler also did a little production for the Soft Machine, another group in the Jeffery/Chandler stable. He produced the A-side of their first single (1967’s “Love Makes Sweet Music”) and co-produced their debut album in 1968 with Tom Wilson; Soft Machine bassist Kevin Ayers went on record with his dissatisfaction with that record’s production, although he targeted Wilson for most of the blame.
But Chandler’s major financial coup would be as producer, and eventually manager, of Slade, the glammy British hard rock group that was perennially on the British charts in the ’70s. Chandler had found the group after forming a production company with rock entrepreneur Robert Stigwood, who allowed Chandler to buy the management rights to the band for 5,000 pounds in 1972. Chandler then managed and produced Slade for twelve years, during which they achieved six number one chart hits in the UK.
He then went on to manage and produce the English rock band Slade for twelve years. During this time, Chandler bought and ran IBC Studios, which he renamed Portland Recording Studios, after the studio address of 35 Portland Place, London and ran it for four years until he sold it to Don Arden.
In 1977, Chandler played and recorded with The Animals during a brief reunion and he joined them again for a further revival in 1983, at which point he sold his business interests, in order to concentrate on being a musician. During the early 1990s, he helped finance the development of Newcastle Arena, a ten-thousand seat sports and entertainment venue that opened in 1995.
Chandler died while undergoing tests related to an aortic aneurysm at Newcastle General Hospital on 17 July 1996, only days after performing his final solo show. He was 57.
When Jimi Hendrix set fire to his guitar, Chas Chandler was ready with the lighter fuel. When Slade were desperate for a new image, Chandler dressed the band up as skinheads.
When Chandler quit The Animals and swapped his caftan for a suit, he swiftly became one of the most respected and successful managers and producers of the rock age.
He discovered Jimi Hendrix, but it was his energy and commitment that helped turn a shy young American backing guitarist into a dynamic performer and a rock legend. Their mutual regard was based on trust and friendship. When their partnership eventually broke down, Chandler found it a bitter blow. But just before Hendrix died in September 1970, he called upon his old manager once more for help and guidance. Chas Chandler was a man that anxious artists knew they could trust.