The Savages were the long serving Screaming Lord Sutch sidemen from February 1960 to June 1999.
Many rock legends such as Ritchie Blackmore, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Adrian Gurvitz, Mick Abrahams, Tony Dangerfield, Nicky Hopkins or Freddie "Fingers Lee" and even movie actors such as Paul Nicholas passed through their ranks and started out with them.
Dave Sutch was a real talent-spotter in the British music scene and went through musicians pretty quickly an must have employed hundreds, a lot of them did their apprenticeships with the Savages whose lineups comprised mostly a lead guitarist, a bass player, a drummer and a pianist or saxophonists.
They used to carry his lordship on stage in a “Big Black Coffin” and back him first wearing orange shirts, white cowboy boots and black pants as the band uniform, and then dressed as cavemen with animal skins as well as stone-age gear.
On stage Screaming Lord Sutch used to perform very visual acts with the members of his band, chasing them with big a knife or an huge axe, stabing them before flinging heart and liver (bought from the butchers) into the audience, and sword fencing etc... They played the perfect backing for his repertory of horror songs.
Thus they contributed to the evolution of Rock and even generally Pop music, not only playing very loud - powerful drummings sounding like a cannon - but also bringing musical innovations such as fuzz box to produce their wailing guitar sound.
Originally they were formed by Dave Sutch and drummer Carlo Little in early 1960, after they had met up at The Cannibal Pot Coffee Bar in Sudbury's Harrow Road. At that time, Little was fresh out of the national service, and Sutch proposed him to get a Rock & Roll group together whom he would be the manager.
Carlo Little recruited teenager classically trained musicians between 15 and 16 year old: pianist, Nicky Hopkins, guitarists Bernie Watson and Rick Brown (aka Fenson). They were all from Wembley area, North London.
Initially the plan was to be an instrumental band just copying American records but one day, Bernie Watson managed to get a wailing sound out of his guitar - and Sutch started leaping around and screaming, shaking his head, then letting his hair fall down and all over his face. So Carlo Little suggested him to be the singer and the frontman of the band. His stage name “Screaming Lord Sutch” derived from the fact that he could not sing, but only scream.
In June 1960, after rehearsing during Three months, they got their first gig in Camberley for a Bob Potter.
Their material then was essentially made of Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Elvis Presley numbers.
Dave Sutch came up with the name The Savages, inspired by The Shadows record hit during summer 1960, “Apache”. However soon after Screaming Lord Sutch and The Original Savages parted company when Carlo Little decided to join another local band. That was the beginning of a long story about the unstable and ever-changing Savages' lineups over years.
After the tragic death of David Sutch in 1999, The Savages carried on, performing revival circuits (tributes to Joe Meek and Screaming Lord Sutch), first fronted by bass player Tony Dangerfield, who, unfortunately passed away in Summer 2007, then by Texan keyboard player Johnny Casanova.
The gig lined-up on November 15th, 2008, at the Real Music Club, London, was postponed till July 24th, 2009 at the Boom Boom Club, Sutton, and Nicky Simper, founder member of Deep Purple, was back on bass for the 1st Savages gig post-Tony Dangerfield there, with Bob Banjo standing-in for Angi Antinori.
The legendary band will play the Gorleston Pavilion on next Halloween, with Dave Dix guesting on saxes, more than 50 years after its formation!
· Their current news: the current band, past and next gigs
· The Message from Johnny Casanova for further info
· The Complete Story of Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages
· Their lineups and Personnel
But also check out the following links about
· Their genisis and formation
· Their early days: 2i's Coffee Bar time and The Forgotten Savages in 1960
· Their Golden Years in the 60’s