Screaming Lord Sutch, 3rd Earl of Harrow, was an inexplicably huge pop star in the UK in the 1960s. Admittedly lacking in the whole vocal ability department, he was chock full of insane charm and charisma. Building off the theatrics of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, he took the concept of a horror-themed stage show to the next level and paved the way for The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and, later, Alice Cooper. In the meanwhile, he worked with rock luminaries both famous and infamous including Joe Meek, Ritchie Blackmore, Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Nicky Hopkins, Jeff Beck, Charlie Watts and more. Admittedly, he kind of conned several of those people into it: he asked a lot of rock stars to come down and work on some demos, then released them as the LP Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends, which has been widely regarded as one of the worst albums ever released. He later went on to found the Official Monster Raving Looney Party and stood in numerous by-elections, holding the record for losing all 40 elections in which he stood. Suffering from depression, Sutch hanged himself in 1999.
His best-known single was 1963’s “Jack the Ripper,” which would go on to be covered by the White Stripes and the Horrors, among others. Here’s a live television performance of the tune from 1964. Tell me, is it just me or does he resemble The Mighty Boosh‘s “The Hitcher?”