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More Sad than Mad
on 24 May 2010
Thoroughly researched and well structured, this book paces out the career of the horror rock and roll and political performer known as "Screaming Lord Sutch". The details put the life of this unusual personality and his ground breaking work into historical perspective.
I scored the book down from an "I like" to an "OK" as although at first really enjoying it, it was spoilt for me by conjecture (his attempt at "the Man" bit of the title), making it on occasion too gossipy, almost snide for my taste. Lord Sutch must have suffered overwhelmingly as a typical "sad clown", and so I would have preferred the author had stuck to the facts, which he relates well, and let Lord Sutch's life speak for itself.
Secondly, the author makes surprisingly peevish references to those relatives who obviously rejected his invitation to contribute. Since he states he knew Lord Sutch for 30 years or so, did he believe he would have approved of this? Although a consumate self publicist, Lord Sutch seems to have successfully protected his family from the spotlight for all these years, so maybe he wasn't as mad as he seemed.
These two issues I had with his approach, show more about the author than about the subject of his work. But despite the above disappointments, I would still recommend it as an informative and readable book, which reminds us of one of England's most free spirited, longest serving and longest haired sons, in the realms of both music and politics.