In terms of MIA status, Salinger has nothing on Sutherland. Terry Sutherland had around 7 minutes of screentime in ‘DOA’, Lech Kowalski‘s investigation of the burn-out of punk’s first phase. With his group seemingly picking up instruments and following the xeroxed advice of Sideburn fanzine’s “This is a chord, this is another, this is a third, now form a band” (as opposed to the current climate’s, this is a chambray shirt, this is Ventile, this is a copy of ‘Free & Easy’ – now start a brand) mantra, they made a certain DIY impact, despite sounding like shit.
Footage of the Pistol’s Texas shambles and Sid’s comotose slur usually take the spotlight, but Terry Sutherland is a character worth studying. Seemingly without art school pretense and spurred on by the spitting, swearing, sneering cultural happenings of the era, his band ‘The Idiots’ rock out badly (though in fairness, despite the dirge there’s worse, even more deluded musicians in this fair capital nowadays getting play at the Old Blue Last) in a barely populated pub- the Golden Shoe and gets a pint chucked on him for good measure.
Never to play again, but divvying up screen time with Malcolm’s boys, a kind of cult status was assured. Lech’s post-production crew even gave the group their own punk-by-numbers logo to maintain cohesion with titles using the official logos of other, more popular artist involved. There’s no safety pins and dye at work. Just the basics accompanied by knitwear, swallow tattoos and cheap sunglasses.
A bizarre, spud headed purveyor of blunt philosophies, the fate of Terry has never been explained, but he sure reminds me of Ray Winstone’s character in ‘Ladies & Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains’. On celluloid he’s something a heroic underdog surrounded by philistines, the responses on YouTube say otherwise. Best of all, it’s proported that Lech and crew were led to the Kingsmead Estate in Hackney by a clueless taxi driver who misheard ‘Kings Road’, and pretty much had had this band manufactured to save face. The Idiot’s bassist Malcolm Joseph actually went on to perform on Massive Attack and Neneh Cherry records.
Plenty more information here – http://www.punk77.co.uk/groups/terryidiots.htm
Off-topic, James and team Carhartt UK (shouts to all involved), disciples of the brand that they are, have added a heritage section to the store site. Up first is some Overalls produced by the Canadian Carhartt licensee (hence the train logo) in the ’70s. Looking forward to seeing what’s up next…