London band Doctors of Madness were discovered and championed by Justin de Villeneuve, the man who discovered, managed and escorted Twiggy.
Between 1975 and 1977, blue-haired vocalist Kid Strange (real name Richard Harding) led the band through a glitter/glam-flavoured stomp through three albums for Polydor records – Late Night Movies, All Night Brainstorms (1976), Figments of Emancipation (1976), and Sons of Survival (1978).
Richard Harding first came to public attention as a member of the delightfully named Great White Idiot, a band whose solitary live show – at the 100 Club in London – coincided with what the audience thought was the venue’s soul night.
When it turned out to be anything but, the crowd rioted, the venue was stormed by the local police and Great White Idiot shattered just as the record-company bigwigs they’d invited along showed up.
Nestled somewhere between Velvet Underground, Cockney Rebel and Brian Eno’s earlier efforts, the Doctors played funny-looking instruments and delivered esoteric and depraved lyrics over music, strongly based around the eerie and atmospheric electric violin of Urban Blitz (real name Jeffrey Hickmer).
A nationwide tour opening for Be Bop Deluxe in early 1976 earned the group a modicum of respect, if only for their dogged resistance to the total animosity of the dour headliners’ audience.
British public response (a mixture of apathy and ridicule) proved terminal – all three of their albums were scorned by the press and public – and the band called it a day in 1978.
A posthumous compilation, Revisionism, was released in 1981.
Kid Strange (Richard Harding)
Stoner (Colin Bentley)
Urban Blitz (Jeffrey Hickmer)
Peter di Lemma (Peter Hewes)