3D Great Rock Bible

Gary Glitter

+ {Paul Raven} + {Paul Monday}

Never in the field of rock’n’roll or pop entertainment has there been such a reviled singer as fallen star GARY GLITTER. How this er… “Leader Of The Gang” got away with the child-sex crimes he committed from the 1960s onwards is astonishing – until one discovers that motormouth discjockey Jimmy Savile extended the depravity beyond comprehension. As history has to sketch out the grimest of sordid details in indelible ink; pop music facts can’t ever be erased from the annuls of time, although, understandably, many have tried.
Born Paul Francis Gadd, 8 May 1944, Banbury, Oxfordshire in England, Gadd’s musical career was launched at the turn of the 60s, when film producer and manager, Robert Hartford Davis, secured a deal with Decca Records. His first 45, `Alone In The Night’ (under the moniker of PAUL RAVEN) flopped, although he found success in the Middle East with a follow-up, `Walk On Boy’. After another unlucky miss in ’61, in which nearly a million fans bought Frankie Vaughan’s version of `Tower Of Strength’ over his, the singer all but disappeared, but for a spell as warm-up singer at Top Of The Pops and with mid-60s, German-based combo, Boston International.
When songsmith Mike Leander (at the behest of M.C.A. Records) invited him to sing one of his songs, `Musical Man’ (under the radar as Paul Monday), it looked like he’d been left behind as bubblegum/psychedelia was fading fast. Further 45s followed (`Soul Thing’, `We Are All Living In One Place’, a version of GEORGE HARRISON’s `Here Comes The Sun’ and SLY & THE FAMILY STONE’s `Stand’ – some of them under pseudonyms), before he joined the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar, at the turn of the decade. Bell Records would sign him almost immediately.
In March 1972, having had a face and quiff lift under the guise of GARY GLITTER, the influence of T. REX and SLADE was evident on inaugural No.2 chanthem, `Rock And Roll Part 1’ (flipped with the greasier “Part 2”). The footstomping, glam-rock phenomenon had another star to prop up the pop music industry, while GG cantered in with an American Top 10 entry for the aforesaid song and UK smash hit follow-up, `I Didn’t Know I Loved You (Till I Saw You Rock ’n’ Roll)’, another preview to his eponymous Top 10 debut set, GLITTER (1972) {*6}.
1973 kicked off with a couple of near chart-toppers, `Do You Wanna Touch Me? (Oh Yeah)’ and `Hello! Hello! I’m Back Again’ – both on the equally performing TOUCH ME {*6} album. By that summer, GLITTER had secured his first No.1 with `I’m The Leader Of The Gang (I Am)’, which upped the terrace chant ante to a lip-curlingly feverish degree. Ditto, chart-topper number two, `I Love You Love Me Love’; poignant to how much that changed in the late 90s.
With The SWEET, SLADE and all unsundry rivalling his pop chances, `Remember Me This Way’ broke the winning formula when reaching only Top 3 status, although by `Always Yours’, all was restored at the top by the summer of ‘74. For the accompanying Top 5 live-in-concert soundtrack, REMEMBER ME THIS WAY {*5}, GLITTER was at his peak as the king of glam-rock, having already notched up several UK Top 5 hits in a two-year span. Recorded at the Rainbow Theatre in London with faithful backers, The GLITTER BAND (who’d just launched their own spin-off pop careers without GG, but with his co-writer Mike Leander), this title was so poignant in so many respects. One being Gary’s bulging, ELVIS-in-Vegas-like attire and his blow-dried quiff, already showing signs of receding. But how the lassies adored him. Ironically, it was the very first thing one’d hear on the album, screaming teenage girls baying to GG’s every whim on all his hits side by side with renditions of golden oldies such as BIG JOE WILLIAMS’ `Baby Please Don’t Go’ and DION’s `The Wanderer’. But it’s the girls screaming at him for more that duly made listening painful and totally cringeworthy.
Though he was arguably one of the more ridiculous looking glam icons (platform heels, 50s rock’n’roll style hairdo and middle-age spread), GARY GLITTER had attracted a rabid following, its more hardcore element still selling out his gigs twenty years on. Commercially, however, GLITTER-mania faded with the demise of glam; mid-70s hits were on a descending scale of-sorts, from `Oh Yes! You’re Beautiful’ (#2), `Love Like You And Me’ (#10) and `Doing Alright With The Boys’ (#6) to `Papa Oom Mow Wow’ (#38) and `You Belong To Me’ (#40). When fourth set, GG (1975) {*4}, and his “Greatest Hits” stalled outside the Top 30 in March 1976, it looked predictably dire for GG and glam. With punk rock and new wave duly developing its own brand, suggestive GLITTER (on Arista Records) had to make do with out-of-sync mid-chart efforts, `It Takes All Night Long’ (#25) and `A Little Boogie Woogie In The Back Of My Mind’ (#31) – both from SILVER STAR (1977) {*3}.
All washed up and no place to go, the first half of the 80s saw some forgettable ditties hit the buffers. Nevertheless, the star-spangled GG returned to the Top 10 in ‘84 with the inimitable Yuletide fave, `Another Rock And Roll Christmas’, while echoes of the pioneering “glam/Glitter” sound could be heard in acts like ADAM & THE ANTS and BOW WOW WOW. Four years later, he was back at No.1 again (kind of), when he featured on The Timelords’ (aka KLF’s) No.1 hit, `Doctorin’ The Tardis’, unashamedly based on GLITTER’s `Rock And Roll’ debut.
Though he remained something of a minor celebrity, fans were rocked late in 1997 by allegations that child porn had been found in his computer; he had given it to PC World to be repaired. GLITTER was subsequently charged with several sexual offences against an under-aged girl and was given a jail sentence for the pornography part. Released from prison but with his reputation in tatters (his seedy private life having been read in every tabloid), GARY GLITTER, or indeed the bald Paul Gadd, found it understandably hard to return to showbusiness – in his own country at least. Although initially it was highly unlikely any international record company would release any of his original LPs on CD, several cropped up, even after his convictions. His final album release was ON (2001) – recorded in 1996-97 – was subsequently found in storage facilities.
A man hated by even his most ardent of fans, one would had to have been on Planet Zog to have missed all the tabloid exposure, mainly stemming from the British media. That was not the end of the matter as further charges of child pornography and child-sex abuse were uncovered . Subsequently deported from Vietnam and Cambodia where allegations were rife (several other Asian countries also took umbridge to his gross activities), British police carried on in their investigations, putting him on a Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely. Between October 2012 and early February 2015, Gadd appeared in court several times to face further “historical” accusations (from Operation Yewtree) of attempted rape, multiple indecent assaults and sex with a girl under age. Finally, on 27th February 2015, Paul Gadd (i.e. ex-glam star GARY GLITTER) was sentenced to 16 years in jail.
© MC Strong/MCS 1994-2008/GRD-LCS // rev-up MCS…

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