Monday, February 11, 2013

reasons to be cheerful part four

Gary Glitter  - Come On, Come In, Get on 

Now I ain’t defending this pedophile bastard, not at all but after years of just refusing to listen to his music, of bad taste jokes and pretending he just don’t exist I’ve come to realise something… Gary Glitter ain’t the bad guy, Paul Gadd (his real moniker) is.  See the way I see it, Paul Gadd is a rock spider, Gary Glitter is a rock star.  I wouldn’t give Paul Gadd the time of day, the bastard should be castrated and left to wallow in his own excrement in a small dark hole but Gary Glitter, the artist, the singer, the rockstar, well I’m gonna crank up those loud as fuck old school rock and roll songs again and sing along to the hits and misses! 

A touchstone to my youth, Touch Me was one of the first albums I ever owned (on cassette too) – Christmas 1974 and my parents had given me a cassette player of my very own just a week prior, my birthday falling just eight days before Christmas and Gary was one of my Christmas presents.  It was perfect fodder for a preteen boy on the cusp of teenage fears and pubic hair burst growth!  A booming rock and roll soundtrack complete with handclaps, singalongs, loud guitars and a band that was versed in the art of rock and fucking roll -  with two drummers holding down the beat, the horn section swinging like real rock used to be and songs with more hooks than a Japanese Whaler, you couldn’t go wrong with this baby turned up loud.   

Glitter was corny, he was dumb, he looked ridiculous at times but he was fun, that was the thing, he put the fun back into rock and roll.  And if he could do it, hell anyone could.  He gave us all hope, if this middle aged silly bastard in a too tight alfoil suit could be a rock star, a heart throb, then hell, anything was possible.  This tape was played so often during my youth that it eventually stretched beyond rescue and was thrown in the back of that drawer you have for things you can’t quite throw away though you know they ain’t ever getting repaired, ain’t ever gonna be used again.  Besides, I’d moved on, punk and noise and all the other growed up rock had taken over.  I’d put aside the dreams of the alfoil suit and the rock and roll lifestyle for the ripped shirt and dog collar existence of sid and nancy, the deadboys before drifting into comics and words and drinking like Bukowski or at least a piss poor attempt at it. This album was part of my youth, those songs were the soundtrack to walking the streets at night, dreaming of bigger and better things. I’m still chasing those dreams so I need that soundtrack and no rock spider scum is coming ‘tween me and my music.   

That’s the trouble with music and with musicians, how do we separate the artist from the song, from the memories we have, the emotions that songs can trigger within us.  Should we stop listening to Glitter’s songs because of his behavior twenty years later? Should we stop listening to Ike and Tina Turner because he was a wife beating arsehole? Chuck Berry? Elvis Presley’s drugged out fat arse? The White Album because Chuckles Manson misread its intentions? 

I ain’t defending any of these people but I ain’t gonna stop listening to their songs either  (except for the Beatles cos they are  over rated) – I know the difference between the singer and the song, between some three minute pop song and the predilections of some perverted fucker who needs a soldering iron between the legs, and I’m claiming my youth back, I’ve been flogging this (downloaded) album and this song to death for the last month and it ain’t faded yet, it’s still gloriously over the top, swinging, fist pumping, singalong, glorious rock and roll!  And we all need some of that in this age of plastic, computer simulated, mass marketed three minute wonders.  Gimme back my music you bastards, I want to hear it loud and distorted and proud.  Might even try and find that tape and see if I can fix it up. 

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Blogger DJIANMAIDEN said...

180It's so true. I was a massive Glitter fan, and his actions are repellent but it doesn't make Rock'n'Roll Part One any less one of the most important anthems of my youth. Does Phil Spector being a murderer make River Deep Mountain High less of a song? Michael Jacksons (alleged) abuse of young children does not stop anybody dancing to Billie Jean. I still love those records, but they are slightly tainted. And I probably won't ever get my signed Glitter albums framed. Great piece Kami - keep up the great work.

5:16 PM  
Blogger George Matzkov said...

Great read as usual Kami..must pull out my GG and give em a blast.

5:55 PM  

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