Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Bobbie McGee: Rock and Roll People (a-side)

The spectacularly named Lady Teresa Anna Von Arletowicz, was better known as Bobbie McGee and released the single “Rock and Roll People” in 1973.

Originally from London via South Africa she was nicknamed “Gladys Glitter” by the British press at the time. Sadly any great success was to elude her in the UK where there was only room for one glam rock chick in Suzi Quatro.

She continued to release singles until 76 but never really got the recognition she deserved and now has something of a cult following.

Bobbie McGee: Rock and Roll People

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Turn another page on the Teenage Rampage Now!

Fellow blogger “Steve Does Comics” ran a post a few weeks ago about how certain songs reminded him of comics that he had bought.

One of my own posts explained how I associate Sparks ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the Both of Us’ with The Avengers # 100 and a holiday in Great Yarmouth.

So with that in mind I thought I would put together my own list of the glam rock songs that remind me of certain comics, magazines or books.

1. Avengers UK # 28 – March 1974
Ah yes the joys of playing truant from school and buying a comic to read in the bus station while Roll Away the Stone by Mott the Hoople plays on someone's portable radio. (Don’t do it kids, besides I got caught so no pocket money for weeks).

Who could resist the kung fu-tastic Shang-Chi bursting through the comic cover and into my young life. And all for 6p.

2. Shiver and Shake – 1973
Rockin and boppin with Frankie Stein and Sweeny Toddler to Mud’s Rocket.

3. Raven Sword Mistress of Chaos – 1978
The first book didn’t come out until 1978 but it always reminds me of Bowie’s Rock and Roll Suicide from the Ziggy Stardust album.
There’s nothing like a classic Bowie album on the stereogram and a book about a half naked woman with a sword. I was 15; young; hormones and all that. A great cover illustration by Chris Achilleos was a bonus.

4. Look In - 1973 onwards
The classic British TV related picture and story magazine and the Glitter Band’s Angel Face.

 5. Spider-Man Comics Weekly UK # 109 – March 1975
Great cover – well worth the wait to see the Black Widow in her new and improved costume. Anyway this always makes me think of the Sweet’s Teenage Rampage.

 6. The Three Investigators: The Secret of Terror Castle and others
I bought all this series of books as a kid. My friend Brian and I even tried to set up our own investigating agency. Never quite worked out, The Mystery of the Rickety Gate didn’t have the same ring as the above.
But we enjoyed listening to My Friend Stan by Slade while we were dreaming of becoming great detectives.

"Childhood is a journey through another land, lost to us now, to be found only in memory"

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Suzi Q's Glam Rock Jukebox

Get It On
Hell Raiser
Cum On Feel The Noize
Always Yours
Devil Gate Drive
Killer Queen
Lets Get Together Again
Rebel Rebel
Shang A Lang
See My Baby Jive
Metal Guru
Ballroom Blitz
Mix by Stardust Kid 2011

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Taken from “The Glory of Glam” Radio 2 2010, presented by Gary Kemp.

Glam was glorious. Brought on by rock's self indulgent pretensions in 1970 when psychedelia and prog rock were at their peak, glam brought a satin and sequin-fuelled return to the frivolous basics of rock 'n' roll and created the biggest, brightest, shiniest beast the music business had seen.

In the first programme, The Birth of Glam, Gary looks at the fascinating relationship between Marc Bolan and David Bowie and considers how it helped fuel the flamboyant creation of glam. As Angie Bowie says: "David and Marc liked each other very much and at certain times were great friends, but they were also bitter rivals." 

Both Marc and David had spent the 60's as itinerant musicians, drifting through a succession of image changes whilst searching for pop stardom. In the mid 60s they were mods, then hippies, as they experimented with a variety of styles in search of their own musical niche.

Inspired by Syd Barrett's early work with Pink Floyd, and assisted by the producer/engineer Tony Visconti, Marc and David began incorporating fantasy and theatrics into their live and recorded work. In 1970, following a night spent at Eric Clapton's house watching him play guitar, Marc ditched the acoustic guitar, which he'd used for four albums worth of hippie folk with Tyrannosaurus Rex, and plugged in a brand new Fender Stratocaster.

On July 1, 1970 he recorded a startling 2 minute piece of perfect pop that re-launched the single as a work of art in electrifying fashion. Ride a White Swan, released by the newly abbreviated T-Rex, quickly peaked at No 2 on the charts. 

Inspired by his first taste of major pop success Marc began a short but explosive era of chart domination that included the singles Hot Love, Get It On, Jeepster, Telegram Sam, Metal Guru, Children of The Revolution, Solid Gold Easy Action, 20th Century Boy and the albums Electric Warrior, The Slider and Tanx .

In support of their hit singles and albums, Bolan and T-Rex toured constantly and flounced on to stages around the world in ever more flamboyant costumes of sequins and satins, all propped up on impossibly high platform boots, as the glam craze they helped create became incredibly popular.

While Marc was incorporating electric guitar into his music, and sourcing outrageous costumes from trendy boutiques, he was a regular visitor to David Bowie's home in Beckenham, Kent. Haddon Hall had become a musician's commune which one visitor compared to "Dracula's living room". 

With various members of his band and their accompanying girlfriends, wives and boyfriends as housemates, David wrote and rehearsed songs for the album The Man Who Sold The World, which Tony Visconti began recording once he'd competed work on the album T-Rex. 

Inspired by Andy Warhol and American bands like the New York Dolls and Velvet Underground, David's new album had a tougher edge to it and encouraged by his new wife Angie he began experimenting with new androgynous outfits and was photographed for the album cover wearing what he called a "man dress".

For the follow up album Hunky Dory, David channelled Greta Garbo for the cover and with songs like Changes and Oh You Pretty Things he re-inforced the bi-sexual persona he was promoting on stage. The album also included Life on Mars, a precursor to the next persona unleashed on the world in June 1972, with the release of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars.

Over an 18 month period Ziggy became the epitome of glam. Released the same month as T-Rex released The Slider album, and Roxy Music released their debut self titled LP, the Ziggy Stardust album became a benchmark by which all other glam albums were judged. 

With Marc, David and Roxy Music all dominating the charts in late 1972 and 1973, several rock bands who had been carving out solid but unspectacular careers for several years, also decided to add satin and sequins to their stage outfits and suddenly The Sweet, Slade, Mud, Wizzard, Gary Glitter and Alvin Stardust were among the bands that rode the crest of the wave.

Contributors include David Bowie, Tony Visconti, Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzanera, Noddy Holder, Mike Chapman, Rick Wakeman, Angie Bowie, Steve Harley, Antony Price, Mick Rock, Iggy Pop and archive interviews with Marc Bolan.

In Dressed To Kill, the second part of The Glory of Glam, Gary Kemp highlights the most successful acts of the glam era and discovers why their influence is still being heard in many of today's new bands.

In the summer of 1972, as T-Rex released The Slider and David Bowie released The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars, Roxy Music released their debut self-titled album and began touring their own version of glamorous art-influenced rock'n'roll. With stunning outfits created by designer Antony Price, Roxy became as influential as Marc and David.

In fact Roxy Music and The Spiders From Mars shared the bill at several venues in 1972, playing to small audiences who according to Phil Manzanera "weren't quite sure what they were seeing with all that glitz and glam."

Inspired by the chart success that glam artists were achieving, several rock bands who had been carving out solid but unspectacular careers for years, also decided to add satin and sequins to their stage outfits and suddenly The Sweet, Slade, Mud, Wizzard, Gary Glitter and Alvin Stardust were among those enjoying chart success. 

Along with 10CC, Sparks, Mott The Hoople, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Queen, Cockney Rebel, and even Suzi Quatro, who enjoyed chart success with the help of a bit of additional glitter. Even major acts like Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones and Elton John dabbled in a bit of sparkly make-up. 

As Angie Bowie recalls, "thanks to David and Marc they all realised that girls like pretty boys".
Not really a pretty boy.
Contributors include John Lydon, Alice Cooper, Gene Simmons, Steve Harley, David Bowie, Tony Visconti, Bryan Ferry, Boz Boorer, Pete Phipps, Noddy Holder, Roger Taylor, Marc Almond, Paolo Hewitt, Storm Thorgerson, Antony Price, Phil Manzanera, Mike Chapman, Rick Wakeman, Angie Bowie, Mick Rock, Suzi Quatro, Iggy Pop and archive interviews with Marc Bolan.