Glam Rock Era
I spent many of my early years hopping from one Royal Air Force base to another where uniforms defined your rank and status, and life was experienced within the narrow confines of structure and discipline. Rules and regulations dominated our lives, and it was the only life I knew.
Until the early ’70s! When the innocence of Tinkerbell’s fairy dust was rudely pushed aside by Glam Rock glitter exploding out of my television set every Thursday evening on “Top of the Pops”.
Glam Rock was such a contrast to Air Force Life. It was all about dressing as outrageously as possible, and the more nebulous the definition of roles, the better.
These unconventional rockers were exciting and inspirational. Each week I’d watch them strut their stuff in towering stacked heels, obscenely tight spandex trousers, wild hair and crazy make up. As if that wasn’t enough, just to push them over the bounderies of good taste; a sprinkle of glitter.
Glam rock (aka Glitter Rock) was a style of rock and pop music that developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s, which was performed by singers and musicians who wore outrageous clothes, makeup and hairstyles, particularly platform-soled boots and glitter. The flamboyant costumes and visual styles of glam performers were often camp or androgynous, and have been connected with new views of gender roles.
Glam rock visuals peaked during the mid-1970s with artists including T. Rex, David Bowie, Sweet, Roxy Music and Gary Glitter in the UK and New York Dolls, Lou Reed and Jobriath in the US. It declined after 1976, but had a major influence on genres including punk, glam metal, New Romantics and gothic rock and has sporadically revived since the 1990s. (source wikipedia)
Down Memory Lane with Slade
One major oversight in the wikipedia defintion of Glam Rock, is that they haven’t included “Slade” as one of the major influencers of this era. Their notoriety continues to this day, and forty years later (yes it’s been that long fellow baby boomers!) – Santa and Slade are two things guaranteed to make an appearance at Christmas time
Dig out any Expat’s Christmas mix tape, and guaranteed you’ll find “Merry Christmas Everyone” listed.
So why this sudden trip down memory lane?
Well I’ve just watched a 1999 documentary of Slade, and was transfixed by their glitter boy adventures. I hadn’t realized that they were just a quartet of down-to-earth Black Country/West Midlands boys, acting out a Glam Rock dream. Their fabricated skin-head persona roots, quickly faded into glitz, glitter and glamour; they grew their hair – and they never looked back.
Oasis’s homage to Slade
Slade were the voice of a generation, so it’s no surprise that a couple of decades later when the new voice of a generation, Oasis, exploded onto the scene, they paid hommage to their Glamourous predecessors, by covering Slade’s “Cum on Feel the Noize”.
Both good versions, but my allegiance is to the original!
For more information about Slade
If Glam Rock was your era – watch the Slade documentary. If nothing else, the flambouyant outfits will bring a smile to your lips. If this blog post ignited your desire for more information about Slade:
Were you a Slade fan too? Or did you have posters of somebody else on your wall?