I watched that Channel 4 documentary the other evening - The execution of Gary Glitter. Such a waste of talent. I know what he did was inexcusable, but really, is *any* crime so bad that it necessitates the taking of a human life by way of punishment?? Obviously, in the current climate, I'm not going to go shouting this from the rooftops or anything but, between you and me and the gatepost, during the mid seventies, when I was at a particularly low ebb and a very crazy and mixed up person, briefly and under the influence of a hazardous cocktail of mind altering substances, I came very close to committing exactly the crime for which Gary Glitter lost his life. That's right, if I hadn't been so addled that my body couldn't even grow facial hair, I could have had a goatie beard myself - I still wake up in the middle of the night with the heebyjeebies thinking back to that period; and now, after seeing what they've done to Gary, I can understand why...
Of course, now he's gone to The Great Theatrical Costumier in the Sky, hopefully some of the good things Gary did will start to come out and give a better understanding to us of this brilliant but confused individual. Like his work with under privileged kids, for instance. And I'm sure anyone who shared his passion for the boy scout movement will agree that his contribution in that direction was beyond reproach. Anyone fortunate enough to have seen him decked out infull Akela regalia, dibbing his dib and dobbing his dob will be smiling at the very thought, no doubt. I certainly never knew you could have so much fun practicing a sheep shank with a willing sixer and a bottle of baby oil.
Obviously, Gary and I knew each other from way back - well before he began to take an active interest in paedophilia. Well, he was too *young* back then! I'll never forget bumping into him at the schoool gates - this was when I was still at Secondary Modern back in Bromley, moonlighting on Saxophone with the Kon-Rads after lessons at the local Espresso Bongo joint in the evenings. He was still known to us all as Paul Gadd back then and hadn't had a hit of any sort at thgis stage. Hardly surprising really, as he was still working full time as a Lollipop Man at the time. But I did sneak off school ocassionally to watch him on stage doing a lunchtime show or two and it was all there in embryonic form; the pout, the preening dandyish grandeur and the repulsive;y sweaty body hair. And who could forget his immortal catchphrase, even back then? "DON'T TELL THE SOCIAL SERVICES!!" He'd yell, before bounding off the stage waving and smiling with an insincerity that was incredibly moving to us kicks-starved teenyboppers.
For a young, aspiring pop minstrel keen to get a winklepickered foot onto the first rung of the ladder of pop stardom, there are worse ways to spend an evening than learning to gyrate saucily in a spangly silver suit wearing a badly disguised chest wig, singing nonsensical lyrics about gang bangs into the bedroom mirror. And I should know - I spent several days with Alvin Stardust (or Shane Fenton as he was known back then) trying to dislodge a cheap fairground ring from a leather gloved finger. He might have been a Coo-c-choo on stage, but he was a hapless git with the digital dexterity of an all-in-wrestler when it came to ring-removal. Still owes me for the vaseline too..
Of course, with Gary, the sexual favours that he demanded for his tuition were a small price to pay, especially for a sexually precocious third former like my good self, for the fabulous grounding he gave me in the art of showmanship. And obviously, it goes without saying that such a generous giver as Gary would be only to glad to let you lick his lollipop afterwards. You see, the man was pure class...
Oh well, 'those whom the gods love...' May his sould rest in peace. I just hope George Michael was watching and has taken the appropriate action vis a vis *his|* useless bit of chin muff, or they'll hav *him* in the electric chair before he can give his legal team a careless whisper...
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Of course, so much has changed since I made my first tentative steps into the world of show business in the early 1970s. A musician's lot was very different then - there was no interweb, no mobile wristwatches, no nano-nino hard-drives the size of a tie pin. No, records were the only viable currency back then, unless you wanted to run the risk of forking out for a cassette that would probably get mangled by the player within a week or two. Nowadays, of course, artists can pipe themselves straight into other people's ears through the wonders of microchip technology and there's a fortune to be made if you can come up with a ring-tone irritating enough to make half the population want to commit hari-kiri. Obviously, I prefer to keep my artistic integrity by steering clear of such crass commercialism. You won't hear any of *my* songs advertising Hovis or the nation's favourite building society. The bastards promised me they'd have a listen, but...
So nowadays, I tend to live a pretty reclusive life; it's a fairly mundane routine really. Up at 5.30 am, pop down to the gym, do a couple of rounds of Thai boxing (excellent for the cardio-vascular, I'm told..) Then it's back home to flop out in front of BBC Breakfast - it's never been the same since they booted Natasha Kaplinsky out, has it...although I'd give that Wendy Hurrell one, in a trice... 9.15 on the dot I put in a couple of hours silver surfing. Obviously, as someone who's benefitted greatly from the material rewards society has to offer a talented female impersonator with an ear for a crafty tune and an uncanny sense of the twists and turns of the popular music zeitgeist, I try to pay something back by helping those whose lot in life hasn't been so fortunate. I do a lot of work with young offenders - keeping in touch with them online, trying to keep their spirits up as they rot away in their air-conditioned cells, off their heads on pot having bizarre sexual misadventures with bogus asylum seekers. Well, just read the Daily Mail if you don't believe me; apparently, in terms of crime, being in prison is almost as bad as living on a council estate these days. They want to lock some of these people up...
Lunch time comes and goes; I might wander down to the local pub for a brisk tissue restorative before heading back home for an afternoon nap. All a far cry from my hedonistic Glam Rock days, I'm sure you'll agree! I was off my bonce on Bostik half the time; I'm surprised I can remember anything about it at all, to be honest! Although I do have a vague recollection that I spent most of 1977 living Romy Haag in a bedsit in Berlin. Wonder how she is? Lovely lass - if a bit on the *hirsute* side, first thing in the morning if I recall...Nowadays, I like to relax in the evening, watch the box, maybe read a bit of detective fiction and then 'early to bed early to rise' as we used to say; I'll like as not be tucked up in bed by 10.30pm.
Of course, all of this will change next year when I go back on the road to promote the re-issue of my back catalogue; the "That's Your Flamin' Lot Tour' we're calling it; 50 shows in 50 cities all crammed into a period of little more than three months. Blimey! I'll be well and truly shagged out by the time I get home from that! Good job my doctor is busy stocking up mon prescription drugs as we speak; otherwise I'd *never* get through a schedule as tough as that at my age! So, I'll be anything but reclusive in 2010, what with all the shows and the reissue and all the attendant media work. Oh, and on top of all that, I get my Freedom Pass!!
Right, the first thing you've noticed is probably the fact that I'm wearing stockings. Which is a shame, because I spent about 120 quid on getting my hair and make-up done and all you lot can do is gawp at me legs - honestly, I don't know... The stockings were six pounds - well, I say stockings - they're actually cut down 70 deniers from Boots (three pairs for six ... never let it be said I don't have an eye for a bargain in the hosiery department. I just wish my stylist Keith could learn a little from the nation's favourite pharmacist when it comes to value for money... and, while I think of it, his personal hygiene leaves rather a lot to be desired. But that's another story...)
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, my clobber. Well, as you can imagine, the question I get asked most often is, "Bob - are you a cross dresser?" To which I invariably reply, "Cross? I'm ruddy livid - have you seen the price of pancake in Superdrug? I'll be reduced to using flour and talcum powder again at this rate - like we used to have to in the 70s..." So I hope that's cleared that one up.
And let's get another thing straight right from the off. I might be dressed like a woman down below in the lingerie department and be wearing enough diamante eye shadow to make Shirley Bassey look like Arnold Schwarzenegger on a particularly manly day, but the rest of me is *all* gentleman, believe me. None of that limp wristed, Julian Clary shenanigans from yours truly - I'm built like a pit prop and hung like a Stevedore if you must know, so none of those Boy George comments when my back is turned, or I'll have you in a half Nelson before you can say "Giant Haystacks is a great big nancy boy with his own personal collection of Barbie Doll memorabilia..."
So, that's the gender confusion cleared up, hopefully. Of course, there's no shame in mincing around like a great tart, reeking of white musk and wearing little more than a camisole and a pair of hold ups (although I'd recommend that you put a couple of extra layers on if you're going to be doing any grouting....that stuff gets everywhere...and takes some shifting...) Besides, there's a great tradition of cross-dressing and female impersonation in this country that stretches right back to the days of music hall. Remember such legendary figures as Rachel Heyhoe-Flint, Ann Widdicombe, Cheryl Cole and George Michael? Well, they have all made laudable attempts to pass themselves off as women at one time or another - indeed, George had me fooled right up until I ran a beautifully manicured nail up the length of his five of clock shadow. Went up like a Swan Vesta it did! But that's another story...
Anyway, I must be off - these eyelashes won't crimp themselves, will they? I'll be updating this site as much as I can over the next few weeks, so hopefully you'll come back often and enjoy your visits as much as I enjoy posting stuff up here.
Have a great week everybody!
L.U.V. on ya,