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Jeremy Novick & Mick Middles – Wham Bam Thank You Glam

Posted by demonik on June 28, 2008

Not a recent publication by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve taken a shine to Aurum, this book is so Vault and there can never be enough glampunk in the world – let’s give ’em a plug!

Jeremy Novick & Mick Middles – Wham Bam Thank You Glam: A Celebration of The ’70’s (Aurum, 1998).

[image]

blurb

Come On, Come On, Come
On, Come On, Come On,
Come On, Come On…
I SAID!

From A-line flares to Zebedee. from David Cassidy to the Austin Princess Vanden Plas. Wham Bam Thank You Glam is the first, the last, the everything you’ll ever need to remember those halcyon days of the 70s when men wore cheesecloth and women teetered on six-inch platforms.
This is more than just a celebration of Glam music (although there’s lots of that in here). this is a celebration of the whole glorious shebang – the clothes! the telly! the cars! the football! the sweeties: All recalled in fantastic dayglo shades of poptastic colour by some the real heroes of Glam.

All that Glitters is not gold – it could be Bacofoil – but it is exciting. The years between 1969 and 1976 (Punk year zero) were a riot of colour, humour, funny clothes, flash cars, weird sweeties and bizarre telly. People really did wear sea-green forty-inch flares and silver six-inch platforms while swigging a lime Crests and sitting in a bright yellow Ford Capri Mk I – and they weren’t all members of Mud or Paper Lace. The Glam years were strangely naive, yet widely debauched, the music was a brash over-played version of rock’n’roll with big drums and daft lyrics, the fashion tried to make bricklayers built like out­houses look like Quentin Crisp. Yes, it was a lot of fun, as our guides to the Glam years will testify within these pages.

– in the immortal words of that cool white bear:
‘It’s frothy, man!’

“Glam Music can be broken up into three distinct groups. The Chinnichap merchants, the Teenyboppers and the Geezers who just happened to be there …” – oversimplifying matters, perhaps – what about Bowie, Roxy, Marc, Mael bro’s, Iggy, Lou, Dolls and all the other space invaders from planet art? – but not a million miles wide of the truth.

This book is like the Bible or something. For example, there’s a top interview with the much-missed Brian Connolly of the Sweet in which he answers all the big ones. Which bands did the glam rockers’ really look up to? How did Sweet get on with their rivals? Who were the biggest copycats? What did Bri think of the Damned covering Teenage Rampage and punk in general? Ex-Man City bruiser Mike Summerbee is a revelation with his look at Football, Beer And Lots Of Girls: George Best And The Roots Of Glam. Dee Dee Wilde recalls her years in the lingerie catalogue come to life that was Pans People – “For a young girl it was the best job in the world”. The Glam Telly featured includes Jason King, The Sweeney, On The Buses (!!!!!!!?) and Man About The House while a ‘What’s on at the movies’ feature wisely concentrates on good old fashioned Brit smut like Come Play With Me, the Confessions … and the racier Carry On‘s. In the A-Z of Glam who should we find under ‘R’ but Richard Allen (the cover of whose Glam is also given some prominence in the literary dept though, understandably, not as much as Pop Swap).

[image]

It’s not perfect. For example, I’ve not found any mention of Dana Gillespie as yet, and she was just about the glammest person going in 1974 as the gratuitous use of above pic ably demonstrates, although on the plus side, Kenny’s risible Do The Bump doesn’t trouble the all-time Glam Top 20 chart so you’re laughing really.

For more glampunk, see the Vault of Evil forum’s ghastly rock & roll section.

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