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Gary Glitter, Re-Writing Musical History & The Danger Of Censorship
Johnny Sharp , October 31st, 2013 11:36

Gary Glitter has been omitted from a recent major compilation about glam. Johnny Sharp argues that such censorship and re-writing of musical history is dangerous, no matter how heinous the artist's crime. Photo from Shutterstock.

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There's no question that the new glam rock box set, Oh Yes We Can Love is a cut above your average genre compilation. It benefits from an imaginative track listing tracing glam's roots back to Noel Coward and the Ingoma drummers of Burundi Black, and then following its influence forward through artists as diverse as Suede, The Sisters of Mercy and Boney M.

It's a brilliantly curated collection that deserves the plaudits it has already received. Earlier this week, Alexis Petridis on the Guardian's podcast recommended it as a box set that "genuinely tells a story", and he's right. It stands as a shining example of how to put a historical genre compilation together. But he also says "All the obvious candidates are here".

Not quite – there is one notable omission. One major character from the glam rock story has been edited out: Gary Glitter.

With any compilation or list, there are going to be complaints about certain acts not making the cut, but this is different. Because we all know why Glitter isn't on there. Daryl Easlea, who compiled the track listing for Universal, argued: "If we'd included Glitter, it would have overshadowed everybody's contributions and music". Rubbish. For one thing, no single act is included more than once among the 91 tracks, so he'd hardly stick out like a spangly sore thumb. And even if the tabloids decided to stick their oar in and stir things up, the label could have presented the same argument as the BBC did when they showed an episode of Top Of The Pops featuring Glitter: We can't be expected to rewrite history.

But in omitting Glitter from this compilation, that's effectively what they've done. It was an inspired choice to include the Burundi drummers in the box set, so you'd have thought it would make sense to include, for instance, 'Rock & Roll (Parts 1&2)' as a seminal example of the double drummer stomp that was a trademark characteristic of the glam sound, which was so clearly present in post-punk pop like Adam & The Ants.

Instead they have included The Glitter Band's 'Angel Face', which Easlea argues is "on a par with any of their on-stage leader's work." No disrespect to the Glitter Band, who have not had an easy time of it (as John Robb recounted here), but I think he'll be in a very small minority taking that view.

Elsewhere, The Human League's cover of 'Rock & Roll' manages to get Glitter's music in there by the back door, but the man himself remains conspicuously absent.

I find that disappointing, and something of a dangerous precedent to set. Because it suggests that we should judge music's validity according to some sort of 'fit and proper person' test on the individuals who made it. And it seems to validate the notion that we should actively avoid listening to the music of anyone whose off-stage behaviour we disapprove of.

Once you start doing that, you could quite easily deny the significance of pop music's biggest figures. How can we still venerate John Lennon if we believe Cynthia's claims that he was a wife-beater? Aren't we basically adding insult to any domestic violence victim's injuries every time we put Plastic Ono Band on?

And surely it's worse when the records actively glorify appalling behaviour. When we play Beggar's Banquet, how can we not at least press 'skip' on the CD player when 'Stray Cat Blues' comes on? Or do we think having sex with 15-year-olds is OK, and a suitable topic for a rock & roll song, and that Bill Wyman did nothing untoward with Mandy Smith? Meanwhile, should we even be allowed to listen to Snoop Dogg's 'Ain't No Fun (If The Homies Can't Have None)' if we agree that it's not just full of misogyny, but is basically endorsing gang rape?

I can understand why people sometimes find it difficult to listen to music if they can't detach it from their views of the people that made it. There's no getting away from the fact that knowing unsavoury things about someone's character can taint your enjoyment of their art. And it's often a personal thing, even if the 'crime' is insignificant by Glitter's standards – I dare say I might have been less inclined to listen to Transformer if I'd been on the receiving end of one of Lou Reed's more gratuitously awful interviews. Likewise, my ex-girlfriend could never watch Vic Reeves on telly because he once told her to fuck off at a party.

But personal aversion to someone is different from suggesting that someone's off-stage crimes make their music somehow less fit for human consumption. And furthermore, that way lies censorship, which I honestly believe is anathema to the whole nature of pop music.

As an art form, rock & roll has always been outlaw country, and if we acknowledge that then we have to accept that it's a place where people can say the unsayable, and mad, bad motherfuckers can do their worst. And yes, I even believe that includes 24-carat scumbags like Skrewdriver. You can't have one rule for musicians advocating rape, murder and drug use and another for those spouting extreme right-wing views.

They all deserve to be called out on their views, their gigs picketed and their bullshit shown up for what it is. But trying to deny that these people and their views exist is counter-productive, and gagging them only gives them a chance to claim to be victims of a different kind of fascism.

But the platform-for-fascists question is a nest of vipers that lies slightly outside the subject we're addressing. To bring the argument back to its original hook, what if we were making an exhaustive historical box set of hip-hop? Would we omit odious twerps like The Geto Boys, despite the fact they represent the logical conclusion of the gangsta rap genre and made some half-decent records? Would we keep Mayhem out of a black metal retrospective because of their gruesome lyrics and appalling behaviour of past members and associates? And when representing the history of punk in musical form, would we leave out even the early, non-fascist material of Skrewdriver because of the Nazi poison they became synonymous with? I mean, maybe you'd leave it out because it's not very good, but…

Next month, the trial of former Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins for child sex offences is due to start. He may of course be cleared of any wrongdoing, but if he's convicted, next time someone makes a compilation of Welsh indie-rock from the early 2000s, are we to find Lostprophets strangely absent? If the very presence of music made by a man who is found to have done very bad things in his private life is an affront to decency, then maybe that's the only way to go.

But what else would you try to retrospectively censor? How about removing from sale all those back issues of Kerrang! featuring his evil face? If we can't ban their records like Mein Kampf in post-war Germany, how about slapping stickers on their CDs, warning kids that a bad kiddy-fiddler's voice is on this music, so be careful in case there are hidden messages imploring you to do very wrong things too?

Once you start, where do you stop?

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Oct 31, 2013 3:53pm

When Operation Yew Tree turns its attention away from TV presenters and onto musicians of the period then Glitter will be only the first of many.

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Jimmy Page
Oct 31, 2013 5:00pm

good article , sensible points . ^ And yes it is naive not to think pretty much all pop stars of the 60s/70s were sometimes with underage girls/groupies , but that isnt the same thing as the glitter/saville type pedophiles/child molestors. dosent excuse it but it is a different thing

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Oct 31, 2013 5:07pm

In reply to Jimmy Page:

Good point well made.

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Joe A
Oct 31, 2013 5:32pm

It's interesting to compare & contrast the treatment of Gary Glitter with that of Boy George.

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Joe A
Oct 31, 2013 5:35pm

Sorry - pressed send before I could continue my comment.

Seems that Boy George can be convicted of falsely imprison someone,sexually abuse them & still be considered part of the musical fabric of this country.

A weird double standard.

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Post-Punk Monk
Oct 31, 2013 7:11pm

I thought that Gary Glitter was appalling even before his loathesome acts came to light, but that doesn't mean that I can't still enjoy his fun loving music, which I'd argue, deserves better treatment than his victims got. Now if Glitter's music was thematically comparable to, let's say "Bring On The Nubiles" by The Stranglers, then I could see leaving his recorded works behind. I've only ever listened to that track once, as much as I love The Stranglers. As stated here, the art must be regarded as separate from the artist or else the slippery slope of revisionist history means that another crime is about to be committed even as great swaths of art get locked in a moral closet of their creator's judges making.
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®

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Dan Bordello
Oct 31, 2013 7:34pm

We recorded a track (the title song from our album Ronco Revival Sound which got released this year) which a BBC DJ refused to play on the grounds that it mentioned Gary Glitter in the first line: "Take me back to more innocent times when Gary Glitter was played on the radio". Honestly, the panel objected to it on these grounds. Maybe if we'd mentioned R Kelly we'd be fine, but he doesn't scan as well or have the same nostalgia value.

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Dan Bordello
Oct 31, 2013 7:36pm

In reply to Dan Bordello:

Also R Kelly is still played on the radio, so it'd just be nonsensical.

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Oct 31, 2013 11:03pm

Good article in the main, but I think that you muddy the waters a bit by including reference to Snoop Dogg's 'Ain't No Fun (If The Homies Can't Have None)' et al. Should we not differentiate between music that is made by people who are morally and socially abhorrent in their private lives, but whose music does not represent these practices and those whose music glorifies rape, misogynist beliefs, murder, etc...?
If Plastic Ono Band had included lines that glorified punching Cynthia or pushing her down the stairs would you still listen to it? Lennon addresses his issues more directly in Getting Better, and shows remorse, which is more than can be said for many other artists.
Whether music that glorifies and perpetuates anti-social practises should be tolerated and the publication of music that is made by deviants but is otherwise benign should be separate arguments. Or are we saying that the deviant will always manage to corrupt the listener subliminally. That they can't help but put their sickness into their lyrics (and music?)?
Perhaps Glitter was promoting his twisted practise all along. Maybe "Little Queenie popped in my high school rock" is just a repressed way of saying
"I'm too swift on my toes to get caught up with you hoes
But see, it ain't no fun, if my homies can't get a taste of it."
Are the hip hoppers just being more honest in their documentation of the culture by explicitly documenting their violent lives and misogynistic views? When Liam sang “Someday you will find me caught between the landslide of a champagne supernova in the sky,” was he really singing about hate and exploitation, but was just too sly to say it openly? I would like to think not, it is a ridiculous notion. Art ought to document the artist’s experience, and it is heartening to see that a great deal of popular artist’s experiences are of a positive, enquiring, or just plain silly and reckless nature. Censorship of content of art should not be tolerated. Art/pop is what it is, and should live or die on whether it is any good/resonates with an audience. Questionable or abhorrent content should be called out for what it is, however, in the loudest possible voice. This content should serve as an indicator of social ills for those that wish to see them.
As for the question of whether the questionable actions of people who produce art that doesn't represent their sordid proclivities should colour our appreciation of said art, that is a tricky can of worms. I know people who work in rape crisis centres and deal with traumatised people ever day. They can not appreciate a Roman Polanski film, no matter what the content. His past transgressions, coupled with their daily experiences have made his work wholly unpalatable to them. I am sure that the same goes for victims of other crimes (and by victim, I include not just the immediate victim, but their friends, families and sympathisers too); the appearance of a known perpetrator appearing in the media, or on a compilation can produce feelings of intense discomfort.
If the publishers of Oh Yes We Can Love were concerned about overreaction of tabloids when deciding to exclude Gary Glitter then their thinking is wrong headed. If however they had stated that the reason for excluding Gary Glitter was that, in light of the exposure of his paedophilia, his work now leaves a sour taste in the minds of many, and that it would soil the compilation by his inclusion, they would have at least made a more compelling argument for his exclusion. That argument may be wrong headed too, to some, but at least it would come from a point of social conscious rather than being a commercial consideration – “we are worried about how listeners would feel rather than how sales would be affected by negative media coverage.”
It seems that the message is: if you do something unspeakably bad, you will be removed from the canon. The past, like the future and present is always in flux. Our memories of it can be coloured by new revelations. Things that once seemed important take on less significance over time. Old lovers who we were besotted with are now thought of with bitterness due to the messy break-ups. Just 12 months ago, Mitt Romney represented a real threat to many, now he is a footnote. When I was 10, Terrahawks was the height of an exciting afternoon in, now it plays a bit silly.
Rock N Roll parts 1 and 2 is still up on youtube, and iTunes. You can still buy a Glitter compilation from your local CD emporium (I presume?), but as the article points out, he is banished from the overviews. If Rock N Roll parts 1 and 2 comes on at a wedding, perhaps the congregation will initially erupt in ecstatic anticipation of a great tune, but within a minute, the energy of the dancers will deflate as they recall the private life of the singer, and all will shuffle of to the buffet to refill their glasses and reflect on his shameful acts while they wait for Bucks Fizz to come on to whisk them back to the reckless abandon on the dance floor.

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Nov 1, 2013 4:22am

Can you stop calling people who rape children 'kiddy fiddlers' it trivialises the crime. Unless of course that's your intention.

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Nov 1, 2013 9:06am

Going back to the glam box set for a sec, the overarching reason Glitter's absent is money, i.e. Universal think fewer people will buy it if he was included, and don't want to be seen raising money for him (via royalties). The latter reason is a harder call to make; yes he contributed to the glam rock movement and maybe the music's fine (I'm not fan of glam..) but is anyone willing now to continue fund him?
On another tack, The Young Gods covered 'Did You Miss Me' (how ironic a title now) way back on their first album and how not left it off their set lists. I've not read of them getting any flak for this (not that they're mainstream). Maybe the UK is more sensitive than elsewhere in Glitter's case? While not a direct comparison, Roman Polanski doesn't seem to ruffle European feathers.

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Nov 1, 2013 9:30am

Were members of Skrewdriver politically active in their far right leanings? If so this might open up a crucial distinction between them and artists who express unpalatable views in their music without necessarily acting on them IRL as it were.

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Metal Mickey
Nov 1, 2013 11:09am

In reply to Caonai:

@ Caonai
No, Gary Glitter is not a taboo figure elsewhere the way he is in the UK. In the US, "Rock & Roll Part 2" is played incessantly at American football games, with the crowds happily joining in all the "Hey!"s, and "Do You Wanna Touch Me" (oh, the irony) was even sung by Gwyneth Paltrow in an episode of "Glee" a few years back.

As an aside, there are many reports on the net (though none confirmed) that Glitter sold his publishing rights for £2 million some years ago to pay for his legal fees, in which case he wouldn't receive royalties anyway...

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Nov 1, 2013 12:36pm

eh? how is someone curating a compilation in any way censorious? this isn't the official, singular, government mandated history of glam. It's just a bunch of songs someone assembled, they can omit whomever they like. There's plenty of other ways to listen to the work of Gary Glitter.

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zahid fayyaz
Nov 1, 2013 2:05pm

How about talking about some of his crimes? Glitter has been convicted and shown no sign of remorse. So fuck him.

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Clark Gwent
Nov 1, 2013 2:29pm

I know sir! Lenny the Bruce had this covered,more or less.

Bruce said,of obscenity cases, "Lawyers are really debating whether it's good or bad art. The jury is put in the position of punishing untalented artists."

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Nov 1, 2013 4:43pm

In reply to zahid fayyaz:

i'm not saying glitter is right, but when we heard bill wiman apologise? even counting the fact that he is FATHER TO A GIRL - now a woman, i know... - too?

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galm rock fan
Nov 1, 2013 4:44pm

In reply to zahid fayyaz:

Think most of this about Glitter is made up by the Media anyway.Sure he slept with some underage kids but most of the 70S stars did.Not sure where people get the rape storys from

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Nov 1, 2013 5:01pm

In reply to :

yes, they were. their singer was the figurehead of rock against communism (RAC)and one of the most proeminent figures on the marketing of the right wing revival in the 80s. what reinforce what is said in the above article: be in the known about who skrewdriver were and what they did is the best way to make sure people can make their minds about their twisted ideas without the target 'forbiden' to add rebel glamour to their ilk.

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Nov 1, 2013 5:33pm

As good as the article is, I think you're being overly contrarian here.

That Gary Glitter wasn't included on a glam rock compilation does not, in any way shape or form, represent the start of a slippery slope.

Think about the listening experience. Gary Glitter's name has been so tarnished that, to me, he represents the sole example of UNpopular music. I can't hear him without feeling deeply uncomfortable, and I'm sure many people feel the same.

Were he included on this compilation, it would have been like inserting images of murder in the midst of one of those nostalgic Channel 4 list shows. Why jeapordise the listener's enjoyment for the sake of historical representation?

And it's unfair to make that TOTP comparison, as the compilers of this compilation could cherry pick tracks, whereas TOTP have time slots to fill, and can only use footage from decades ago.

So you have to ask yourself - when it comes to a compilation, what's more important? Historical accuracy or the listener's enjoyment?

I think that's an argument more suited for those who write for The Quietus rather than those who read The Quietus.

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Nov 1, 2013 5:34pm

Also, it's not pedantic to point out that only governments can indulge in "censorship".

Omitting Gary Glitter from a compilation album is not, and never will be, censorship.

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John Doran
Nov 1, 2013 10:21pm

In reply to Elliot:

Actually it applies to any media outlet or governing body so it is actual censorship, even if clearly right at the least serious end of the scale.

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Barry Bingo
Nov 2, 2013 12:27am

Should The Sex Pistols be banned from all punk compilation albums because their bass player murdered someone (allegedly).
As someone pointed out already the shit is really going to hit the fan when pop stars of the 60s and 70s start getting dragged in for a chat by Plod. No doubt there will be many having sleepless nights wondering if any of those groupies were under age and are now ready to reveal the fact. I bet they are praying that those loyal fans of teenybop times still are!

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Tim Kendall
Nov 2, 2013 11:15am

Pretty normal though sadly. You don't hear a lot about Ike Turners contribution to the history and development of modern music which I believe was considerable, ask B.B. King.

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Peter Wullen
Nov 2, 2013 1:16pm

Should we not listen anymore to Bertrand Cantat's (of French band Noir Desir) brilliant new music because he murdered his girlfriend Marie Trintignant some years ago? I think not!

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Nov 2, 2013 8:20pm

you said no artist appears more than once.
Ace Frehley appears both as a solo artist and as a member of Kiss.
The album on which New York Groove features is one of the four solo Kiss LPs and often is mentioned in Kiss' discography.
The song itself also features on many kiss best of's, as does Rock n Roll All Nite, the Kiss song featured.

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Nov 4, 2013 10:30am

My instinctive reaction was to shout this down (I guess this is your point) but I suppose theoretically you are right & I'm a complete hypocrite (I still listen to Burzum every now and then.)

I assume the motivation to keep Glitter off this compilation is a financially based one, rather than one based on censorship/taste.

Mayhem's not a brilliant example either. More sinned against than sinners (Dead's suicide, Euronymous murdered) Varg was only really in the band for around 10 minutes.

Good piece though. Thanks

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Nov 4, 2013 1:21pm

it's been happening for a very long time

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The Dolt
Nov 4, 2013 3:08pm

In reply to GRIM:

Two tracks by Kiss/Ace Frehley are two too many. It's amazing how weedy AF's version of 'New York Groove' is. Hello's thumpingly dumb version of 'Tell Him' sent me back to their great, original(ish) NYG. Wonder if they'd even been to the Big Banana when they recorded it. Written by Rod Argent, I believe.

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Nov 9, 2013 5:37am

He was a pedophile, I think it's enough reason to write him out of music history. I used to work in a record shop, any time we were supplied a cd of his we would scratch the disc and return it to the suppliers.

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matt milton
Nov 13, 2013 4:22pm

"Rewriting history" sounds like a very bad thing, sure. It sounds very different to "not including a song on a compilation album", doesn't it, which is a more direct description of what actually happened. Songs/artists routinely don't get included on compilation albums due to licensing reasons.
How would you have felt had, say, the compiler written this in the sleevenotes: "We would have included the classic song 'I'm the Leader of the Gang' by Gary Glitter, only unfortunately he turned out to be a dirty old paedo, so we won't".

It doesn't matter who you are - Eric Gill, Bob Brotzmann, Gary Glitter - some things are beyond the pale. If some good art gets lost cos it turned out to be made by an evil cunt, well, so be it. There's plenty more good art out there.

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Nov 18, 2013 8:59pm

In reply to matt milton:

I don't think that the decision to leave Glitter out of a compilation CD is the same thing as censoring his music; anyone who want's to listen to GG can still buy his music if they have to , with the additional bonus that it will be a character building exercise for them to go into the record store and ask for it. Good luck with that, given that many will believe that this could possibly help to finance his next trip abroad to commit yet more crimes on the children of the poverty stricken.

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Nov 20, 2013 9:02pm

Having dated a musician/writer who was convicted of domestic violence, and having suffered his emotional/verbal abuse, I feel it would be a victory for the universe if his music never reaches the attention it deserves. He's a genius, and also one of the most despicable human beings I've ever come across. It would make me ill if he became a celebrity. One of those things that you have to have lived through to truly understand.

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Nov 21, 2013 11:22pm

People become hysterical when it comes to paedophiles. Let's get things straight, in the eyes of the law and in the cold light of reality it is not as bad a crime as murder - which effectively ends the victims life. This doesn't excuse what he did, but it does expose some of the hyperbolic bs that some people spout when it comes to this topic.
Instead, I wager that Gary Glitter would be perceived differently if, in fact he had been convicted of murder rather than being exposed as a paedophile and I expect, be some kind of pariah (look at the hypocritical rock'n'roll mystique built around Charlie Manson).
If that's too much for you to comprehend, perhaps, for the sake of humankind, you should grow the f**k up.

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Nov 24, 2013 7:39pm

Regarding Glitter, I have to wholeheartedly agree with your position: there is no denying his importance as far as Glam is concerned and to leave him off of what sets out to be a complete picture of the genre is just ridiculous. As for the box set itself, I have to say I think you praise it too greatly; there is far too much 'before' and 'after' and not enough music from when Glam ruled the pop charts. As a big Glam fan, I'll be giving this one a miss.

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Nov 25, 2013 11:13pm

Great article. I've struggled with this because I really love the bass on the first 20 seconds of 'touch me', but then the lyrics, combined with retrospective knowledge, make me want to cry.

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matt milton
Nov 27, 2013 8:01pm

In reply to John:

Yeah, there's hypocrisy in that people are generally far more tolerant of murderers in music than sex criminals and rapists. (For the profoundly childish reason that murder can be assimilated into the outlaw/outsider/rebel mythology that fuels rock'n'roll, whereas paedophilia can't.) As far as I'm aware, none of the music I like was made by murderers or child abusers. I personally have never liked the music of Charles Manson or Burzum, so perhaps I'm lucky in never having been confronted with this kind of dilemna.

I think the most glaring example of hypocrisy in rock music concerns the past history of Jimmy Page. Page had a relationship with a 14-year-old american girl; I think he was in his mid-20s at the time. So Jimmy Page was (or is) a paedo. Nobody seems to mention this, though it's in most of the bios and I don't think it's disputed.

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Bin Skinor
Nov 28, 2013 9:37am

In reply to Caonai:

The guy has sex with children. Not just groupies who might deceive about their true age (which is still totally inexcusable), but CHILDREN. And he travels to foreign coutries where children are more vulnerable and parents need money enough to let him violate their children. Who would WANT to listen to anything he has ever been involved in?? You dont get many exhibitions of Hitlers paintings do you? Reason why, anything to do with him is offensive. Same with Glitter, same with that lostprophets fool... no record company with any sense or morals would put one of their songs out again.

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Nov 29, 2013 2:19pm

In reply to Caonai:

There's an interesting footnote that's not been made here. Perhaps because the writing was on the wall, months before his first conviction, Glitter was so skint that he sold his royalties to his back catalogue, so no ammount of income from air-play or money from being included on compilations will ever reach him anyway.

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Dec 1, 2013 1:16pm

In 95% of the cases, the more I learn of an artist whose music I like, the less I like the artist as a human being. The world of music (to be fair, my main focus here is on rock stars) is full of arseholes. Never in my life will I give my money to Metallica, but gosh some of their downloaded stuff sounds damn good.

On a related note, as someone from the New World who's moved to Germany, am astounded to see fascism here in everyday life, ironically expressed now a full 180degrees. Now people are scared to voice their patriotism, and I've been ejected from cafes for not being pro-semitic enough (ie. voicing compassion for Palestinians). All forms of censorship, all demonstrations of inflexible intolerance and knee-jerk judgments. These things provide the breeding grounds fascist rule (as extreme as that sounds; but hey, it all starts somewhere). I'm amazed people don't see it.

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Alan Wass
Dec 5, 2013 4:59pm

Definitely not. Whatever he has done and albeit he has done wrong, his artistic repertoire of Iconic and ground breaking music should not be dismissed on that basis. i don't see how its in any way relevant. That just my personal opinion and i'm not and never have been a massive Gary Glitter fan. I think its more a political thing the way one approaches this scenario perhaps? thanks, Alan Wass

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Dec 13, 2013 5:34pm

it's funny to eliminate that, since every other high school football marching band in the US plays it as a cheer at friday night games.

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E. Steele The Magnificent
Dec 14, 2013 2:55pm

What's the difference between omitting a musician from a compilation and "picketing their gigs", which you sanction / advocate?

This article is some middle-brow shite written by a liberal weakling without the courage of his / her convictions.

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Sabrina Stocks
May 31, 2014 11:14pm

I absolutely adore gary glitter and all his music especially remember me this way I think to omit him from history is not only a great shame, it is a crime!!! I for one will proudly play Gary's beautiful music for as long as I live and even if he did those things ( which I doubt) it should be seen as a medical problem that requires loving help and support not hatred and abuse. Music is not music without you dear gary!!!

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Sabrina Stocks
Jun 29, 2014 7:37pm

I am absolutely disgusted that Gary Glitter has been omitted it is a total travesty of justice to talk about music and not to mention this greatest of all entertainers beggars belief. I want him to be restored to his rightful place in musical history and I want to see him played on the TV and radio same as everyone else.

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Sabrina Stocks
Jun 29, 2014 7:38pm

I am absolutely disgusted that Gary Glitter has been omitted it is a total travesty of justice to talk about music and not to mention this greatest of all entertainers beggars belief. I want him to be restored to his rightful place in musical history and I want to see him played on the TV and radio same as everyone else.

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Jul 2, 2014 1:16am

well put that man.

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The Beatnik Fuzzbomb
Jul 15, 2014 10:50pm

We don't seem to have a problem constantly running & re-running stuff about Hitler (on various channels) whose crimes were obviously of significantly greater stature than Glitter's yet we don't write him out of history.

'Yesterday', 'Quest' & the 'History Channel' et al have no compunction about endlessly repeating stuff like 'The Nazis - A Television Goldmine (sorry - 'Warning') from History...'

Inconsistency/Hypocrisy & double standards to say the least...

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The Beatnik Fuzzbomb
Jul 15, 2014 11:11pm

In reply to Post-Punk Monk:

Exactly! I was unfortunate enough to witness (before, like many others, walking out in disgust) an appalling solo gig by 'Mr. Showbiz Personality' himself Hugh Cornwell a few years ago which completely put me off listening to the old Stranglers stuff for ages.

Eventually it dawned on me that irrespective of whether he is/was a cunt - they're still great albums & in order to continue enjoying them, I did indeed have to 'separate the art from the artist'.

I love Van Gogh's paintings but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have enjoyed being stuck in a room with him for too long!

Oh & BTW - Hugh's apparently still at it(the miserable, bad tempered git) pissing off all & sundry in Belfast earlier this year hahaha! The review's here & pretty much suggests this maybe a common occurrence! :

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The Beatnik Fuzzbomb
Jul 15, 2014 11:17pm

In reply to The Beatnik Fuzzbomb:

Oh & just a quick post script - J. J. Burnel intimates in band biog 'No Mercy' that some of Mr. C's past exploits/liasons may well 'get him into trouble one day...'

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Sep 1, 2014 10:20pm

Whilst I am no fan of censorship, you and a number of commenters seem to have entirely missed the point. There is no parallel in examples of criminals who are dead or whose exposure does not benefit them in any way but in this case, Glitter becomes an even wealthier man every time his work is included in a compilation, broadcast as part of a film track, used during an American ballgame (it's taken them ages to work out what a creep he is!) - so great high moral principles Johnny but do you really want to help the guy fund his flights to the far east to abuse young children? After all, the guy isn't even just a "dodgy film downloader" as his good mate Jimmy Savile tried to make out!! ( - he is a recently active (heaven forbid still active) and unrepentant child abuser who has damaged the lives of young children:

"In 1997, Glitter brought his computer into a repair shop. The technicians found the hard drive jam-packed with 4000 images of children, many between ages TWO and SIX, being molested. Glitter pleaded guilty to 54 counts of making indecent photographs of children under sixteen available on the Internet. He spent four months in a British prison and was placed on a lifetime sex offender's list.

When he finished his sentence, Glitter fled to Southeast Asia. Deported from Cambodia for suspected sex tourism, he went to Vietnam, where he was convicted of molesting a pair of girls, age 11 and 12, at his beach home. The molestation reportedly included kissing and fondling both girls, ejaculating on one's stomach and having the other urinate in his mouth. Glitter was imprisoned for three years, but managed to duck child rape charges, which in Vietnam can mean death by firing squad."

If you want to preserve Glitter's place in history, why not include a slip in your cherished "historical document" along the lines of "A major part of Glam Rock history was a man called Gary Glitter - his work is not included because he turned out to be a child abuser and inclusion of his work would indirectly help him to buy a few child brides next time he flies out to Guam!" This way, you also avoid becoming an apologist for one of the most odious men currently using up oxygen, which would be a bonus right?


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Sep 1, 2014 10:50pm

In reply to Mark:

Oh and Mark - sorry - but pretty sure this is bullsh*t! He may have sold some rights back in the late 90s but he is still earning money from his music - perhaps he didn't sell authorship rights even if he sold the performance rights i.e. he still gets money as a songwriter - do you know the details? Are you his lawyer? - Maybe you should do your research - Glitter earned $1m recently just from the Oasis track that sampled some of his words AND successfully sued them for $100,000s for breach of copyright.


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Feb 19, 2016 12:20pm

I totally agree. Whatever he did,and I don't pretend to know the full facts,pretending something or someone you didn't like never existed is a rather childlike way of dealing with problems.

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Sep 30, 2016 8:11am

I'm surprised more people have spotted on to an important aspect of all of this: listening to Glitter's music is supporting and somewhat glorifying the man by rationalizing this separation. You've just got to go without. I personally always dug songs like "I Didn't Know I Loved You Til' I Saw You Rock & Roll" and "You Belong To Me"- but guess what? The guy literally RAPED SMALL CHILDREN. I'll have to GO WITHOUT. People who say "well it doesn't mean you've got to erase the music" are just rationalizing. We shouldn't have to ignore the music- Glitter forced our hand. You'll just have to listen to the f**king Sweet, I guess.

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