The Glitter Band History -Page 3
The band had already been filmed for Gary’s “Remember Me This Way” documentary. This time however, a film had been devised to include a few of the bands of the time such as The Glitter Band, Mud and The Rubettes, and was titled 'Never Too Young To Rock'. When put on general release in early 1975, the film was a box office success, despite the fact that it was lacking in a most important element - an identifiable plot!
The musical content was obviously what sold the film. Though how the film ever saw the light of day, considering the confusion and disorganisation that ensued, the band will never know and are still amazed to this day that it actually reached the cinemas of the country! Their experience was that of complete and utter confusion. They had been given a rough outline of the film and turned up to do their filming with barely an insight into what they had to do on the day. Their filming started almost immediately in the small hours of the morning, with almost no direction from the Director. It seemed as though it had all been made up as it went along, (ie., “if it looked alright, it made it onto the screen"). The band are particularly amazed that the finale with all the bands on stage together was filmed in a way that didn’t capture the awful mistakes, mishaps and general chaos that was taking place! Still, the film was popular and the musical performances were well worth watching.
After this brief encounter with the film industry and having just completed Gary’s ‘Oh Yes You’re Beautiful’ tour, November 1974 saw the departure of John Rossall from the band, allowing him to pursue a solo career.
The new 5 -piece Glitter Band were getting more and more exposure in the public eye. They featured on many UK TV shows of the time such as 'Top Of The Pops', 'Geordie Scene', Supersonic', 'Crackerjack', 'Lift Off With Ayshea', 'The Sooty Show' and others. They were also regularly appearing on TV in Europe and other territories and were also playing to larger and larger crowds at more high profile music venues.
Their first single of 1975, released in January and as a 5-piece, was a song penned by Gerry, inspired by a personal experience of his, with a change of lead vocals to John Springate, entitled ‘Goodbye My Love'. This song was of a markedly different style from the previous singles, and was their most successful single, reaching no 2. At almost exactly the same time, John Rossall, released his first solo single, ‘I was Only Dreaming’. However, it didn't make the charts unfortunately.
Next for the band was the single 'The Tears I Cried' which was released in April 1975 and reached no 17. Again a Gerry Shephard composition, with John Springate on lead vocals, this song confirmed that the 'Glitter' style was quickly vanishing. The whole band were capable of writing some very good songs, it was a shame, however, that this single only reached number 8, as it had all the great styling that 'Goodbye My Love' had without it's being a carbon copy! The band’s full talents were now increasingly becoming apparent in many ways.
The band’s second album 'Rock 'n' Roll Dudes' was released in April 1975. The album was a cross between their old Glitter leanings and the new pure pop/ballad type material that they were now writing.
The band's next single brought another surprise for everyone. We'd been treated to some great vocal harmonies by the band up until that point, but 'Love In The Sun' released in August 1975 and written by Gerry Shephard and John Springate, certainly gave the Beach Boys a very strong run for their money! Love In The Sun reached no 15 in the charts.
A little prior to this release, Gerry’s first star guitar suffered a few accidents too many at the Newcastle City Hall and was subsequently consigned to a skip! After some further unusable models were tried out, guitar maker extraordinaire, John Birch, built a new, better quality star guitar with a silver finish. Although still described as ‘highly unplayable’ by Gerry, this guitar was to remain as the treasured icon of the band and served Gerry fairly faithfully for the years to come (bar some unfortunate accidents which led to it being rebuilt once or twice).
The band’s 3rd album, 'Listen To The Band' was brought out in October 1975, which in itself was a testament to how prolific they were as song writers as Rock ‘n’ Roll Dudes had only been released in April. Listen To The Band was an agreed masterpiece! The album featured a truly eclectic mix of musical styles and also featured the bonus of lead vocals from Pete and Harvey on their own compositions; ‘My First Mistake’ and ‘Watch The Show’ respectively.
The uncomplicated and moody style of 'Alone Again', written by John and Gerry, was lifted from the album in November as the next single, aimed at the Christmas release market as the recording had a subtle Christmassy feel. Sadly, it failed to chart, though it remains a favourite track of many fans.