The Glitter Band History -Page 5
With the limited success of the repackaged re-release, Gerry, John and Pete decided to continue working together as a threesome and recorded a number of new tracks for a further album, which showed an approximate leaning to the style of the band 'The Eagles' and it was decided to test the climate, by releasing one of the tracks under a new alias 'Air Traffic Control’ (was it the songs or the band’s name not working?). The single released in September 1977 'Got To Get A Message Back To You' on the Epic label was a catchy and polished tune but again the single unfortunately got absolutely no exposure whatsoever. It was a shame as the single was very strong and the B-side ‘Move On Up’ was a track that could have easily been recorded by the up and coming band 'The Police.'
The Air Traffic Control album (tentatively titled ‘Starchaser’ after one of the tracks that they had recorded), never surfaced unfortunately and the remaining band members took some time out to diversify. Gerry and John met up together once in a while to go and see the Sex Pistols at the Notre Dame Hall and other Punk bands of the time, which made them realise that they stood no chance in the charts as they didn’t want to embarrass themselves by trying to pass themselves off reborn as Punks and they didn’t want to do the out and out disco stuff.
John opened his recording studio in London's West End and Gerry and Pete started up a three piece with bass player, Nigel Hardy (Nigel later played with Gerry and Pete in The Glitter Band and can be found today playing in Paul Jones's Blues Band). However, although they were no longer ‘in the public eye’, no one would have guessed that this was not the last that we would hear of the Glitter Band!
Much to everybody's amazement/unsurprisingly (take your pick), Mr Glitter made his comeback earlier in 1977 without the Glitter Band backing him. He had some sprinkled commercial success, taking a while to experiment with the disco and cabaret scene, but after a year or so he found all manner and number of audiences. The Punks and Skinheads loved him, he was to them "The Leader'!
Whilst he was re-building his career, Gary was joined for a short while by Tony Leonard on drums and also by Harvey Ellison, who had now moved to playing bass. They were not part of a band called the Glitter Band but the loyal fans truly appreciated them being involved in the shows. Harvey and Tony had also been spending their time doing some studio engineering after the break from touring.
John Springate called his studio, `Rockstar Studios' and started producing and releasing his own singles, the first of which was ‘Merry Go Round’. He also began to consider a possible future as a solo singer.
Gerry Shephard teamed up with writing and recording partner, Peter Oxendale, in 1979 and together they produced an album of joint compositions titled 'Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is'. Pete Phipps was also enlisted to play drums on this album. During this period, Pete had been doing plenty of other studio work, and working with a number of bands, notably Random Hold.
A year or so later, Gerry also recorded vocals for a single in 1980 for the dance group 'Shock", produced by Richard Burgess of the electro band, Landscape, with assistance from Visage and Rich Kids drummer Rusty Egan. The song was none other than a new electro version of the Glitter Band's very first single - 'Angel Face'!
Gerry had also been keeping his eye on what was going on with Gary and in early 1981 he happened to be writing and recording with John Rossall. Amongst other songs, Gerry and J.R. penned a tune called 'Until The Next Time', a brilliant Glitter Band type song which Tony Leonard played drums on and Mike Leander produced. It was too tempting not to release it. However, they only managed to get it onto a small independent label, Polo. Regrettably, the song was only played a couple of times on the radio and failed to enter the charts. Gerry and J.R. inevitably left it at that but put at the back of the cupboard some interesting demos from their sessions.
Also in 1981, punk band, the Stiffs released a powerful version of ‘Goodbye My Love,’ and Gerry and John couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to visit the studio during the recording.
In July 1981 Gary was about to set off on the innovative and inspired 'Rock Circus' tour, when his guitarist at the time fell ill, so someone was needed in an emergency who knew all the songs without having to learn them. Naturally Gerry got the distress call! Bit by bit other Glitter Band members were persuaded to rejoin Gary. Tony Leonard came back in to give Gary two drummers again, and finally John Springate was enticed away from his studio work to replace the bass player who had broken his arm in a cycling accident the day before they were due to go out on the road! Along with three remaining members of Gary's band up until that point; Brian Jones on saxophone, Terry Popple on drums, and Eddy Spence on keyboards, the Glitter Band name was being used again, and this line up was a knockout. The blend of the old and new members certainly gave Gary first class support!