Bouncing back from the current mess will challenge even the Leader, but the ersatz rock 'n' roll that Glitter epitomises is, of course, built on much-hyped comebacks.
Through the late Fifties and Sixties, Paul Gadd assumed a number of rock personae in failed bids for stardom before he found his niche in early- Seventies glam rock. Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie gave the country a sneak preview of glam's cavalier theatricality - an outrageous combination of make-up and loon pants that Bryan Ferry and Marc Bolan refined. In answer to T-Rex and Roxy Music's sophisticated air of androgyny, Glitter and fellow Sixties leftovers Slade gave glam a bovver-boy workover. Any Seventies lads worried about their nail varnish and mascara obviously felt Glitter's chest-beating rock-outs redressed the balance. Numerous Top 10 hits followed for Glitter - including his Number One signature tune, "I am the Leader of the Gang, I am" - before punk pared back glam's excesses for good.
The pursuit of a lifestyle to match his OTT appearance nearly proved the end of Glitter. By the Eighties, the Leader was faced with the receiver and a near-fatal overdose added to the misery of bankruptcy. Within a decade, however, Glitter was back. His overblown outfits, absurd rockabilly quiff and panto stage presence had always made the ironic comeback seem likely.
Ticket sales for Glitter's enjoyable arena-sized stompalongs have been relatively unaffected by the past month's allegations, but Glitter could be falling a lot further than last year's topple from his platforms should the mud stick.
Cardiff International Arena (01222 224488), then touring. National Credit Card Hotline: 0990 661022
Mike HigginsReuse content