Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sweet Saturday: Little Willy

It scares the crap out of me when I realize it, but this was my favorite song when I was my daughter's age.

Outside of Los Angeles, the first wave of Glam never made it big in the US and we're all the poorer for it. Aside from early Motley Crue, the 80's Glam bands from LA were a pale imitation of bands like the Sweet and Slade. But even still, the fact that Glam had such a revival there was very much the legacy of Rodney Bigenheimer's English Disco.

Glam was very much the precursor to Punk- early Punk bands like the Sex Pistols and the Ramones were simply playing a sped-up version of Glam. And the Glam audience formed the core of the early Punk scene. Sweet's hits like "Fox on the Run" and "Action" livened up the increasingly limpid Top 40 radio in the mid-70's. And Sweet certainly whet my appetite for Cheap Trick, who in many ways were the standard-bearers of Glam and the post-British Invasion, pre-Glam hard rock bands like The Move and The Action.

There's actually a strong tie-in to comic books with the creation of Glam. The first true Glam band was David Bowie's pre-stardom band, The Hype. The concept behind the band was that they were superheroes and were meant to take their identities as such. They never were able to follow through on the concept, but certainly the Spiders from Mars and many of the other Glam bands took their cues from 60s Marvel heroes for their outlandish outfits (see KISS for further corroboration).

So there you have it- Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and the rest didn't just revolutionize comics they changed the face of Rock and Roll as well.


  1. Catchy tune, but ouch -- hurt, pain and agony! I am a white guy, and it pains even me to watch white people dance. Quick, let me find some Soul Train to clear my vision.


  2. My hubby dug Sweet and I liked Fox on the Run & Ballroom Blitz but I really got into the punk scene in the early 80's.

    Going to venues like Mabuhay Gardens or On Broadway in San Fran and paying 5 bucks to see 7 punk bands (like D.O.A, Dead Kennedys, Pariah, etc...) was a blast.

    I was watching a couple of Adam & The Ant vids last night and thought of pirate glam...It's a hoot to revisit these old gems!

    Speaking of early 80's, I do regret not seeing Big Country when they played in SF though. There is something about the Celtic bands that gets to me. I listen to them on occasion and they still affect me as much as the first time I heard them (Porrohman especially).

  3. Are you sure you're not my long lost Siamese twin, Daria?

  4. Ummm...Maybe? That thought did occur to me as well after the first time I heard of you on Red Ice. I was literally stunned at how similar we are.

    Alas, I wish I had met you sooner...Life is funny that way. But I'm glad to have met you in any case. It's been a blast so far!