Let’s Get Glamorous!
Making a living as a singer isn’t all glitz and glamour. When I say making a living, sometimes I scraped by when it was quiet, and sometimes I felt quite flush thank you very much! I was in cover bands, rock bands, acoustic acts and did session singing too.
Gigs come and go, money come’s and goe’s and we, meaning the band this post is about, travelled all over the country coming and going.
We often had back to back gigs, doing one then chugging off to the next. If I had a sore throat from too much singing I’d be gargling with a really disgusting tasting syrup that was recommended for singers by a friend. It was meant to sooth my throat so I could sing like an angel (ahem), even though it felt like I’d swallowed some whole chilli’s after I’d had it! The awful stuff did work eventually though.
If I was tired I’d drink copious amounts of coffee to stay awake, yes I know not such a bad thing, but if you’re driving down a motorway and need to pee, that is a bad thing. Then there’s the mini bus. Have you ever tried sleeping in a mini bus with five guys snoring the place down? Sorry it’s not exciting! At least there was another girl to keep me sane though.
It doesn’t sound like much fun does it, this gigging lark. But let me tell you it was the best band I was ever in, we were all good friends, even my husband and sister were members.
So without further ado let me introduce you to……..drum roll please….Glad To Be Glam! As the name suggests we were a Glam Rock band. Now some of you may remember and some of you may be too young to remember Glam Rock, but if I mention some bands and their songs you might know what I mean.
- David Bowie, (sadly missed) – ‘Ziggy Stardust.’ Did you know Ziggy Stardust was a character David Bowie created, he even had a separate band called the Spiders From Mars.
- Slade – ‘Mamma We’re All Crazy Now.’ I bet you thought I was going to say ‘Merry Christmas Everybody!’
- Sweet – ‘Ballroom Blitz.’ A really fun song to play!
- Suzi Quatro – ‘Devil Gate Drive.’ I used to sing this.
- T.Rex – ’20th Century Boy.’ Cute singer.
- Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel – ‘Make Me Smile.’
- Wizzard – ‘I wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day.’ everybody knows this one surely?
- Abba – ‘Waterloo.’ I sang this too!
- Mott The Hoople – ‘All The Young Dudes.’
I could go on but we’d be here all day!
The Glam Rock era was all about looking as outrageous as possible, spangley costumes, make up, yes including the boys and crazy hair styles. We did it all and got it right, even had our own costumes made especially. We were good too, if I do say so myself. Talented musician’s and singers, some of us professional some not, but it didn’t matter. We had passion and drive that was enough.
We had some wonderful gigs.
Weddings – were lovely as everybody was happy even through the tears, of joy of course. Also everyone was quite tiddly by the end of the night which was fun to watch. Yes its true the father of the bride does embarrass his daughter by dancing terribly. Once we’d finished playing we got free food, free drink and paid well.
Army gigs – I remember one in particular we had a posh dressing room, our own table, mmm I don’t think people were embarrassed to sit by us! The audience were brilliant, really appreciative, and when everybody staggered home we were given champagne left over from the party. The good stuff too.
Festivals- Sometimes pretty crazy but we usually camped out so we could join in the fun, and the kind of music we played just worked in that environment.
Party’s – some pretty wild ones, dancing on the tables, no not us silly the audience.
Local pub gigs- well we were playing to our no 1 fans, friends and family, what could go wrong? No really!
We also had some bloody awful gigs, far and few between fortunately.
These were in the form of Working Men’s Clubs – noooo why did we do it? Choice words from the audience were, “get off ya poofters” to the boys, “get yer kit off,” to us girls. Not surprisingly those gigs didn’t last long and neither did our agent, what the hell was he thinking?
Once we were running the show ourselves we avoided places like that and carried on with the good gigs instead. We were in the paper and on the news, gigged at some lovely venues, it was wonderful. We worked together for twelve years. But eventually, and sadly we went our separate ways, new commitments, family or moving in different directions. The experience I had with Glad To Be Glam, is something I’ll always treasure however. True friendship and true teamwork, we had some great fun. It was brilliant while it lasted and we all remain good friends. There’s even talk of a one off reunion for my mother in law’s 70th Birthday. Now that would be somthing!
Little question for you all. The featured image is of ‘Glad To Be Glam’, can you pick me out on there? Please comment below, I’d love to know.