So it's official. Glitter's appeal has been quashed, the crazy nonce is was frog marched out of a Vietnamese court room shouting "It's bullshit! I'm not a paedophile!" Well, surely no smoke without fire. We here at Socialism have been intrigued by the Glitter case for sometime now. We wrote the piece below when he first got banged up, when we still wondered if he might face the firing squad. Sadly, our holiday plans were scuppered and he got a few years in, hopefully, Vietnam's most rat infested prison eating nowt but steamed rice. Anyways, in case you needed reminding of the whole thing, here's our take on where it all went very very wrong.
What now for Glitter?
On a restless November Monday night, after a day spent in the pub speculating on the grim realities of the modern world, Socialism begun feverishly hallucinating about the possible last days of a British pop icon. We tripped out (delirious from the Magners coursing round our veins) and begun to picture the scene. Imagining a stadium in the baking heat of Ho Chi Minh City rapidly filling with tourists, munching on popcorn, beer stocked foam domes pulled tight over heads to block out the worst of the sun’s rays as tonight’s show commences. First up, a few random floggings as petty thieves are punished. This is nothing. Next up, a couple of migrant Bangkok sex pests are maimed horribly, their hands brutally removed with machetes, a lesson to all, their screams echoing round the concrete walls, drowned out by the jeers of the angry mob. But this is still not the main event. The crowd grows restless, itchy, angry even. How much longer must we wait? they demand. Finally, from the depths of the ground, pushed forwards from the dressing room, he comes. One last fitting of the wig. One last time into the stack heel boots. The headline act moves towards the stage as highly polished guns are cocked. From the cheap seats, the chant goes up. ‘Come on, come on, come on, come on…”
Back in the real world and these are strange, unsettling times for Paul Gadd it seems. Once he was a strutting Bacofoil wrapped, quiff headed rock colossus, as much a fixture of a British Yuletide as Slade, turkey and repeats of Del Boy. Now, with Christmas rapidly approaching, he’s a sinister looking bald man seemingly on permanent tour of South East Asia. Once the leader of the gang (I am), now potentially finding himself blocking the path of a hailstorm of bullets, blindfolded and roughly shoved round the back of a Vietnamese prison. One has to ask oneself, where did it all go wrong for Glitter?
When the most recent story first broke, Socialism begun its vigilant Glitter watch. Papers scoured, internet searched, any news was feverishly consumed, lapped up, processed. Although (we must point out) not currently charged with any crime, Monday’s Evening Standard headline says it all – “Glitter ‘Faces Death Penalty’” (21st Nov ’05). A bespectacled Glitter, apparently dressed in some crazed Afflecks Palace rave-top circa 1991, was shopped to the authorities by the News Of The World and is now held after attempting to leave Vietnam for Thailand, already a refugee from a holiday in Cambodia. A 12 year old girl claims they had sex, him stretching to as much as £5.50 for “ a romp” (The Sun, 22nd Nov ’05). He claims he had been “helping the girls to ‘learn to speak English’’” (The Times, 22nd Nov ’05). Surely Glitter must be sat in his cell thinking “Didn’t Jerry Lee used get away with this kind of thing?” If found guilty of the accusations, his future seems bleak to say the least. Black might be a more appropriate word.
When controversy in 2005 is reduced to one of Glitter’s peers, Ozzy Osborne, waving his freshly waxed arse at the UK Music Hall Of Fame, maybe the only thing left in rock n roll that can truly shock is this – that this guy, this loveable, daft old sod who had been a such a permanent fixture on our TV screens via Top Of The Pops and advertising campaigns for British Rail and Heinz soups is actually a demented sex pervert possibly facing the end of his life on the wrong side of a five man firing squad. My god, this guy was starring in bloody ‘Spice World’ a few years back (NB – segment cut, Glitter on cutting room floor, not even fit for the DVD extras on the special edition). You can’t help but watch with a morbid curiosity as the whole, frankly unbelievable Glitter story has unfolded. His life for the last few years has been like a car careering wildly across the central reservation of morality towards the inevitable collision with the law. Having been smoked out by the British tabloids this month, even if he isn’t charged, he seems unlikely to be allowed to live any kind of a life, although, Socialism won’t be the first people to pose the question "Should he..." of a man found guilty of downloading over 4000 pornographic pictures of children to his computer (by the way, do you reckon perverts still bother going to PC World?)
In the end, when whatever will be comes to be, what will happen to the music, the Glitter legacy? One has to figure that that “Another Rock ‘n’ Roll Christmas” will quietly get removed from “The Greatest Christmas Album In The World… Ever!” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Part 2” will disappear from SU discos forever. That the Glitter cover version that the Spice Girls did won’t make the box set. So this is how it pans out. The Leader, once the staple of every office Xmas shag fest, has been wiped from the musical landscape, records rarely to be spotted outside of ill informed car boot sales, a 20 year career wiped from history. A bloke who once strutted like a human peacock now scrubbed up to reveal a seedy sex tourist sweating under the lamps of a foreign jail, a shameful old nonce counting out his final days on a concrete bunk eating nowt but boiled rice.
Makes you wonder if anyone will ever wanna be in his gang again.