Ah. Glam Rock. Start with a stock of pop culture. Mix in slowly but vigorously two portions of bad hair and one portion each of polyester, sequins, and high-heeled boots. Add a dash of Andy Warhol. Mix vigorously. Prepare a cup of melted cocaine. Pour cocaine into dish and place gooey mess in after it. Let it settle and marinate overnight at room temperature. Upon waking in the morning in a hazy funk, take mixture and hurl it against the closest wall with as much force as possible. Let the results dribble down the wall and dry. Invite your friends over to lick the wall. Go and vomit afterwards.
OK, maybe it’s not as bad as all that (yes it is), but much (all) of glam rock was a huge waste of time. From the creepy Gary Glitter to the boring David Bowie to the annoying New York Dolls, glam rock was a schlock of bombastic theatricality that, like Andy Warhol’s trite stuff, was often mistaken for important artistic work. Really though, it was a way to suck kids in with gimmicks to buy albums from shallow hacks. [Hey now, you say. This is a blog on pop culture, right? Why for you disparage the poppiest of pop culture then, hey? We say: Because we can, cupcake.]
Having said that, there is one band in particular that had just that right mix of stupid and fun to enjoy for a few minutes now and again. We speak of Slade. Slade formed in 1969 and was quite popular in the 1970’s through mid 1980’s. The band’s sound and its members’ laughable costumes gave Slade its own unique page in the [we-just-made-it-up] Glam Rock Sensational. Slade’s lead singer Noddy Holder wore a series of self-disrespecting outfits comprised of loud plaid suits and huge hats. By the way, it is safe to say with a name like Noddy, one could easily assume that the guy was a Brit. And if there was any lingering confusion, let it be known that Noddy’s actual name is Neville. We do love his voice. Nice pipes, Brother Red.
Slade was almost entirely a British phenomena, and managed to score 11 Top Five hits (that’s a lot, just so you know). Most Americans will probably only know Slade by virtue of a cover that the band Quiet Riot did of their song “Cum on Feel the Noize.” Funny, Quiet Riot was a one hit wonder with someone else’s song. Not that we care. Either version is of no use to us. In fact most of Slade’s songs were annoying. However, among a few we like, one song is just so damn catchy we enjoy a listen de vez en cuando. Here for your listening pleasure is Slade’s “Run Runaway” from their 1984 album Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply. If the visuals (we mean the music video not the video compression) are too much for you, don’t be afraid to close your eyes. The video sucks holes out of 1/4″ steel.
OK, we’re posting this only because Noddy’s outfit is so ridiculous. Enjoy the song or not. Sorry that there isn’t an embedded video. Hope you get over it soon.
And, a final note: The Glam Rock scene was also an opportunity for really ugly people to show that “style” could make them even uglier. Hey, if you’re going to go, go with gusto we say.