Gary GlitterGary Glitter (born May 8, 1940) was a British rock and roll performer in the early 1970s, most notable for his hit song "Rock and Roll".
Born Paul Gadd in 1940, it was as a teenager, Glitter performed at various local London, England bars and pubs, eventually landing a deal with Decca Records. His first single as "Alone in the Night" (1960), released under the name Paul Raven. He signed with Parlophone Records in 1961, and Raven released two unsuccessful singles, appearing on Ready Steady Go, a television show, and working in several commercials. In 1965, Raven joined in the Mike Leander Show Band, also producing singles by Thane Russell and the Poets. After the collapse of the Mike Leander Show Band, Raven formed Boston International (later known as the Bostons) with John Rossall, a professional saxophonist. Boston International toured widely. Using the name Paul Monday, the singer released "Musical Man" and "Here Comes the Sun" (George Harrison), then "Soul Thing" and "Stand" (Sly Stone) were released as Paul Raven. This was followed by "We're All Living in One Place" as Rubber Bucket.
Finally, Leander and Glitter decided that glam rock was the way to go, and began recording "Rock and Roll", a fifteen minute song that eventually became two parts ("Rock and Roll (Part 1)" and "Rock and Roll (Part 2)"). Before the song was released, Gary Glitter chose his modern name. "Rock and Roll" eventually became a huge hit in 1972 in the United Kingdom, though it took six months to enter the charts. This was followed by a series of similar singles, all successful, as were the first two albums, Glitter and Touch Me.
With his shows and persona becoming more and more outrageous, Glitter's fame showed no sign of stopping. "I'm the Leader of the Gang (I Am)", "I Love You Love Me Love" and "Remember Me This Way" were all huge hits. Glitter's back up band, the Glitter Band, even became hit-makers by association. "Always Yours", "Oh Yes! You're Beautiful", "Doing Alright With the Boys" and "Love Like You and Me" were all success, but "Papa Ooh Mow Mow", his next single, was an absolute failure. He never again achieved success and retired in 1976.
Before returning in the 1980s, Glitter took a major part in The Rocky Horror Show in New Zealand and released a few minor hits in 1977. After "All That Glitters" (1981), a medley of past hits, launched a successful career as a performer, though his studio recordings were rare.
Active in several projects during the 80s and early 1990s, Glitter released a cover of the Animals' "The House of the Rising Sun", which was a major hit. His new career fell apart after being arrested and convicted on child pornography charges in the United Kingdom. After his release from prison, Glitter moved to Cuba and isolated himself.