Anyhow, all these thoughts about sweets got me thinking of one my favourite glam rock groups and indeed one of my favourite groups of all time; The Sweet.
Whilst other girls were cooing over David Cassidy and Donny Osmond I was fascinated by The Sweet and especially Brian Connolly, the lead singer with the long blonde locks and Steve Priest the guitarist with the effeminate looks and mascara. For me they knocked the socks of other Glam Rock groups like Slade, The Glitterband, Wizard and even T Rex. Musically, it could be suggested that they were really only surpassed by Queen but whatever your opinion there’s no doubt that Brian Connolly with his melodic voice and good looks was The Face of Glam Rock. Even I, as a young girl, thought other groups looked novel but a little silly in their sequinned suits and big hats yet Brian, Steve, Andy and Mick always managed to look sexy, almost arty, in their tight pants and make up.
Most girls don’t get to meet their heroes. However, I was very lucky, to meet Brian Connolly, albeit briefly, backstage after The Sweet performed at my university back in the mid eighties. It wasn’t really The Sweet then, just Brian and a backing group. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe they were in fact called “New Sweet." Had I not been with a group of girlfriends, I don’t think I would have gone backstage because that’s really not my style but its been a nice memory because Brian’s health was deteriorating rapidly from the effects of alcoholism. In fact the previous year he’d survived 14 heart attacks in one night but when I saw him he still had his looks and his voice although he didn’t seem to be “all there.” I remember my friends and I talking afterwards and remarking up on his fazed appearance; I guess it must have been the alcohol taking effect. Later I saw him in a documentary in the 90s and it was mortifying to see what alcohol had done to his body and looks. Such a waste of a huge talent.
The Sweet have continued in various guises over the years with assorted band members but to my mind when Brian died prematurely from liver and heart failure in 1997 aged just 51 and his band mate Mick Tucker died in 2002 from leukaemia that was the end of the real Sweet. It’s a pity that they never held it together to explore their musical avenues because as someone who followed them from just a very small girl on my neighbours TV set performing bubble pop songs like Wig Wam Bam and Funny Funny, through to their classic heavier sound of Block Buster and Teenage Rampage and finally to their self penned work of Lettres D’Amour and Love is Like Oxygen I like to think they could have gone onto greater things had not fate dealt them several heavy blows.
Anyhow, it’s time for some pick “n” mix! Being a huge Sweet fan I couldn’t decide which song to post so here’s 3 for you to make your own choice!
The first is a favourite of mine, Co Co, from their early days, the second is Ballroom Blitz from the height of their Glam Rock days. I just love that opening….
“Are you ready Steve?.... Uh huh….Andy?.....Yeah…. Mick?.... Okay…. Well alright fellas…… Lets gooooo…….”
And the last is Love is Like Oxygen. In this song you can really hear their heavy yet harmonious sound. Just Fab.
Hey, and if you're greedy for your sweets like me – you can always play all three!
Oh, I just love that voice! So sensual! (And gimme Brian's top!)
Oh Blimey, someone pass me my flares and sequins!
LOVE IS LIKE OXYGEN
What can I say? I've definately got some Sweet memories...
Ps. If you're interested; whilst checking my facts I discovered Sweet Bits, a blog by Andy Scott and the current members of Sweet. I think I might pop in from time to time.....