Joining Forces: The Birth of the Glitter Band
The Glitter Band, originally known as the Boston International, was a British glam rock band formed in 1972. The group came together when members of a backing band for singer Gary Glitter decided to branch out on their own. The original lineup consisted of John Rossall (saxophone), Gerry Shephard (guitar), Pete Phipps (drums), Tony Leonard (drums), John Springate (bass guitar), and Harvey Ellison (keyboards).
Shortly after forming, the band changed their name to the Glitter Band and signed a recording contract with Bell Records. They became the official backing band for Gary Glitter, a popular glam rock artist at the time, known for his flamboyant stage presence and catchy hits. The Glitter Band’s role was to provide musical support and contribute to Glitter’s sound.
Hits and Highlights: The Glitter Band's Chart-Topping Success
In 1972, the Glitter Band released their debut single, “Rock and Roll (Part 2),” which featured Gary Glitter on vocals. The song became an international hit, reaching the top of the charts in the UK and making a significant impact in the United States as well. The track’s infectious “Hey!” chant and driving beat became iconic, and it remains a popular sports anthem to this day.
Building on their initial success, the Glitter Band continued to collaborate with Gary Glitter and released a string of hit singles throughout the 1970s. Some of their notable tracks include “Angel Face,” “Just for You,” “Goodbye My Love,” and “People Like You and People Like Me.” These songs showcased the band’s ability to create catchy, glam-infused rock ‘n’ roll with memorable hooks and energetic performances.
The Glitter Band's Signature Sound: Exploring the 'Glitterbeat'
In addition to their studio recordings, the Glitter Band gained a reputation for their lively stage shows. They were known for their synchronised dance routines, flashy costumes, and high-energy performances that captivated audiences. Their concerts became must-see events during the glam rock era, and they toured extensively, both as a standalone act and as part of Gary Glitter’s live shows. However, as the 1970s progressed, tensions began to arise within the band. Musical differences and conflicts over the creative direction led to Gary Glitter and the Glitter Band parting ways in 1976. After the split, the Glitter Band continued as an independent act, releasing music under their own name
Striking Out on Their Own: The Glitter Band's Solo Journey
They achieved moderate success with their subsequent releases, particularly in Europe and Japan. Some of their notable albums include “Hey!” (1974), “Rock ‘n’ Roll Dudes” (1975), and “Listen to the Band” (1975). However, they struggled to replicate the chart success they had enjoyed during their collaboration with Gary Glitter. By the early 1980s, the Glitter Band disbanded, with the members pursuing other musical projects and solo careers. John Springate, for instance, went on to have a career in acting, while other members also explored different avenues within the music industry.
John Springate's Spotlight: From Bassist to Actor
ohn Springate remained with the Glitter Band until its disbandment in the early 1980s. Afterward, he pursued a career in acting, appearing in various stage productions, including the musical “Rocky Horror Show” in the role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Springate has also appeared in TV shows and films, showcasing his versatility as an entertainer.
Tarnished by Gary Glitter's crimes
It’s worth noting that in recent years, Gary Glitter has faced serious legal issues related to child sexual abuse convictions. These actions have tarnished the reputation of both Gary Glitter and the Glitter Band, leading to a decline in their airplay and public appearances.
John Springate today
If you’d like to know more about the Glitter Band and John Springate’s career, head to John’s website here. John has a sensational new album out called 72 – well worth discovering!