Gary Glitter and the strange case of Save The Children

Being an exploration of Glitter (mainly), and his music’s prevalence in the record racks of charity shops today…

There’s nothing like a conviction for Paedophilia to put an adoring fan off you and your music forever is there? Psycho sexual disorders are pretty much a sure fire way to alienate your adorers. So it should be of little surprise to fans of the charity shop record rummage that Gary Glitter and Jonathan King records turn up regularly.

It was highly noticeable just shortly after their convictions for child sex abuse that their recordings began to appear in the boxes of Britain’s charity shops in much higher numbers, even in the boxes of records in the charity shop Save The Children. Which seemed to pass everyone by as a little bit distasteful, thoughtless and dumbass. Why someone would carry a clutch of Gary Glitter singles to a Save The Children because they were disgusted by the little pervert and no longer wanted them in the house and yet at the same time were thinking that someone else would be dying to get their hands on these little audio gems is beyond me. People are strange, either that or they have no idea where the municipal tip is.

What I found my self wondering while leafing through these vinyl paved backwaters of record collecting was that if Paul Gadd and Jonathan King were consigned to Charity Shop misery as a result of their ugly and perverse selves, then what had Richard Clayderman, Barry Manilow and Jim Reeves done in their dark pasts that I didn’t know about.

For amusement I made up their crimes:

Richard Clayderman had murdered his father by crushing him to death underneath his jewel encrusted ‘once owned by Liberace Grand Piano’, after his Dad, in Marvin Gay senior style had tried to shoot his wayward son, egged on by the debauched levels Clayderman had now reached in his personal life. Young naked lads, weird bdsm sessions videotaped and cocaine being snorted off various mirrored 70s Pianos all featured in my fantasy (ugh that sounds a bit… urm… wrong).

Barry Manilow had just purely and simply been convicted and imprisoned of being ‘Overly Camp’ according to the statutes of American and International Law, thus incarcerated his fans had abandoned him. Which in my dreamings didn’t quite fit, as surely his ‘Campness’ was not his weakness, but instead a strength when it came to selling records to the kind of people Barry sells records to. Whoever the f**k they are? Anyway…

Jim Reeves had imprisoned 2049 Japanese citizens on his Colorado ranch for nearly 30 years. Initially the public was with him in this as it shortly followed the outcry over  Pearl Harbour, however after the War public opinion went against him. In 1972 they finally freed the Japanese that had managed to survive his torture camps and medical experiments and he was charged with War crimes. Again his public abandoned him and he was left to die unloved and penniless.


So when you are toiling at your work of getting through that stack of shitty old vinyl at Help The Aged, Oxfam, Cancer Research or some such similar shop remember that behind every Mantovani Lp, every Carpenters single, every Jane Fonda’s Workout video tape is a dark history You may just want to stand up and turn for the exit now . . .  it’s just too scary!

It can be worth the physical and mental trauma though, you just never know when that next mass murderer is going to be your next best find of the year. hey and all for just a quid!

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