Now that Adam Lambert is coming to town, our phones are ringing off the hook with rabid fans calling for information. They love his voice, his attitude, and his look! Adam's theatrical style combines elements of Glitter Rock, Glam, and Goth. Having inundated myself with videos over the past few days and shuffled through my old stack of Bowie CDs, I thought it might be worth posting a few words about the origins of Glam, or Glitter Rock.
According to Wikipedia, "Glam Rock (also known as glitter rock) is a style that developed in both the UK and USA in the early 1970's, performed by singers and musicians wearing outrageous clothes, makeup, hairstyles, and platform-soled boots."
Glam and it's paraphernalia were a reaction against the shaggy, "come as you are" approach of the Hippies. And, in turn, futuristic Glam fell out of grace when the dance clubs started playing Funk and Rubber Soul.
Glam rock visuals peaked during the mid 1970s. Wikipedia cites the most famous exponents of the genre as David Bowie, T. Rex, Roxy Music, Gary Glitter, and the New York Dolls.
Other influential Glam rock performers included Queen, Lou Reed, Mott the Hoople, Elton John and Suzi Quatro. (Wait a minute...wasn't she Pinky Tuscadero's sister "Leather" on Happy Days? I think that disqualifies her.)
(sigh) I don't know what's more troubling. Her lack of "glitter" or "rock" attitude at this stage of her life or asking us to believe that Ritchie (Ron Howard) was really playing the guitar. But I digress...
"Though primarily a UK-centered genre" (that's United Kingdom, not University of Kentucky), "and of somewhat nebulous impact in the US, Glam rock rapidly influenced popular culture to the point where acts as disparate as The Osmonds and the Rolling Stones wore some glitter or makeup."
Well...now I've got to go dig for photos of Donny and Marie in spacesuits, KISS boots and body glitter. Stay tuned!