John Rossall (The Glitter Band) RIPWe are sorry to hear of the death of John Rossall – best known from his career in The Glitter Band.

John was born and bred in Blackpool and his tales of playing brass in the pre-rock n roll years in the Empress Ballroom at the daily dances in the fifties and his wild youth in the sixties in the Boston Showband before he hit the big time with producer Mike Leander playing on the Gary Glitter records were enthralling. He will be most fondly remembered for The Glitter Band though and whose run of hits dwarfed their disgraced former singer after he had gone solo and are much cherished to this day.

I had the great pleasure of working with John after persuading him to go back to the studio to record a harder sounding more post-punk version of the Glitter sound. It was paying back the debt to the Glitter Band whose sound was big and profound influence already on post-punk – Killing Jone, Adam And The Ants, Iggy Pop, Nine Inch Nails, The Fall and my band, the Membranes, who were just a few of the many bands who copped that classic beat.

It was a pleasure to have worked with John and spend hours talking about our shared home town of Blackpool – wonderful stories like cramming into the front room of neighbours house to watch the famous Matthews final in 1953 when Blackpool FC won the FA Cup, detailed analysis of the current Blackpool season, stories from his rock n roll years and the many people he had met and worked with.

A pleasure to be around John was also supremely talented – not only playing brass but coming up with classic melodies lines and was a joy to work with and it was a thrill to co-write several songs with him – some of which were released on his ‘Last Glam In Town’ recent album and a few that will hopefully see the light of day in the future. The album is, perhaps, the last glam album – the end of an era and as good as I dreamed it would be.

 

Rest In Peace fellow seasider…

 

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.

8 COMMENTS

  1. So sorry to hear this a lovely man had time to talk to me & my daughter at his gig in Lewes 2019 was such a huge fan of the glitter band
    Let’s get together again when the time comes

  2. Sorry to hear about John’s passing. I loved Fear Of A Glam Planet – and , of course, The Undertones used to play Just For You, and Got To Get Ready For Love , back in the Casbah in the 1977/78 season. (And we borrowed heavily for a song on Hypnotised – ‘Hard Luck’)

  3. It is very sad to here that a member of the glitter band has gone it is also very sad that the band were unable to play big gigs after the Gary glitter stome.
    After all it was the glitter band who put the glitter in the music. Good music good lads and great memories of the tours with support band Fogg
    Love to all the boys left

    • The glitter band have continued to tour. And are still played on radio a little. Gary Glitters convictions made little to no difference to their status. By 1997 they were a minor attraction, living off their association with Gary. This was still true afterwards, as they still had to play his hits to attract audiences. Good music, but they were always second fiddle to their “leader”.

  4. This is really sad. The Glitter Band sound was instantly recognisable and it was a massive part of my first getting interested in music. I was lucky enough to stumble across a version of them playing at some council show in Leicester in the 80’s (I’d gone to see Jah Wobble’s Invaders of the Heart and didn’t know who else was playing) and they were so good. To get to see them stomp through ‘Angel Face’ is a memory I’ll never forget. Of course, that was before the glitter hit the fan and the very word ‘Glitter’ was cursed forever more.

    When the fantastic ‘Last Glam In Town’ album was released I was (naively perhaps) hoping that John Rossall might finally get the ongoing recognition he deserved. But if it’s to be his last released recordings (and reading JR’s word above I’m hoping it might not be…) then it’s a fitting tribute to a man that helped shaped the sound of so many more ‘credible’ bands – but without 99% of people knowing who he was, sadly.

    RIP John Rossall

  5. Sad news. Big musical influence on me without a doubt. Met him on a few occasions and he was always great. Made some brilliant records with the Glitter band and solo. The Last Glam in Town was fantastic, so glad he did that. He always was good to his fans and communicated with them (me included). My thoughts are with his family and close friends at this sad time. RIP John Rossall

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