FOLLOW US ON: follow us in feedly
GET THE NEWSLETTER
CONTACT US
Glam rockers Supernaut & their epic 70s jams about lollipops, ‘Space Angels’ & bisexuality
05.15.2017
10:03 am
Topics:
Tags:
Glam rockers Supernaut & their epic 70s jams about lollipops, ‘Space Angels’ & bisexuality


Austrailian glam band, Supernaut.
 
I don’t know about you but I personally think the title of this post has something for pretty much everyone, though my statement might not make a lot of sense right now if you’re not acquainted with Aussie glam band, Supernaut. Who should not be confused with alt-rock Serbian band Supernaut, though the Aussie’s did swipe their name from the epic 1972 jam of the same name by Black Sabbath so there’s that. Anyway, don’t worry. Everything will make sense shortly because I’m here to help you get to know Supernaut a lot better.

Initially calling themselves Moby Dick, the earliest version of Supernaut was the idea of three English transplants—brothers Joe and Chris Burnham and vocalist Gary Twinn. Popular in the bar scene, they would eventually become Supernaut after joining forces with bass player Philip Foxman. In 1976 Ian “Molly” Meldrum, Australian musical impresario and the host of the massively popular television music show Countdown became aware of the band and the story of how that happened is quite surreal and plays out much like a scene in a movie where an aspiring musician gets that fabled “big break.”

Vocalist Gary Twinn recalls that Meldrum had arrived in Perth with his pal Paul McCartney, you know from the fucking Beatles, and the duo spent the evening hitting up some of the local clubs. The glittery glam rock stars were aligned in Supernaut’s favor that night as Macca and Meldrum happened to wander into a pub where Supernaut was playing a live set. After the gig, McCartney allegedly told Meldrum that Supernaut was the “best band he had seen in Australia.” Acting on the endorsement Meldrum would give the band two big breaks by helping them get signed to Polydor in 1976 and again later that year when he invited the band to appear on Countdown. It was Meldrum’s support helped Supernaught ride the wave of criticism they received after the release of their very first single “I Like it Both Ways”—a song that celebrated the joys of bisexuality. Here are some of the lyrics that helped influence the decision of pretty much every commercial radio station in Australia to outright ban the song from their playlists:

Johnny’s with a Julie he tells her she’s his girl says “I’ll love you always”
She got to love to find within his schizophrenic mind because he likes it both ways
One day it’s a rose another day a thorn he just can’t make the choice
Like when he seems so hard to find he can’t make up his mind between a high or low pitched voice
I like it both ways
I like it both ways
I like it both ways
I like it both ways

 

A shot of vocalist Gary Twin from the video for ‘I Like it Both Ways.’

While getting zero traction from commercial radio would have normally been a bit of a death blow to a band just getting their start, with the help of Meldrum and other television appearances, the controversial single would end up charting in the top five. Later that same year Supernaut released their self-titled album which went gold. Whatever your own personal definition of having “it” is, Supernaut had that and more including the right clothes, rock god hair, and legitimate musical chops. Again, with Meldrum at the wheel of the glam rock spaceship that was Supernaut, he would fund, direct and produce the video for “I Like it Both Ways.” The video, while fantastic, was partially the product of a technical error after a camera was mistakenly pointed right at a television monitor causing images to replicate in a feedback ripple effect while the band performed in front of a green screen. The trippy accident went over well with the band and the crew and the video itself received wide praise for its accidental innovation. And if 1976 hadn’t been good enough to Supernaut, they would also receive the “King of Pop Award” for Best Australian TV Performance.

In the book, Dig: Australian Rock and Pop Music, 1960—1985 Supernaut guitarist Chris Burnham revealed that the band was considered “very unhip” in Australia, and after taking too long to put out a follow-up record, their second effort just didn’t connect with their fans. Supernaut would keep plugging away and in 1978 or early 1979—with their popularity waning—they changed up their musical approach to be more in line with punk rock and became just The Nauts. The band would put out one album under their new name before officially calling it quits in 1980.
 

 
Supernaut has reformed a couple of times since then, most recently with a tour of Sydney and Melbourne just last year. When it comes to getting your hands on a copy of Supernaut’s stellar debut, it won’t come cheap but they are out there. I’ve posted a bunch of Supernaut songs below that are impossibly glammy and fun to groove to. If you don’t already, you are going to love Supernaut. Turn it up—glam rock bliss awaits you! 
 

‘I Like it Both Ways.’
 

‘Space Angel.’
 

A glamtastic television performance of ‘Too Hot to Touch.’
 

‘Lick My Lolly.’

 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Back in the New York groove’: Say hello to 70s UK teenage glam rockers Hello
1970s glam rockers Cuddly Toys cover ‘Madman’ a song written by David Bowie & Marc Bolan
Heavy Metal Kids: The missing link between glam rock, punk, cult TV and William Burroughs
Meet Bobbie McGee AKA ‘Gladys Glitter’: Glam rock’s ‘lost’ none-hit-wonder
Mabel: 1970s Danish disco glam rockers go all hair metal & take some bad advice from David Lee Roth

Posted by Cherrybomb
|
05.15.2017
10:03 am
|
Discussion
From our partners at Vice

 

 

comments powered by Disqus