The clues may have been there all along, as to Gary Glitter’s sexual predilections. His lyrics claimed he was the man who “put the bang in gang” and asked if we wanted to touch him there.
Now, m’colleague Tara McGinley has uncovered this incredibly creepy version of Glitter’s 1973 hit, “Do You Wanna Touch Me”, which has been slowed-down 10 times by scorzonera, to reveal its full chilling horror.
As Paul Gallagher has already comprehensively explained for Dangerous Minds readers here (and here), it seems that one of the BBC’s most popular family entertainment shows in its entire history, Jim’ll Fix It, might more accurately have been called Jim’ll Groom Ya, consisting as it did of a very widely alleged sexual predator and pederast, Jimmy Saville, granting special favors to an endless succession of children and teens… some that he tried to extract favors from in return. They probably should have called the show Jim’ll Fuck It, but maybe not.
Why does it comes as no surprise that Gary Glitter, the English glam rock chart topper who enjoyed twenty-six execrable UK hit singles over three decades before his reputation was “irreparably tarnished”–as Wikipedia puts it in wry understatement–by convictions for child sex crimes both in the UK and Vietnam would have been a guest on the show? And, wouldn’t you know it, Mr. Glitter and Sir Jimmy coincidentally happened to be good buds. Indeed, they were so friendly that Saville gallantly stood up for Glitter in a 2009 interview (reportedly included in tomorrow’s ITV expose). Referring to Glitter’s 1999 conviction for possessing a computer full of child pornography, Saville boldly attested that his old friend “didn’t do anything wrong” because “he had not tried to show them in public or anything like that” (my emphasis).
Saville’s statement betrays a personal “philosophy” ideal for one leading such a quintessential double life: on the one hand, a light entertainer and philanthropic “saint,” and on the other a prolific sex offender (allegedly or whatever). The moral dimension, for Saville, apparently enters only in so far as what is or is not public, which is to say on television: if someone is abused and it isn’t on primetime – to paraphrase the old Zen adage – did it really happen?
Which is what makes the following excerpt from Jim’ll Groom YaJim’ll Fix It so uniquely disturbing, as it sees the two friends and former national treasures collaborate to make a young lady’s “dream” of being a singer come true. The lady in question, while not exactly the full ticket, is twenty-one, thank Christ (guests on Jim’ll Fix Itwere predominantly, but not unanimously underage), though this doesn’t seem to deter either sexual predator from getting their sleaze on.
Glitter’s actual performance is something else. I don’t think I’ve seen him in action since I was a kid and he was singing Christmas songs, but what must have at the time looked to any sentient observer like just a bloated parody of glam rock (meets rap?), has retroactively become something ten thousand times more sinister than Alice Cooper must’ve seemed in 1972. Glitter’s entourage – his “gang” – stomp about in bondage-wear for a minute, until Gary himself enters, prowling the stage and glowing bright red, for all the world an actual fucking demon (the tune is even called “Red Hot”). The manner in which Saville and Glitter enclose the half-witted woman at the end is pretty damn creepy too (”Shy, Gary?”). At least he didn’t perform “Do Ya Wanna Touch Me? (Oh Yeah!).” Now THAT might’ve been too OTT.
All in all, it’s easily the scariest performance I’ve ever seen. Looking at this shit in retrospect, that tens of millions of adults considered this – and Jim’ll Fix It in general – good family entertainment blows my tiny mind.
After the jump, the presciently named 1974 Gary Glitter documentary Remember Me This Way…
In this rarely seen (for obvious reasons) clip, the fabulous Leigh Bowery keeps his composure as the be-quiffed pop star stumbles through his questions, rambles, misses the point and seems at times lost like a patient woken up for his meds.
Taken from Glitter’s late night chat show Night Network, Bowery shines, while Glitter’s inappropriate questions reveal more than he perhaps intended:
Charlie Brooker’s Screen Burn columns in The Guardian are always funny, but this week’s is especially hilarious. Brooker writes on a new British telemovie that imagines the trial and death of Britain’s most notorious pedophile, former popstar Gary Glitter, whose 1972 hit “Rock and Roll Pt 2” is still to this day played by the unwitting at sports events big and small across America:
Don’t know about you, but sometimes I can’t sleep at night for wondering what it might be like if Gary Glitter were executed. I just can’t picture it in quite enough detail for my liking. Would they fry him? Gas him? Or pull his screaming head off with some candy-coloured rope? I can never decide, and it often leaves me restless till sunrise. Thank God, then, for The Execution Of Gary Glitter (Mon, 9pm, Channel 4), which vividly envisions the trial and subsequent capital punishment of pop’s most reviled sex offender so you don’t have to.
I can’t believe what I’m typing: this is a drama-documentary that imagines a world in which Britain has a) Reinstated the death penalty for murder and paedophilia, b) Changed the law so Britons can stand trial in this country for crimes committed abroad, and c) Chosen Gary Glitter as its first test case. It blends archive footage, talking-head interviews with Miranda Sawyer, Garry Bushell and Ann Widdecombe, and dramatised scenes in which Gary Glitter is led into an execution chamber and hanged by the neck until dead.
He’s not just swinging from a rope, mind. The Glitterphile is all over this show, like Hitler in Downfall. There are lengthy scenes in which he argues with his lawyer, smirks in court, plays chess with the prison chaplain, weeps on the floor of his cell, etc. Visually, we’re talking late-period Glitter, with the evil wizard shaved-head-and-elongated-white-goatee combo that makes him resemble a sick alternative Santa. It would be funnier if they showed him decked out in full 70s glam gear throughout, being led to the gallows in a big spangly costume with shoulder pads so huge they get stuck in the hole as he plunges through. I assumed the Glittercution would feature dry ice, disco lights, and a hundred party poppers going off as his neck cracked. But here there’s not so much as a can of Silly String. This is a terribly serious programme.