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The music: where it all began

Not a new music post but an old music one, stimulated by the recent death of Steve Priest bassist with glam rock band The Sweet.

Be under no illusion: The Sweet were musical Year Zero for me. It all started here.

I can still remember, 47 years on, the 7 year old me seeing Blockbuster on Top of the Pops, that siren intro forever seared into my memory.

Similarly the spoken intro and drums on Ballroom Blitz.

For the first time I went "so this is music".

And the rest is history.

There were always two distinct strands to glam rock: the middle-class, fey, art school branch of Bowie, Roxy and T-Rex on the one hand, and the working-class 'pub and football terrace' branch of The Sweet, Mud and Slade on the other.

And Sweet bassist Steve Priest was central to this second, paradoxically blokey wing of glam, turning the camp up to 11 - confusing to a young boy ("I just haven't got a clue what to do") - and shocking with nazi memorabilia well before punk.

As Julie Burchill described him: “built like a hod-carrier” and looking “like a navvy who’d stolen all your makeup”. RIP.

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