I could have been an axe wielding ex-roadie with a grudge against Brian, but they let me in anyway. I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone truly cared enough about this poor soul to have attempted to strong-arm him into an intervention of sorts? Always searching for interviews on Brian i read yours with great enthusiasm. They were horrible people. As the interview went on, he opened up to me. Sorry’. Of course, they lacked ‘rock cred’. Not having kept up with them over the years, I had no idea that Brian’s life had taken such tragic turns, nor did I have any idea that he (or Mick) had died. His glorious looks had been ravaged by illness and alcohol abuse. He was effectively kicked out of the band as his alcoholism was affecting his performances and the band could not continue with him in it. ‘Andy (Scott) and Steve (Priest) were always asking for an A side and got frustrated. Thanks for your nice words. Brian’s voice now a knackered strangulated attempt at trying to sound like Deep Purple ’s Ian Gillan. ‘Suddenly a crowd of people appeared, they were at me, wanting to touch me, wanting my autograph. With such a roll call of musical luminaries, I was entering a place that had its own legendary status. I am, however, SO grateful for the time that he was here, for his gifts and invaluable contributions to the art form and for inspiring me to discover and follow my greatest passion in life. Brian Connolly: rock ‘n’ roll he gave you the best years of his life…. It somehow seemed horribly symbolic of a career long having gone up in smoke. Fortunately, I have a pretty good day job to support that decision. 832,195+ views. But if there’s a heaven i hope i will find them there one day. He was effectively kicked out of the band as his alcoholism was affecting his performances and the band could not continue with him in it. Sad Story Thank you for your kind words. The band came on for an encore. I went solo for a while but it wasn’t the same”. The group sold over 50 million albums… They came across to me like a band who really did not give a shit. On top of his game, a blonde male bombshell living the pop star high life that my teenage self dreamed about. It is called “Are you ready Steve”. Blagging my way in was easy. I gushed about how Sweet were essential Top of the Pops viewing back in the day and that I was a fan. ‘Suddenly a crowd of people appeared, they were at me, wanting to touch me, wanting my autograph. I found myself sickened with disappointment, especially in those closest to him and his former bandmates. Sweet were good mates with Slade too, and there was a friendly rivalry between them. Brian came across as a man who, had he had better guidance, and could overcome his alcoholism. No!’  Brian’s voice now a knackered strangulated attempt at trying to sound like Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan. Thanks for sharing, it really is a unique interview. In a radio interview, Connolly reported that singing was a large part of growing up since there was no television, and that he was regularly called upon to sing for family and friends. He smiled ‘that’s ok’, and I felt a wave of relief come over me. Thinking I was a journalist who could give them exposure, their crawling around me was astonishing to see. Brian Connolly Glam Rock Couple Photos Family Pictures Interview My Favorite Things Reading Sweet Music. I found it interesting that he’d given an autograph to a young Joan Jett (I’m so jealous, now). Your article here is moving and reflective as well as honest. Kerrang: ‘We only cover current bands. My band life, getting paid for what I loved to do, was coming to an end and I had to think of a way to blag my way back to the real world – a place I had hoped was left behind when I signed a record deal four years earlier. Thank you for your response to this article. Brian did indeed get a very bad deal from the music industry. Oct 9, 2020 - Explore Patricia Roy's board "Sweet family pictures" on Pinterest. He could record them and we would restore him to former glories. My band life, getting paid for what I loved to do, was coming to an end and I had to think of a way to blag my way back to the real world – a place I had hoped was left behind when I signed a record deal four years earlier. I enjoyed your interview, thank you. This was a very intimate and sensitive write up about a man whose career and life ended so sadly. How happy that must’ve made him feel. The memories stay forever. The calibre of Sweet as musicians is not in doubt: they could rock heavily with the best of them. And Brian Connolly was a compelling front man – his girly long blonde hair framing his masculine face was a killer combination for the teenyboppers back then. I am sure Andy Scott would not be offended by this comment – he probably would agree! Who can ever forget Sweet on Top of the Pops? I kept hoping that someone would swoop in and rescue him from that dolt of an interviewer! That’s a helluva fall from “grace”, from which, it would be hard for anyone to recover, especially someone not well grounded or stabilized. Was it leechy managers plotting to fill their own pockets? I closed my eyes to imagine Brian on stage. Sorry’. The rest of the band followed suit in 1982 following the release of … Was it unchecked excessive behaviour? Evening Gazette: ‘We don’t use freelance stuff – sorry’. Sweet might even have reformed with Brian singing. Nah, don’t think our readers would be interested’…, Sounds: ‘We do not commission unsolicited articles. They went ashen faced and sullen and did not speak to me again. The interview took a brief nosedive when I said that Sweet were almost like a punk band in their attitude. Brian Con­nolly was born in 1945 in Go­v­an­hill, Glas­gow. Brian had no problem with the fact that Sweet’s hits were written by Chinn and Chapman. In May 1989 I was at a loss as to what to do to make a living. Sweet was a game-changer for me. So Brian – what was it like to be famous, be a regular band on Top of the Pops? 1 single; Johnny Marr started rehearsing with the Pretenders; Roger Daltrey announced the Who were re-forming; Beatles fans snapped up the group's co-written autobiography; and Temptations co-founder Eddie Kendricks passed away in Birmingham, Ala., Today in Music History. You keep rolling along with it’ he replied. She and I were doing about the same thing, musically, at the same time, just on opposite coasts. Connolly and the Sweet had just had a top ten single in the UK with ‘Love Is Like Oxygen’, their album Level Headed made the top sixty and they played a sell-out concert at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. She kept pawing him and saying ‘can I see you later Brian?’…’I love your hair Brian’….I thought I was going to witness some strange back stage porn shoot. I went solo for a while but it wasn’t the same”. And Brian Connolly was a compelling front man – his girly long blonde hair framing his masculine face was a killer combination for the teenyboppers back then. We learnt a lot from them’. It seems like Andy, Steve, and Mick figured they could still be Sweet without him (“we’ll just share the vocals and no one will miss him.”) How wrong they were! Half an hour later he appeared. ‘But they don’t care! But they just won’t listen!’ (I later found out that he was divorced and wonder why he said he was a married man still), Brian was then ushered away by the manager/protector for something to eat. It is good that there is You Tube, we fans can always see our favorites and listen. I know he wasn’t an angel (although he looked like one at times), and he brought a lot of his pain on himself with poor life choices but, so much of it, I think, was the result of naiveté and the “sudden” imposition of a lifestyle, for which, he was, tragically ill-prepared (and who wouldn’t be). The influence they had on rock for the next 30+ years after they’d first set foot on a stage, was staggering. I asked him about other pop stars of the day. It was like the ending of the David Essex film ‘Stardust’, where the pop star played by Essex says ‘It’s not worth it’ as he slips off into a junkie nod and dies. I went back stage to introduce myself and straight away, two of them sidled up to me to tell me tales of how they were in a proper original material band and that this was just a ‘job’ for them. The Sweet had a string of smash hits during the early seventies, resulting in worldwide success and lengthy periods of chart domination. The iden­tity of his fa­ther was never made pub­lic. If you are a genuine Sweetie, please check out the Sweet Glam Forum! To hear that they turned their backs on him and stopped returning his calls after kicking him out of the band was heartbreaking. My mind flashed back to Brian on Top of the Pops. Jun 25, 2019 - Explore Taz Stang's board "SwEeT" on Pinterest. Did he really even have one? Brian told me how Sweet used to get Pans People to advise them on makeup. Brian also blamed bad management and all manner of behind the scenes skulduggery conspiring against him. Brian admitted that his drinking had long since gotten out of control and that it took a disastrous American Tour in 1978 for things to come to a messy head. Another story is of the Shadows who, driving away from the Fiesta after a gig there in 1964, saw a meteorite shower, inspiring the B-side of one of their hits called ‘Stars Fell on Stockton’. ‘Ok, you go now and see me later…let me talk to this guy ok?’…She obeyed and went back to whatever concubine was waiting for Brian after the show. It was like happening upon the picture of a long, lost sweetheart or former best friend. But hearing is believing and those records still sound great today. His previous bands include Basczax and The Flaming Mussolinis. ‘POOOF!’ – a pathetic plume of smoke crawled into the air as the band crashed in with ‘Hellraiser’. The Kinks had played there. Thinking I was a journalist who could give them exposure, their crawling around me was astonishing to see. It came as quite a shock for many fans. Where was his support system? Aug 9, 2020 - Explore Sharon Bassford's board "Brian connolly" on Pinterest. He should’ve been fired that night. The stupid player had not worked. One I had forgotten about: ‘Teenage Rampage’ – it started with some roadies baying into the microphones ’We want Sweet! Except the reality is, Brian was never a millionaire. I felt really bad – almost like I had betrayed Brian, who had given his time to give me a very open talk. They snatched me right off the Partridge Family bus and threw me headlong into the majesty of an amplified wall of sound generated by real musicians. The Kinks had played there. I was not lying. In a radio in­ter­view, Con­nolly re­ported that singing was a large part of grow­ing up since there was no tele­vi­sion, and that he was reg­u­larly called upon to sing for fam­ily and … It seems that interview I did all those years ago has served a positive purpose! Was it lust for riches? I was nervous, not only for the interview, but for Brian. The stupid player had not worked. Back on benefits, staring into the void of feeling terminally useless I decided the only option for me was to become a music journalist. I phoned the venue, told them I was a freelance journalist and that I wanted to interview Brian Connolly. They bring peace to my mind when i listen to Sweet’s music. He looked slightly menacing in his catsuits and leather gloves too. He shook my hand after the interview and said ‘You’re good! Brian Connolly was also incapacitated somewhat and marketing the album and new band would of been difficult. Rock in peace in heaven! Instead, he now sings with the choir of angels (and likely does quite a bit of soloing), but he’ll live on in our memories and our hearts forever, still young, still vocally powerful, and still beautiful…probably the way he’d prefer to be remembered. It turned out to be Joan Jett. Connolly has credited the Everly Brothers as being his earliest musical influence. I noted how he seemed apart from them. It was horrible and at the same time fascinating. Brian was very gracious. (For a second I thought he might get up and leave), He then went on to tell me how Sweet had a lot of input on their records and that, far from how they were seen by the ‘serious music press’ they were not pop puppets. It turned out to be Joan Jett. Did Brian feel it would all go on forever then? Brian had no problem with the fact that Sweet’s hits were written by Chinn and Chapman. He shook my hand after the interview and said ‘You’re good! The worse it got the less I could look away. But when it came to the ‘Yeah! night, when I was ambling through music vids on YouTube and, somehow, stumbled upon Sweet. I just feebly nodded, wanting to protest but didn’t. The place had had its glory years – as indeed, had Sweet – when it was called the Fiesta: back in the sixties and early seventies, when hit makers actually played such uncool places. They seemed to have no respect for Brian and the fact he was paying their wages. Greeting from Germany, Ellen. Brian delivered his punch line. We went out on the town in London a couple of … The place had had its glory years – as indeed, had Sweet – when it was called the Fiesta: back in the sixties and early seventies, when hit makers actually played such uncool places. And i think Brian was like an angel, as well as Mick Tucker. Another story is of the Shadows who, driving away from the Fiesta after a gig there in 1964, saw a meteorite shower, inspiring the B-side of one of their hits called ‘Stars Fell on Stockton’. A couple of bad things happened and SWEET wasn't all that sweet anymore. I gushed about how Sweet were essential Top of the Pops viewing back in the day and that I was a fan. I put them straight and said ‘I’m here for Brian’. One I had forgotten about: ‘Teenage Rampage’ – it started with some roadies baying into the microphones ’We want Sweet! So Brian – what was it like to be famous, be a regular band on Top of the Pops? I had loads of tape to look forward to listening to. I almost wish I didn’t know the end of his story, and that I could’ve gone on thinking of him out there somewhere, a gracefully aging, golden-gray haired old gentleman still plying his trade a la David Gilmore or Robert Plant. He was fos­tered, aged two, by Jim and Helen Mc­Manus of Blan­tyreand took their fam­ily name. Get him the right producer. I wished him the same, knowing full well that Brian’s luck was rotten. He was advertising the very monster that was killing him. What brought about the downfall? I came back later with a borrowed tape recorder. I had to pinch myself: this was a bona fide proper pop star sitting across the table from me, pint of orange juice in his hand. In fact, in Germany, they were perceived as a band in the same musical sphere as Deep Purple (a band that Brian was a fan of). Maybe good for a club audience but no way for a crowd of 10.000 in there. His mother was a teenage wait­ress, Frances Con­nolly, who left him in a Glas­gow hos­pi­tal as an in­fant whilst he was pos­si­bly suf­fer­ing from menin­gi­tis. But even I knew this was delusional and I resisted to tell. He was adopted at birth and went by the name Brian McManus until he was 18, when he discovered that he was adopted and changed his surname to his mother´s, Connolly. See more ideas about Brian connolly, Music videos, Glam rock. The two got on very well and Torpey subsequently invited Connolly to go into the recording studio with him, as an informal project. I put them straight and said ‘I’m here for Brian’. (The song was ‘Fox on the run’ by the way). He did not deserve the fate he had, but that is the entertainment business: it can be very harsh on some people- even those who were huge pop stars, like Brian was. The set was peppered with the thrilling hits: ‘Blockbuster’ – with authentic siren alarms, ‘Wigwam Bam’ – Eddie Cochran gone daft – and of course, saving the best for last: ‘Ballroom Blitz’. As the interview went on, he opened up to me. I hung around in the sound check and felt a teenage thrill at hearing the band run through ‘Hellraiser’. The Hollies. We were a heavy rock band that just happened to have hits’ . ‘They could write hits and we didn’t learn how to do that until later. Kerrang: ‘We only cover current bands. The band did some corny cover versions; the kind you would get from a working man’s club band in the 70s: ‘No Matter What’ by Badfinger, ‘Born To Be Wild’ (their ‘we are a real rock band’ gambit I guess). See more ideas about Brian connolly, Sweet band, Cool bands. Even Alvin Stardust at the height of his brief fame. and, of course, the hair band revolution of the 80s, just to name a few, and ALL of them owed a debt of gratitude to the band who laid the groundwork. Saved by Ashley Whatchamacallit. would still be out there today – and who knows? He told me how he was ‘getting well’ but that being kicked out of the band sent him over the edge. My chance to blag it came. I was also drunk and those rock ‘n’ roll fairies mentioned earlier were flirting with my reason. It’s been amazing to me that an interview I did in very haphazard conditions turned out to be one that lots of fans of Brian appreciate. What brought about the downfall? Thank you and glad you liked the interview. He had actually died on an operating table for thirty seconds when his alcohol induced illness finally took its toll on him. I’m sure your sincerity and kindness were not lost on Brian and they certainly aren’t lost on those of us who appreciated and respected him. What was his favourite Sweet single I wondered? Of course, Brian was the only original member; the others hired lackeys, proficient and clinical, pay roll musicians doing a job. In a radio interview, Connolly reported that singing was a large part of growing up since there was no television, and that he was regularly called upon to sing for family and friends. He used to have a couple of drinks before interviews. The band did some corny cover versions; the kind you would get from a working man’s club band in the 70s: ‘No Matter What’ by Badfinger, ‘Born To Be Wild’ (their ‘we are a real rock band’ gambit I guess). Brian seemed to me to be a victim of the nastier side of the music business – the one that uses up stars and then leaves them broke – as Brian was at that time. Even Alvin Stardust at the height of his brief fame. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Then back in the studio, recording your next hit…it all becomes a blur’ he said. But when it came to the ‘Yeah! In the same circumstances today, I imagine there would some kind of intervention and an attempt to get Brian in rehab so he could continue with the band. Brian had a very hard life RIP. None of these stories is such detail and at the same time written exciting as your story. I felt very sad for Brian. Let’s hope alot more people (Sweet fans) read your interview, it would have been an easy task to have slaughtered Brian at this time. I had to pinch myself: this was a bona fide proper pop star sitting across the table from me, pint of orange juice in his hand. Half an hour later he appeared. The calibre of Sweet as musicians is not in doubt: they could rock heavily with the best of them. Was it fame? Of course, Brian was the only original member; the others hired lackeys, proficient and clinical, pay roll musicians doing a job. Of course, Brian waited for an entrance. No! The perfect combination of pop hooks, rock band expertise and dynamics (they were all incredible musicians) and of course, production. Thanks for this excellent article on Brian. Brian Connolly was born in Hamilton, Scotland on the 5th October 1945. Rock ‘n’ roll can become a tragedy of Shakespearian proportions, and Brian’s story could have been written by the great bard. He moved to Middlesex and joined Wainwright’s Gentlemen, replacing Ian Gillan. Great but strange’. Early music career and Sweet This has been posted on the Sweet Forum so many people have read it. They came across to me like a band who really did not give a shit. I asked him about other pop stars of the day. Culture > Books Glam rock's most spangled confection is going on a middle-age rampage Jasper Rees gets lost in the unreliable biography of Sweet's Brian Connolly Photograph by Peter Macdiarmid They had an almost pre-punk ‘let’s wind up the parents’ attitude about them. I had to admit, there was some truth in this but did not see why it should foster a dislike for old Lou. On 23rd February 1979 it was announced that Brian Connolly had left Sweet, to pursue a solo career. I have so far avoided the terrible truth about Brian. It didnt happen. My chance to blag it came. First it was hooray but after a few Songs the Band got heckled. I could have been an axe wielding ex-roadie with a grudge against Brian, but they let me in anyway. Brian Connolly Cool Bands Most Beautiful Sweet Stuff Brain Entertainment Diet Rock Groups Bands. On top of his game, a blonde male bombshell living the pop star high life that my teenage self dreamed about. Today, as a singer in a Sweet Tribute band, i keep that Memory everytime when i get on stage. I’ve listened to some of his post Sweet songs and liked them . He told me how he was ‘getting well’ but that being kicked out of the band sent him over the edge. Jun 5, 2020 - The great English band Sweet. The Walker Brothers. Good luck with it’. The Wildean ‘portrait in the attic’ aura that surrounded him. The Sweet Brian Connolly full interview UK Living 1995. August 2020. There are thousands of biographies, stories and other stories about the entire music band, or even about the individual members in the network. In May 1989 I was at a loss as to what to do to make a living. Yeah!’ screams, his face contorted into a look that seemed to suggest deep pain. In the low light of the back of the gig, he almost looked his former youthful self. I was not lying. A fantastic interview that didn’t kick a man when he was down, well done my friend. I think you’re right about abandonment too. At least Brian leaves a lasting legacy by way of his voice and looks, Sweet music still stands the test of time. ‘He can’t sing’. I wished him the same, knowing full well that Brian’s luck was rotten. I never realized how much I missed them until late this past Sat. It was horrible and at the same time fascinating. Like a lot of those 70s pop stars, he doubtlessly gorged himself at the banquet table of fame and his working class background probably ill prepared him for the shock to the system that fame brings. So many people are still so sad about his great rise and fall. ‘We got Hell’s Angels at our gigs. Maybe, by the time the “caring” people in his life came around, it was too late. Why Brian? With such a roll call of musical luminaries, I was entering a place that had its own legendary status. R. I. P. Please keep singing with your unique voice, wherever you are. Although they were very good, it could never be the same without Brian out there in front, singing and performing. The band was my life and then it was gone. I really liked Sweet’s singles from ‘Blockbuster!’ onward. We want Sweet!’  emulating the record. He seemed pleased and I was surprised that he didn’t know this. It felt strange. Nice to meet a humble man like you and well done for your interview Respect, Thanks for this Interview, its not one of the usual ones, its one of the great ones with interessting facts. That “sudden”, intoxicating lifestyle has destroyed so many talented, but ill-prepared, young musicians/artists and it hurts to now know that he, too, succumbed to it..”like a candle in the wind, never knowing who to cling to ,when the rain set in” (and I would’ve like to have known him, but I was just a kid…)…really! Brian was not a fan of Lou Reed. 9. There’s a little bit of Sweet in all of us. Thanks to you, Laura, written very interesting. Brian told me he was playing to pay off debts. In May 1989 I was at a loss as to what to do to make a living. Sweet is really a wonderful band. He would organise most things, the gigs vans gear etc and he took me under his wing. Thanks for your thoughtful and gentle account of talking to Brian that day. Was it unchecked excessive behaviour? No!’  Brian’s voice now a knackered strangulated attempt at trying to sound like Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan. I cannot remember how he came up in the interview but in Brian’s estimation he was a ‘lucky man…it was only because of Bowie that he became known’. As Brian sang, his voice was surprisingly strong. He told me how Marc Bolan said ‘you’ll never beat Bolan!’ when he met them at Top of the Pops. A quintessential anecdote that somehow summed up the glorious daftness of pop in the early seventies. He disappeared back to his hotel – actually more like a cheap traveller’s bed and breakfast place, not a plush five star place – shook my hand and said ‘we’ll speak later…enjoy the show’…. As she left, he shrugged and winked:  ‘I’m a married man with a daughter! I decided to use my own initiative, get some interviews under my belt to build a kind of portfolio, and then offer my services to any paper that would have me. Cheer Giles. His hair, actually thinning on top, was combed forward to try and recapture those splendorous goldilocks. He clomped onto the stage from the left side, his cowboy boots making him move with all the grace of a welder at a wedding disco.
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