In sports stadiums, all that Glitter’s getting gross
By RICHARD ROEPER October 28, 2012 3:50PM
(FILES) -- A file photo taken on March 3, 2006 shows former British rock star Gary Glitter listening to the verdict at the end of his two-day trial on charges of child sex abuse at a local courthouse in Southern town of Ba Ria, Southern coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau. British police on October 28, 2012 arrested 1970s glam rocker Gary Glitter on suspicion of sexual offences as they probe a mountain of child sex abuse allegations against late TV star Jimmy Savile. AFP PHOTO/HOANG DINH NamHOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images
Updated: November 30, 2012 6:21AM
That is one creepy-looking veteran cosmic rocker.
British pop singer Gary Glitter (real name Paul Gadd) was arrested Sunday morning in London as part of a child sex abuse case. British authorities said Glitter was being held as part of a wide-ranging investigation centering on BBC host Jimmy Savile, who they said had sexually assaulted numerous girls. (Savile died last year.)
A documentary about Savile on British TV earlier this month included an allegation Glitter had sex with an underage girl in Savile’s dressing room at the BBC. He was released later Sunday, and police said he was due to return to a London police station in December for further questioning.
In 2006, Glitter was convicted of committing obscene acts with minors in Vietnam and was sentenced to three years in prison.
So even before this latest episode, one might ask: why would anybody play this guy’s music at a sporting event?
You know the song
If you’re under 40 you might not even know the name Gary Glitter, but if you’ve ever attended a basketball, hockey or football game at the high school level or above, there’s a strong chance you’ve heard his signature song. The official title is “Rock & Roll (Part 2),” but it’s more commonly known as the “Hey!” song, as that’s the only word chanted in the instrumental that goes something like this:
Dah dah dah dah dah, Hey! Dah dah dah dah dah, Hey!
Released in 1972 and charting as high as No. 7 on Billboard, “Rock and Roll (Part 2)” surfaced as a rally anthem a few years later, with the Colorado Rockies, Denver Nuggets and Denver Broncos usually cited as the first professional teams to adopt it.
They wore out the “Rock and Roll (Part 2)’ battle cry at the old Chicago Stadium and then at the United Center during the Bulls’ championship runs of the 1990s. All respect to “Chelsea Dagger,” if you’re compiling a list of the most popular and most effective pop songs-turned-stadium anthems, “Rock and Roll (Part 2)” is the champion.
(It’s also been played to death in movies and on TV, from “Happy Gilmore” to “The Full Monty” to “Any Given Sunday” to “Meet the Fockers” to episodes of “Lizzie McGuire” and “South Park.” Imagine the royalties.)
Some 20 years ago I tracked down the reclusive Glitter and he faxed — yes, faxed — the lyrics to “Rock and Roll Part 1,” which has the same music as the stadium song.
Can you still recall the jukebox hall when the music played
And the world spinning round to a brand new sound in those far-off days
In their blue suede shoes they would scream and shout
And they sang the blues let it all hang out
Rock and roll, rock and roll!
Rock and roll, rock and roll!
Those lyrics might explain why it was Part 2 that became the hit.
After Glitter’s conviction in 2006, the NFL advised teams to cease playing “Rock and Roll (Part 2).” The New England Patriots polled their fans and settled on two “new” themes, “Elevation” by U2 and the “1812 Overture.” In Kansas City they started playing a cover version of “Rock and Roll (Part 2),” which seemed to be OK with the league.
A number of college bands continue to incorporate the song into their routines. It was only last January that Penn State’s band took “Rock and Roll (Part 2)” out of its catalog. “I didn’t want to give the media and Penn State critics any other thing to bash us about,” said Dr. Richard Bundy, director of Penn State’s Blue Band.
Penn State also has banned “Sweet Caroline” from its playlist, reportedly because of the line “touching me, touching you,” which of course has nothing to do with child molestation. That’s a classic example of overreaching in an attempt to be sensitive.
If “Rock and Roll (Part 2)” blares from the sound system on any given Saturday or Sunday, maybe one in 10 fans knows the name of the song, the artist — and the monstrous acts he’s committed.
Doesn’t matter. It’s time to hit the permanent Mute button on “Rock and Roll (Part 2).”