Monday, 27 October 2014

Alvin Stardust

The passing of Alvin Stardust can't go unmentioned in the Plastic Bag. Alvin was one of the glamrock heroes of the early 70s that took a different path and introduced a whole generation to the idea of leather as clothing (as opposed to just shoes). He wore black leather on black leather with some black leather gloves just in case we'd missed the hint.

Alvin has, of course, been around since the 60s trying to make it and it was the 70s glam scene that helped him finally do that. I vaguely recall his first TV appearance as Alvin on some kids programme back then painted half pink and half blue singing 'My Coo Ca Choo' to vanish without trace and appear a few weeks (or months?) later as the black be-leathered glam god we know today.

He didn't have many hits but he remained in the forefront of the brain of anyone who was around at the time. For me, his main hits were 'My Coo Ca Choo' and 'Red Dress', both of which I still play. Other hits included 'You You You' and 'Jealous Mind' but they always seemed a bit too rock'n'roll derivative for me. Alvin went on to feature in 'green cross code' adverts about how to cross the road safely and in various Christian programmes on Sundays. To me, he will always be the man in black leather.

I only saw Alvin play live once and that was at the Marc Bolan 35th anniversary celebration in 2012.  I knew he was on the bill but had no idea what he'd be like and I was stunned. He was easily the act of the night (after Lynsey de Paul and Sir Noddy Holder, obv), effortlessly manipulating the crowd and making us love him all over again. His professionalism was consummate on that stage and that's how I will remember him.  At 70 years old you showed the rest of the acts up on that stage with your sheer professionalism and ability to please a crowd. Well done Alvin, that's how I'll remember you.

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