Gary Glitter

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The Gary Glitter Fans Who Can’t Let Go of Their Child Sex Abusing Idol

Published March 10, 2015 by misty534

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Gary Glitter performing at Lea Valley Park in the 1990s

The recent trial of Gary Glitter saw witness after witness recount cases of abuse by the former glam rocker—enough to convince a jury that he is guilty of offenses including the attempted rape of an eight-year-old girl. And this is just the latest in a string of cases related to child abuse that Glitter has faced. Sufficient, you would think, to repulse even the most diehard fan, and to shake off any affection felt for Glitter. But a band of hardcore fans is determined to stand by Glitter. They have taken to the web to show their support, kept fan clubs active, and supported him from the public gallery at his trial.

“I stick by him, because he has given me a great deal of pleasure in my life,” says John, a benefits caseworker from Newport, Wales. “I would not let him look after my children, but then again, I would not let anyone I didn’t know very well look after my children. I stick by him because I feel that his life is deliberately being made a hell by the hypocritical media and by the hang-’em-and-flog-’em brigade. And I don’t think that’s fair.”

John’s response is typical of Glitter fans I spoke to, many of who accept that the former musician is at the very least guilty of some of the allegations thrown at him over the years. Indeed, in 1999, Glitter himself admitted downloading images of child sex abuse. But many followers see this, as one fan put it, as simply “a silly mistake” that has meant he has been unfairly hounded ever since.

“I think the media have always treated Gary with ridicule even before the computer business. There has been a witch hunt against him and the press will not be happy until they have finished him off,” says a fan who would like to be known only as Julia.

“They have constantly bullied him… made sure he will never work again, while others in favor have escaped unscathed. No one likes a bully. I stick by Gary as I have great affection for him and I would stick by anyone who I felt was genuine in the same way.”

Most of his remaining fans have been into Glitter since his early days, when he strutted his stuff on TV and drew in a fanatical fan base. For many people, this formed an emotional connection that they have been unable to cast off despite the revelations that dogged Glitter as he fell from stardom. Mick Connor, a healthcare housekeeper from Hertfordshire, is one such case. He discovered Glitter in the summer of 1973 shortly after he had been shipped off to boarding school 100 miles from home.

“I was very lonely and upset,” he says. “Then I saw Gary singing on Top of the Pops and went to a shop in Cheltenham and brought my first record. Gary and glam rock really brightened up my then unhappy days at boarding school… I will always be grateful to him for that.”

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However, some fans have found it harder to reconcile their love of the music with the revelations that have emerged about the man behind Gary Glitter. One male fan who wishes to remain anonymous tells me of his extreme disappointment when Glitter first admitted to possessing child sex abuse images.

“I was devastated, angry, and felt so let down. I thought it was bad enough when I found out he wore a wig. But this—it ripped me apart as a fan. I had the piss taken out of me constantly by my friends and family. I threw his autobiography in the bin, and all my Gary Glitter records went in the loft. That was it—he was removed from my memory, or so I thought,” he says.

But once online video streaming took off in the early 2000s, he once again found himself drawn to the music of Gary Glitter. He ended up establishing a YouTube channel dedicated to the former glam rocker, and feels that appreciation of the music should be separated from the crimes of the man.

“It’s not your fault if you like certain songs. Mine just happen to be Gary Glitter’s music, and boy do I get stick for it. But I just think ‘sod ’em.’ Who the hell do they think they are? Yeah, I get a hard time, but that’s the way it is, it comes with the gig so to speak,” he says.

Of course, Gary Glitter is just the on-stage alias adopted by Paul Gadd and this helps some fans justify their continued adulation of their icon, while distancing themselves from his crimes. “With his recent conviction I feel that if he did actually commit the crimes, he needs to pay as anyone else would. But as Paul Gadd not as Gary Glitter. People need to separate the man from the music,” says Nigel, a 54-year-old teacher from Norfolk.

But while many fans accept that Glitter is guilty of some crimes, and feel able to forgive him due to his apparent contrition, most are unwilling to accept that he ever went beyond looking at images of abuse and acted out any of his fantasies. This is despite numerous allegations in the UK, his latest conviction, and a conviction in Vietnam in 2006.

“I do not believe the current allegations. Over the years I have spent some time with Gary and I have never experienced any inkling of the allegations I read about. He is a genuine man. He has been most welcoming and adores his fans,” says Julia.

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Some fans still cling to the fantasy that he could return to the stage. “I thought about doing a charity gig and getting Gary to do it, but I think it would be a logistical nightmare because you wouldn’t be able to tell who was a genuine fan and who’s just there to cause trouble. I would love to see it happen, it’s a nice thought and something that people like me would absolutely love to see,” says John Hughes, 50, from Bristol, who performs with a glam rock tribute act called Fab 208.

Whatever they think of his guilt or otherwise, there’s no doubt that many fans suffer for their adulation. Antipathy from family, friends and particularly the online community is commonplace when they reveal their love of Glitter.

“Being a fan is not easy, you are faced with hostility all the time. I keep it to myself mostly and just let all the negative comments from friends, colleagues and family go over my head. I get great comfort from belonging to certain groups on social media whereby we have a common interest, however after the latest conviction these sites have had an influx of new comers and I fear that most will not be genuine fans—again another form of sabotage,” says Julia.

Others are less accommodating when it comes to criticism. Klavs, from Denmark, has been a fan since 1972. “I’m 6 foot 4 and a former bouncer, so people don’t give me much shit, but my friends kindly tell me when our leader is in the ‘papers again,” he says. But even he doesn’t wear his support on his sleeve now. “I’ve got some t-shirts but I don’t wear them very often any more,” he adds.

There are, of course, numerous examples of other prominent rock stars who have been accused of sexually abusing children. And many fans are quick to jump on this to justify their admiration of Glitter. “Jimmy Page had a 14-year-old girlfriend, and no one said a word,” says Tim Potter, a Glitter fan from Australia. “Bill Wyman from the [Rolling] Stones had sex with Mandy Smith when she was very young [14 according to Smith]… so it is hypocrisy at its worse.”

It seems like an odd defense. But even those who accept that Glitter is guilty of the crimes for which he stood trial most recently, seem to cling to more than just the music of the disgraced rocker. Transfixed by the icon burnt so indelibly into their youthful consciousness, fan after fan I speak to declares that Glitter remains “always the leader.”

Patrick Smith

Celebrity arrests could soar after horrified police discover Jimmy Savile’s secret lair at record shop

Published July 28, 2013 by misty534

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Names and sexual details of hundreds of girls were scrawled across huge wall in a scene from a horror film

Stunned officers chipped away plaster at a ­record shop wall and unveiled a hidden list of names thought to belong to young victims of Jimmy Savile.

The vile register, which contained the names, ages and a disgusting ratings system seemingly used to mark their sexual performance, was scrawled on a secret wall buried behind layers of wallpaper and plaster.

A source revealed: “The wall looked like something straight out of a horror movie. There were lists and lists of names of the victims – it’s a shocking discovery.”

The list of girls and young women is thought to identify ­hundreds of potential new victims abused at the hands of the BBC DJ and it raised fears Savile was at the centre of a celebrity paedophile ring.

Police believe the major breakthrough could lead to further arrests – including other well-known celebrities.

The wall also appeared to contain the names of girls the sick group hoped to target in the future.

Officers who raided the shop in ­Greater Manchester after a tip-off will now try to trace the alleged victims.

A source said the raid had provided the clearest evidence yet to show Savile was part of a larger group of monsters.

The source said: “Savile appeared to be using the room above the record store as some kind of secret HQ to plan his vile acts.

“There appears to be some suggestion that he was not acting alone either.

“There were others who appear to be involved, several others, some of whom are household names.”

As the specialist officers ripped away the layers from the wall, the names of up to 200 new ­people they believe he and accomplices attacked or planned to
attack during the 1980s and 1990s were ­gradually revealed.

At least one other well-known BBC figure and several celebrities are now being linked to the probe. Suspects face being quizzed in the coming weeks.

The source added: “Police think there might be hundreds of new female victims that needed to be spoken to as a result of the record shop raid.

Earlier this year it was suggested there were around 450 victims of Savile’s depraved actions.

“This looks like an under-estimation. If the evidence on the wall is anything to go by, we could be talking in the region of 650 victims in all. It’s shocking.”

Criminologist Professor David Wilson from Birmingham City University said the register was a way for the predators to boast about their conquests.

He said: “In the age before the internet made it possible for paedophiles to ­communicate with each other and write about who they could abuse and the form that abuse may take, they found other methods.

Paedophiles are constantly evolving ways of communicating.

“By putting it on a wall they are making it public, but by hiding it, it is private. The public nature is because they are proud of it. It is a boasting system.

It is a form of saying ‘this is what I’ve done. I’ve done more than you.’

It’s about them displaying their own sexual success in being able to abuse these children.

“They also recognise this could lead to arrest, so they had to be careful about their sexual preferences.

“At the time this was said to have taken place paedophiles used contact magazines and groups of associates to get in touch with each other.

We are beginning to see how widespread Savile’s abuse was.

“The significance of it having been found in a record shop is that at the time this was where all the young people went to buy their records and hang out.

Now they download songs on the internet.”

Police carried out the raid a few weeks ago. The findings potentially raise the depravity of disgraced Savile – who died at 84 in October 2011 – to new levels.

A joint police and NSPCC report published in January declared that with at least 450 victims, he was one of Britain’s most ­prolific sex offenders.

Commander Peter Spindler said Savile “groomed the nation” as he raised millions for charity while using his status as a platform for abuse.

Leeds-born Savile had links with ­Greater Manchester stretching back to the 1950s when he managed a ballroom in the city.

His first known attack took place in ­Manchester in 1955. Investigators who revealed the scale of his abuse said he used his appeal to target the vulnerable.

In 1964, Savile’s name was mentioned to police investigating allegations that men were exploiting girls from Duncroft ­Approved School in Surrey.

Police arrested two men in London and a ledger showed Savile was a regular ­visitor there. Following his death, 28 police forces recorded 214 crimes ­committed by the presenter, including 34 rape claims. The latest allegation against him was from 2009 when he was aged 82.

The report said he targeted children as young as eight and sexually attacked at least 23 of his victims on BBC premises.

In 1972 during a break in filming, Savile groped a 12-year-old boy and felt the breasts of the youngster’s two friends.

Investigators also found he carried out abuse in at least 14 hospitals between 1955 and 2009, including Great Ormond Street and one hospice.

Savile was stripped of his knighthood when dozens of women came forward to say he attacked them during his 54-year campaign of abuse.

Officers launched Operation Yewtree to probe the claims and there are now three strands to the investigation. One concerns Savile’s crimes ­exclusively, while another relates to allegations against Savile and others.

The third concentrates on ­accusations unconnected to Savile but which emerged following publicity.

A host of soap stars, DJs and TV ­presenters have been arrested during nationwide probes into historical sex offences in cases not connected to Savile.

BBC presenter Stuart Hall had his prison sentence for a series of assaults on girls doubled to 30 months on Friday.

Three Appeal Court judges ruled his original 15-month term was “inadequate”. The former It’s A Knockout host, 83, ­admitted sexually assaulting 13 girls aged nine to 17 over nearly 20 years.

Coronation Street star Bill Roache is one of the best-known actors to be held over allegations in the aftermath of the Savile scandal. He was charged in May with raping a ­teenage girl in 1967.

Roache has been bailed until his next court appearance on September 2 when he will enter formal pleas.

The actor, who has played Ken Barlow in the ITV1 soap since its launch, also faces charges of five indecent assaults­ ­involving four girls aged between 11 or 12 and 16. He denies all the claims.

His fellow Corrie star Michael Le Vell, who plays mechanic Kevin Webster, has been taken off air after being charged with 19 offences against a child, including rape, indecent assault and sexual activity.

Police have been inundated with calls following coverage of Savile’s depraved legacy.

It is claimed more of those ­allegedly abused are now finding the courage to come forward because the police are taking a new approach – giving potential victims hope their cases will be treated seriously.

Dozen of other arrests so far include Gary Glitter and comedian Freddie Starr.

Comic Jimmy Tarbuck was ­arrested at his home in South West London in May in ­connection with a historic child sex abuse claim.

And PR guru Max ­Clifford has been charged with 11 indecent assaults allegedly committed ­between 1966 and 1985.

The 70-year-old has vowed to clear his name. All those who have been ­arrested have vehemently ­denied any wrongdoing.

by Ben Glaze