We are sorry to hear of the death of John Rossall – best known from his career in The Glitter Band.
John was born and bred in Blackpool and his tales of playing brass in the pre-rock n roll years in the Empress Ballroom at the daily dances in the fifties and his wild youth in the sixties in the Boston Showband before he hit the big time with producer Mike Leander playing on the Gary Glitter records were enthralling. He will be most fondly remembered for The Glitter Band though and whose run of hits dwarfed their disgraced former singer after he had gone solo and are much cherished to this day.
I had the great pleasure of working with John after persuading him to go back to the studio to record a harder sounding more post-punk version of the Glitter sound. It was paying back the debt to the Glitter Band whose sound was big and profound influence already on post-punk – Killing Jone, Adam And The Ants, Iggy Pop, Nine Inch Nails, The Fall and my band, the Membranes, who were just a few of the many bands who copped that classic beat.
It was a pleasure to have worked with John and spend hours talking about our shared home town of Blackpool – wonderful stories like cramming into the front room of neighbours house to watch the famous Matthews final in 1953 when Blackpool FC won the FA Cup, detailed analysis of the current Blackpool season, stories from his rock n roll years and the many people he had met and worked with.
A pleasure to be around John was also supremely talented – not only playing brass but coming up with classic melodies lines and was a joy to work with and it was a thrill to co-write several songs with him – some of which were released on his ‘Last Glam In Town’ recent album and a few that will hopefully see the light of day in the future. The album is, perhaps, the last glam album – the end of an era and as good as I dreamed it would be.
Rest In Peace fellow seasider…