Loved them since the early 70s and enjoyed Brian was I believe one of the truly real and honest people in the buisness at the time. Brian struck me as a man who the gods were playing with for cruel amusement. 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. 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’. It was horrible and at the same time fascinating. The two got on very well and Torpey subsequently invited Connolly to go into the recording studio with him, as an informal project. From Australia: During the 1990 tour it was revealed Brian Connolly was using a passport with the name McManus on it! I felt really bad – almost like I had betrayed Brian, who had given his time to give me a very open talk. Brian also blamed bad management and all manner of behind the scenes skulduggery conspiring against him. What brought about the downfall? (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. No!’ Brian’s voice now a knackered strangulated attempt at trying to sound like Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan. Yes I really did enjoy your piece on Brian and he really comes alive in this piece! Brian had no problem with the fact that Sweet’s hits were written by Chinn and Chapman. Feeling nostalgic I decided to look up information on my childhood favourites “Sweet”, I read a number of articles, one of them, an interview with Brian, so cruel, it bordered on vicious, a real “kick ’em when they’re down” rant. It really hurts me to read about him being sad back then… and the fact his “bandmates” in his solo career where just using him. I felt very sad for Brian. The Fiesta was a big money payer back then and one story about the place that was the stuff of urban legend was that Jimi Hendrix was booked to play there in the early days, but pulled out as he became a big star. 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. Early music career and Sweet He also claimed that his ex-band members cheated him out of money when he was kicked out of the band. He looked slightly menacing in his catsuits and leather gloves too. Get him the right producer. 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. I was also drunk and those rock ‘n’ roll fairies mentioned earlier were flirting with my reason. Melody Maker: ‘What that singer from Sweet? 9. 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. Brian was very gracious. He masked a lot of emotional pain – perhaps he sought to fill that void through seeking fame. I really liked Sweet’s singles from ‘Blockbuster!’ onwards. But if there’s a heaven i hope i will find them there one day. The band came on for an encore. I got the feeling he had a lot to get off his chest and he seemed happy that I had not judged him, that I had listened. He also revealed that not everyone in the band felt this way. 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. He told one of the roadies to get me a drink and chatted to me as a girl fan sat on his knee. When we split from Chinn and Chapman we had a hit with our own song and that felt good’. Nah, don’t think our readers would be interested’…, Sounds: ‘We do not commission unsolicited articles. They had an almost pre-punk ‘let’s wind up the parents’ attitude about them. I wished him the same, knowing full well that Brian’s luck was rotten. Then back in the studio, recording your next hit…it all becomes a blur’ he said. ‘Andy (Scott) and Steve (Priest) were always asking for an A side and got frustrated. His hair, actually thinning on top, was combed forward to try and recapture those splendorous goldilocks. 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. Good to know this interview is being enjoyed. So Brian – what was it like to be famous, be a regular band on Top of the Pops? Except the reality is, Brian was never a millionaire. I told him that I had read that Def Leppard were huge Sweet fans. On 23rd February 1979 it was announced that Brian Connolly had left Sweet, to pursue a solo career. I don’t think he ever got them. Over the years, as I evolved musically, I lost touch with my “first love” but I’d still catch a glimpse of them in so many other great bands – Queen, Def Leppard, Aerosmith, Foreigner (tell me the intro to Foreigner’s Long, Long Way From Home doesn’t sound like Sweet!) In an interview with Focus in the Mix, Sweet bass player Steve Priest said Connolly’s hard partying lifestyle took its toll. My first contact on sweet was in 1978 when it nearly was over. Did Brian feel it would all go on forever then? No! Thank you for your response to this article. The influence they had on rock for the next 30+ years after they’d first set foot on a stage, was staggering. The memories stay forever. They stopped returning my calls’. ‘Suddenly a crowd of people appeared, they were at me, wanting to touch me, wanting my autograph. He told me how he was ‘getting well’ but that being kicked out of the band sent him over the edge. 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. They were horrible people. He actually shook from time to time and was taking medication to control his spasms. I am a dedicated fan since the beginning of the career Sweet – so for over 40 years. She and I were doing about the same thing, musically, at the same time, just on opposite coasts. Sweet is really a wonderful band. He seemed pleased and I was surprised that he didn’t know this. Legal fees being another as he was trying at that point to get royalties he said were owed to him from those 15 million sales of Sweet singles. Good luck with it’. They were horrible people. Rock ‘n’ roll can become a tragedy of Shakespearian proportions, and Brian’s story could have been written by the great bard. No! She worked her way to a lucrative rock career, while I took a left turn into jazz fusion. My mind flashed back to Brian on Top of the Pops. It somehow seemed horribly symbolic of a career long having gone up in smoke. Brian Connolly, it seemed to me, was almost an innocent who entered the gilded palace of rock n roll sin. I asked him about other pop stars of the day. Sweet were seen by some as being the more gimmicky side of the 70s, but those singles were great and many people of my age group have fond memories of them on Top of the Pops. Yeah! Of course, they lacked ‘rock cred’. One I had forgotten about: ‘Teenage Rampage’ – it started with some roadies baying into the microphones ’We want Sweet! The Hollies. Back on benefits, staring into the void of feeling terminally useless I decided the only option for me was to become a music journalist. 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’. I noted how he seemed apart from them. I phoned the venue, told them I was a freelance journalist and that I wanted to interview Brian Connolly. archived 6 Oct 2013 09:01:30 UTC. Did Brian feel it would all go on forever then? ‘But they don’t care! They stopped returning my calls’. I remember the Channel 4 documentary on Brian Connolly in the mid ’90’s and the intense sadness I felt watching this trembling wraith wistfully revisiting his glory days, gracefully attemting to hide his sadness and bitterness. He shook my hand after the interview and said ‘You’re good! They came across to me like a band who really did not give a shit. Brian was not a fan of Lou Reed. This has been posted on the Sweet Forum so many people have read it. I gushed about how Sweet were essential Top of the Pops viewing back in the day and that I was a fan. What do you do if you are a going nowhere no hoper (in the real working world I mean) and you wake up one day as a pop star with a million pounds in your bank account? I have so far avoided the terrible truth about Brian. Your email address will not be published. It was horrible and at the same time fascinating. A person acting as Brian’s protector/manager vetted me. Like a glam rock Frankenstein, he had an expectant look on his face of demanding adulation. He was a great frontman and singer and I thank you for your kind words. Of course, Brian was the only original member; the others hired lackeys, proficient and clinical, pay roll musicians doing a job. But even I knew this was delusional and I resisted to tell. ‘You don’t have time to stop and think. I felt sorry for Brian. How would you describe your relationship with Brian Connolly back then? I think you handled the whole interview with tact and kindness remembering that Brian was and will remain the voice of The Sweet. They never had the ‘rock cred’ because of their image and the fact that their better known hit singles were written by Chinn and Chapman. Required fields are marked *. It turned out to be Joan Jett. Sweet was a game-changer for me. My chance to blag it came. Back on benefits, staring into the void of feeling terminally useless I decided the only option for me was to become a music journalist. He related the tale to me with icy precision. Do you act wisely, seek counsel, invest it, look after it, or do you go gaga ape-shit and party like there’s no tomorrow? Sweet were good mates with Slade too, and there was a friendly rivalry between them. Thanks anyway’. 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 … Seeing Brian again gave me that same “primal” rush that I first experienced in 1973 when I thought he was the most beautiful thing I’d ever laid eyes on (besides my horse…). 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. My desire to be a “female” Al DiMeola, didn’t quite pan out, luckily, we still have Al. Thanks…I would like more fans of Sweet to read this…Brian gave a great and candid interview…I have never actually seen anything elsewhere like it…. By the end, a throng of about fifty people were up dancing, but in a very pissed nightclub way, not in a rock roll idiot dancing way. This was a very intimate and sensitive write up about a man whose career and life ended so sadly. Like a glam rock Frankenstein, he had an expectant look on his face of demanding adulation. The band came onstage to a puny attempt at pyrotechnics. Such stupidity comes from desperation and to be honest, I was old enough to know better, but the rock n roll fairies were still dancing in my head. I had no idea that a spontaneous interview would lead to such a great response! Today, as a singer in a Sweet Tribute band, i keep that Memory everytime when i get on stage. It somehow seemed horribly symbolic of a career long having gone up in smoke. On top of his game, a blonde male bombshell living the pop star high life that my teenage self dreamed about. His glorious looks had been ravaged by illness and alcohol abuse. Frank Torpey later explained in interviews that Brian Connolly was trying to get a German recording deal. He fixed me a rather withering stare and said ‘Punk was rubbish wasn’t it? During 1987, Brian Connolly would meet up again with Frank Torpey, who was the original Sweet lead guitarist from 1968 to 1969. Thank you Brian liked Marc saying he was a ‘very nice bloke underneath all that ego’. He looked ten years older than his age at that time: 45 (as he told me). Brian Connolly: rock ‘n’ roll he gave you the best years of his life…. Yes Brian’s voice was incredible, really distinctive, and when he let it go, with all its huskiness and power, it was really something. 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. Former lead singer - the late BRIAN CONNOLLY - was the first to abandon ship.
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