Temptation hit maker Glenn Gregory was easily tempted by his latest job offer - he will join David Bowie’s bandmates to perform the legend’s seminal album, The Man Who Sold the World.
Sheffield’s Heaven 17 front man, today writing exclusively for The Star, describes it as a boyhood dream come true to become his hero.
He revealed how he and then schoolboy pals Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh, who went on to form Heaven 17, even made fake student union passes to see Bowie perform at Sheffield University.
Now he will share the spotlight with the album’s producer/bass player Tony Visconti and drummer Woody Woodmansey, performing together for the first time since 1971.
Completing the line up, on saxophone and guitars, is Spandau Ballet’s Steve Norman.
There will be four shows, two in London, one in Glasgow and another in his home town, at Sheffield’s O2 Academy2, on Thursday, September 18. Full details below.
Tony Visconti, who had been working with Glenn on another music project, asked if he would team up with him and surviving original Bowie band members to perform The Man Who Sold The World, Bowie’s third studio album, which celebrates its 45th anniversay next year. It is where the Bowie story really starts - delivering his signature sound, acknowledged as the birth of glam rock.
Glenn, aged 56, who was celebrating his birthday when he was asked last month, said: “Tony had just offered me the best birthday present ever.
“Me! On stage with some of my all time heroes and other amazingly talented musicians. A long time Bowie fan, actually singing those songs with those musicians, live on stage.
“I was about 12 when I first started listening to Bowie along with Bolan (Tyrannosaurus Rex) as well as bands like The Sweet and even Slade, I was a budding Glam Rocker, but Bowie’s music always seemed to me to be something extra terrestrial. Words and meanings and hidden in poetic strangeness allowing personal interpretation and perfect for an impressionable eager music listener like me.
“I met Martin Ware and Ian Craig Marsh when I was about 14 and we had identical musical tastes. Bowie being one of the artists we were all most interested in.
“We found out that he was playing live at Sheffield University but that we were unable to get to see the gig, as you had to be a member of the Student Union to get in!
“However this did not deter us. With the aid of, can you believe it, a John Bull children printing set and a trip to boots in town to use the photo booth we set about making fake Student Union ID’s.
“Actually, they were quite good and not only did they get us into the Bowie gig, we carried on using them for quite some time and saw some other amazing bands there.
“But I can honestly say none touched me as much as seeing David Bowie on stage that first time.
“It was a life changing experience. It made me want to part of the music industry,buy a pair of sky blue dungarees and dye my hair blue, it made me want to be David Bowie. Now all this time later I have the chance to live a boyhood dream.
“I’m going to be performing some of the best and most influential songs of my lifetime. Live. In my hometown of Sheffield. I have died and gone to heaven.”
* The Man Who Sold The World tour, with guests Holy Holy, will launch with a sold out date at The Garage, London, September 17. It plays Sheffield’s O2 Academy2, Thursday, September 18, tickets £18; Glasgow O2 ABC, September 20, £20, and London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, September 22, tickets £25. For Sheffield buy in person or visit www.o2academysheffield.co.uk. For all venues call 0844 477 2000 or visit www.ticketweb.co.uk.