Following a brief dalliance with Classical Music, rock sensation Alexander has embarked onto a journey into the world of Glam Rock. The Goldfish talks to him about teething and his recent change of direction. Photographs by Mummy. Links to videos of varying quality on Youtube.
I meet Alexander in his grandparents' Suffolk residence, on the first leg of an East Anglian tour. On the phone his agent passes on a message from him. "Come up and see me, make me smile." he says, so when I arrive I stick my tongue out at him, which I know from press reports to be his favourite expression. He thanks me with a giggle.
I then ask him how the tour was going.
"It's a god-awful small affair, for the girl in the mousey hair," he says, "but for everyone else it is going just fine, thank you. "
Alexander surprised critics and fans alike when he decided to follow the glitter-strewn path into Glam Rock. I want to talk to him about what made him make what many consider to be a surprising move for a baby born in the mid-noughties.
“Glam Rock is the natural music for babies," he explains. "Strong, often upbeat rhythms, colourful, sparkly and comical outfits, plus those cats were speaking our language. Wig wam bam, for example, or Salamanda Palaganda - it makes about as much sense as the babble I come out with.
"Then there are so many song songs tell our story, when Mark Bolan sang 'I danced myself out of the womb', or when Wizzard sang See my baby jive, they were talking about us. Bowie asked the question 'Oh you pretty things, don't you know you're driving your Mamas and Papas insane?' Well we do know; that's exactly what babies are here for.
"There are also those songs which touch on the deepest insecurities a baby can have, such as the Sweet's Little Willy. This is very much our music."
And does Alexander feel that the fan-base that he has accumulated during his brief classical career will be prepared to put on sequinned bell-bottoms and follow him across genres? Is he not afraid of betraying his classical heritage?
"I enjoy classical music," he says, "and I still enjoy listening to my Daddy play the organ. But I needed to broaden the parameters of self-expresion. After a while I simply thought, Roll over Beethoven."
But wasn't that one by Chuck Berry? Hardly Glam Rock.
"Yes, but it was covered by the Electric Light Orchestra, among others."
Alexander has been teething, which causes him to cry a great deal of the time, often during press conferences and performances. A lesser rock star might be afraid of fans losing patience with this incessant din.
But Alexanders remains confident of his fans' loyality. "As my Mummy always says, 'I won't laugh at you when you boo-hoo-hoo 'cause I love you'. I imagine that my fans feel much the same."
The obvious distress he has experienced during the teething process has provoked speculation about Alexander’s mental stability, but Alexander laughs this off.
"I thought that was very funny when Mummy told me about what they said," he giggles, "I said mamma, but we're all crazy now! I said mamma, but we’re all crazy now! I said mamma, we’re all crazy now!"
I was a little anxious about his need to repeat himself, but I put this down to the pressures of fame, fame, fame.
As he approaches his first Christmas, Alexander is becoming more active in the social and political issues which have always concerned him. He is particularly concerned about the plight of young people and the way that they are adversely affected by an ever-changing education system and so much cultural anxiety about drugs, sex and antisocial behaviour.
He says that often young people simply want to be left alone. "These children that you spit on, as they try to change their world, are immune to your consultation; they're quite aware of what they're going through."
It is all very well for rock stars to spout such rhetoric about an issue, but has Alexander any serious political ambitions? Is he prepared to go all the way for what he believes? He is candid in his reply.
"I wanna be elected."
Disclaimer: The author was born in 1980 and her knowledge of Glam Rock comes mostly from the movies Velvet Goldmine (a bizarre, sexually explicit film where Eddie Izzard is the only man without make-up) and Hedwig and the Angry Inch (the best musical on film, also rather rude in places).
Please note that the feather boa was being used as a (very successful) distraction during a medical examination, not as an attempt to humiliate the child in later life. Alexander was clearly enjoying it. He also adores the song Mr Blue Sky by the Electric Light Orchestra, which I don’t consider to be too bad a start in life. Is ELO even Glam Rock? What about Cockney Rebel? Alice Cooper? Anyone?
He does have a musical rival it seems. Sybil told me the other day that she wanted to be in The Slits.
Oasis V Blur anyone?
Maybe this elderly Lady can be of any help:
As far as I know Alice Cooper, T. Rex, Meat Loaf, David bowie, Queen and The Tube are typical Glam rock singers or bands. And the movie Velvet Goldmine was very Glam Rock as far as I can remember.
Alexander is sooooo cute!
Marmite, I told this news to Alexander and he said, "In the words of the Sparks, This town ain't big enough for both of us." ;-)
Thanks Mone for your reassurance. They ought to teach this stuff in school. :-)
My little Bee was quite enraged when I insisted the photos here were actually not of HER. Apparently they ARE pictures of her as a baby, dammit.
And, holy shit, a Sparks reference! Whenever I hear someone play Mindless Self-Indulgence I tell them they should give Sparks a listen.
Bee must be seriously cute if she's even close to Alexander.
Glad to see you about Sage; hope everything is going okay for you just now. :-)
Yes! By all means get that child some Alice Cooper :)
Horrors, ELO were definitely not glam rock. However, Jeff Lynne's former collaborator in The Move, Roy Wood, probably had a great deal of influence on the emergence of the glam rock sound. In the final stage of The Move's existence, they released a single, Tonight, which was a pretty big hit in England, which contains the fundamentals of the revamped boogie approach that came to define glam rock. I suspect it was a major influence on David Bowie when he was writing the songs for Ziggy Stardust.
You can see a video for Tonight on You Tube.
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