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Gary Holton - The Rock And Roll Man review

Portrait of the man who paid the price for living too fast

Cover art for Gary Holton - The Rock And Roll Man

This unofficial cinematic biography of the long-deceased Heavy Metal Kids frontman and star of TV’s Auf Wiedersehen, Pet was produced by Richard Smith, who runs the Garyholtontribute.co.uk website. Holton’s early life in South London is covered by interviews with his wife, Donna, and father, Ernie.

Entertaining rock’n’roll stories come from co-founding bassist Ronnie Thomas and drummer Keith Boyce, interspersed with mini-clips from The Old Grey Whistle Test and TOTP, plus some great footage of The Cops Are Coming, aired on Panorama.

The picture painted is of a loveable, flamboyant, raving hedonist that relished life but refused to take it even remotely seriously, which is why, 40 years on, the Kids are revered as punks before punk music even existed, though some potential fans remain unaware of their (continued) existence.

It’s all a bit DIY, but with the proceeds going to charity, The Rock And Roll Man is worth a look.

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.