In 1981, the year the remaining three decided to disband, Connolly was rushed to hospital, where he suffered 14 cardiac arrests in 24 hours. Show 0 … The identity of his father was never made public and his mother was a teenage waitress, Frances Connolly, who left him in a Glasgow hospital as an infant whilst he was possibly suffering from meningitis. The group recorded four tracks but these were not commercially released. He died on February 14, 2002, in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England. He died less than three years after Taggart star McManus was killed by liver failure at the age of 59. He was the beloved husband of Heidi (Brown) Connolly with whom he shared over 28 years of marriage. He checked himself out of the hospital and died of renal failure the following month, on February 9 at the age of 51. The Home Counties were a hotbed of musical talent and Connolly soon replaced Ian Gillan (later with Deep Purple) in a Harrow-based cover band called Wainwright's Gentlemen. In 1981, Connolly was admitted to hospital with bloating, and he sustained multiple heart attacks. They then moved into a house in Beverley Road, Ruislip. During 1977, when no tours were undertaken and two of Sweet's most successful albums were recorded, the power struggle within the band became even more apparent. Brian Connolly, singer and songwriter: born Hamilton, Lanarkshire 5 October 1945; married (two daughters; marriage dissolved; one son by Jean Dibble); died Slough 10 February 1997. In 1995, Jean succeeded in locating Connolly's biological family. During January 1983, Connolly supported Pat Benatar for three shows including one at Hammersmith Odeon, London. He also performed in Bahrain. It contained demos of four new songs, totaling about 20 mixes. The lineup featured Connolly on vocals, Chris Eldridge and Lee Mordecai on guitars, Mark Conway (bass) and drummer Martin Lass. After dominating the charts in the UK during the height of the glitter rock era, the band had been on a devastating downward spiral ever since. The band and Connolly also played two other dates for the Benatar tour in Birmingham and Newcastle. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. On his discharge from the Merchant Navy in 1963 he returned to Harefield and played in a number of local bands, including Generation X (not to be confused with the punk rock band from the late 70s, fronted by Billy Idol) from mid-1965 until about October 1966. On 2 November 1996, British TV network Channel 4 aired a programme Don't Leave Me This Way, which examined Connolly's time as a pop star with The Sweet, the subsequent decline in the band's popularity, and the impact on the band members. The similarly raucous intros to "Hellraiser", "Ballroom Blitz" (complete with Brian enquiring "Are you ready, Steve, Mick, Andy?") Unfortunately, both the Level Headed (1978) and Cut Above the Rest (1979) albums flopped and the musicians argued more than ever. His partner Jean, whom he had met a few years earlier, gave birth to a son that year. and was cremated after a ceremony at Most Holy Name Roman Catholic Church at Old Mill Road, Denham, Buckinghamshire. In 1988, Connolly reunited in Los Angeles, California, with former band members Mick Tucker, Steve Priest and Andy Scott, to rework studio versions of "Action" and "The Ballroom Blitz". This was to be a trial run, to see if a full reunion and new album could be arranged, for America's MCA Records. Born in Hamilton, near Glasgow, in 1949, Connolly was probably the half- brother of the actor Mark McManus (who played the Scottish television detective Taggart). While he later found love, Connolly died at 51 in 1997 after a series of heart attacks. Photograph: Cine Text / Allstar/Sportsphoto Ltd. / Allstar Steve Priest, bassist and vocalist with glam rock band the … At the age of 12, Connolly moved to Harefield, Greater London, where he attended the local secondary modern school. After several other shows, including one at the Dingley Powerhouse, Connolly and the band played the final Australian date of the tour at Melbourne's Old Greek Theatre. Connolly developed a significant problem with alcoholism in the mid-1970s. Further to recent questions and enquiries from Sweet fans and friends, I write to confirm the thoughts of the family on the use of the name ‘BC Sweet’ or ‘Brian Connolly Sweet’ or ‘Brian Connolly’ or any variation thereof by the musicians who worked with my father in the months preceding his death. During the early 1990s, Connolly played the European "oldies" circuit and occasional outdoor festivals in Europe with his band. Connolly, lead singer with 70s glam rock group Sweet, suffered kidney failure on Sunday night. (Rumours persisted that his father was "Mark's dad. This time there was little more that could be done. The Inland Revenue served Connolly and the other members of the Sweet with a multimillion-pound tax assessment for the income earned from their hit records. Connolly's family and friends were at his bedside in a Berkshire hospital when he died. Signing with RCA the following year, the band hooked up with the producer Phil Wainman and songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, who immediately came up with a poppy, lightweight formula not dissimilar to Mungo Jerry and Middle of the Road. The Chapman-produced reunion floundered quickly due to problems with Connolly's voice. Ten thousand people heard Connolly perform a sneak peek of his first solo Polydor single: "Take Away The Music". Connolly studied to become an engineer but music was more of an attraction for a youngster keen to make his mark on the world. His final live performance with the band was in July 1978 in Florida, US, when they supported Alice Cooper. Connolly had reportedly stopped drinking in 1985, but separated from his wife Marilyn, divorcing in 1986. In a bid to bridge the gap between the successful hits and the hard- rocking B-sides the band had always written, Chinn and Chapman came up with the riotous "Blockbuster". Connolly and Sweet parted company in 1979. Connolly's next release was "Don't You Know A Lady", composed by Roger Greenaway, was also recorded by British four-piece band Brooks shortly after Connolly's release. This time there was little more that could be done. Money was raised for a plaque dedicated to Connolly at Breakspear Crematorium, Breakspear Road, Ruislip, Middlesex. He was 51. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. Soon, with Sweet making numerous television appearances covered in glitter, make-up and warpaint, the rest of Europe and the United States fell for simplistic ditties like "Little Willy" and "Wig Wam Bam". Brian Francis Connolly (5 October 1945 – 9 or 10 February 1997) was a Scottish-born singer-songwriter, musician and actor, best known as the lead singer between 1968 and 1979 of the British glam rock band The Sweet. Carrere then released the hard-rock single "Hypnotized", written by Joe Lynn Turner. The "Old Sweet" material are new recordings. The show revealed Connolly's ill health, but also that he was continuing with his concert dates at Butlins, where Connolly and his band had appeared a number of times on tour during the early 1990s. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. His band sold over 50 million records, but he fell from grace and ultimately couldn't capitalise on the recent renewed interest in all things glitter. During this time Connolly recorded a dozen or so new tracks. On 28 July 1973, he married his first wife, Pauline, at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Ruislip, Middlesex. In 1982 with his Polydor contract having expired, Connolly signed with French independent label, Carrere Records. [1], Connolly was born in 1945 in Govanhill, Glasgow. The young Brian was fostered by the McManus family, having been abandoned by his mother as a baby; however, when he moved to Middlesex in his teens, he dropped the surname McManus in favour of Connolly. It was 1981, and things were not looking good for The Sweet. But the group already felt trapped in a gimmicky image which didn't quite match their musical ambitions. In 1968, along with the drummer Mick Tucker and bass-player Steve Priest, Connolly formed the psychedically named Sweetshop. Priest, who was born in England and lived in Los Angeles, had been performing with his own edition of Sweet in recent years. After a week in hospital he discharged himself, but had to be readmitted the following week. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. Connolly has credited the Everly Brothers as being his earliest musical influence. He appeared at the Galleria Theatre, Hyatt Regency. In the 1990s Connolly’s health worsened, and he suffered another heart attack in January of 1997. The band formed in 1968 as Sweetshop and went on to become Sweet - one of Britain's most successful bands of the next decade. Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. From early 1984 onward, despite recurrent ill health, Connolly toured the UK and Europe with his band, now under the name of The New Sweet. Several songs on the Sweet Fanny Adams album had to be sung by other members of the band. Steve Priest, bassist and singer for long-running glam-era rock band The Sweet, has died, according to statements from the band and Priest’s family. Andy Scott is the main man behind The Sweet, the legendary 1970s glam rock outfit which gave us hits like Fox on the Run, Ballroom Blitz and the likes. Sweet missed out on a support slot with The Who at Charlton Football Ground in the mid-Seventies which could have confirmed their move towards a more credible status. He was cremated after a ceremony at Most Holy Name Roman Catholic Church at Old Mill Road, Denham, Buckinghamshire, on 17 February 1997, and his ashes were scattered over the water by his daughters Nicola and Michelle. At the private function, for which Priest specially flew back to England, Priest and Connolly performed together. American success also came at a price; Kiss virtually borrowed Sweet's sound and look wholesale, adding even more gimmicks and eventually stealing the British group's thunder. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. The rest of the band played a show in Adelaide without him, so as not to disappoint the waiting fans. Connolly eventually replaced singer Ian Gillan (later of Deep Purple fame) in a band called Wainwright's Gentlemen, which included drummer Mick Tucker. The original lineup of the Sweet consisted of Tucker, vocalist Brian Connolly, guitarist Frank Torpey and bassist Steve Priest. The cause of death … Brian Connolly, singer and songwriter: born Hamilton, Lanarkshire 5 October 1945; married (two daughters; marriage dissolved; one son by Jean Dibble); died Slough 10 February 1997. As the band's lead singer, he performed hit singles such as "Little Willy" (1972), "Wig-Wam Bam" (1972), "Block Buster!" Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. After news of his leaving Sweet broke, Connolly was interviewed by the German music magazine Bravo, in which he said he was taking time off to be with his family, and considering a new musical direction (countrified rock). By 1985, Connolly had sobered up, and he toured in a revamped version of the band, called The New Sweet, then later Brian Connolly’s Sweet. In 1995, Connolly released a new album, Let's Go, backed up with merchandising. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. A Fandango cover, the track was released in Europe with wide distribution by RCA but failed to chart. He visited other countries including Denmark, and continued to perform sporadically in the UK. Songs played included "Windy City", "Fox on the Run", "Hypnotized" and new numbers, "Sick and Tired", "Red Hair Rage" and "Burning The Candle". He occasionally played in exotic locations like Bahrain and Dubai, but his version of Sweet mainly eked out a living appearing at festivals, resorts (embarrassingly, Butlins holiday camps), and small clubs. Based on a wailing siren and a classic guitar riff (very similar to David Bowie's "Jean Genie", which also came out on RCA in January 1973), the song reached No 1. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Connolly was fostered at the age of two by Jim and Helen McManus of Blantyre and took their family name. His health was permanently affected with some paralysis on his left side which would later develop into a nervous system condition. He is best known as a member of the British glam rock band The Sweet from 1968 to 1979. The band's most famous line-up consisted of bassist Steve, lead vocalist Brian Connolly, guitarist Andy Scott and drummer Mick Tucker. His mother Jean married and now lives with a former band member, Glenn Williams, in Spain.[6]. Connolly and his band continued to tour, both in the UK and Europe. Sweet were made up of four members, the other two being lead singer Brian Connolly and Andy Scott, who was also on vocals, keyboard and guitar. In his mid-teens he joined the Merchant Navy, and got a tiger's head tattooed on his right arm during his Navy service. [4] This single is also included on the Polydor Germany "High Life" compilation album from 1980. He was also survived by his ex-wife, Marilyn, and his two-year-old son Brian (born 26 May 1995) with girlfriend Jean. As for other members of The Sweet, Brian Connolly had been a carpet fitter, Mick Tucker a motor mechanic and Steve Priest had worked in a solicitor’s office. Personal life. The group shortened its name, changed guitarists as often as it swapped record labels (Fontana, Parlophone) and only stabilised with the arrival of Andy Scott in 1970. Brian Francis Connolly (5 October 1945 – 9 February 1997) was a British musician, best known as the lead singer of the British rock band Sweet. This event also meant the band missed out on supporting The Who at Charlton Athletic Football Ground. By this time, Connolly had healed the differences with Steve Priest and Mick Tucker, and was invited to the wedding of Priest's eldest daughter, Lisa. Connolly formed another band in 1984 and called it The New Sweet, later renaming it Brian Connolly’s Sweet. The 17-year old’s name, Brian Connolly, is a giveaway. As time progressed issues between Connolly and other members of Sweet developed and he would find the band excluding him from decisions. One of the tracks "Take Away The Music" was re-recorded the following year, with then Polydor producer Pip Williams, at the Marquee Studios, in London. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. Two years later, the group changed its name to the Sweet. During January 1997, Connolly had another heart attack and he was hospitalised in Slough. The original plan was to have a completed album out by August 1983, but this never materialised. She also informed him that he had a living brother and sister, whom he met up with in England. Tucker and Connolly left Wainwright's Gentlemen in late 1967 and recruited guitarist Frank Torpey, and bassist Steve Priest, naming their new band The Sweetshop. Whatever the truth behind their common lineage, he and Mark McManus both later admitted their resemblance to each other was uncanny.) Pretty soon, "Funny Funny", "Co-Co" and "Poppa Joe" were nudging into the British charts. The Sweet recently released an album of covers, called New York Connection. Brian Connolly and Mick Tucker as part of "Wainwright's Gentlemen", Learn how and when to remove these template messages, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Son of Scots rock legend is looking to follow in his dad's footsteps", "Sweet: The Sweet Soft Underbelly of Rock", "Sparks vs. Sweet: The Battle for Britain", Brian Connolly in thedeadrockstarsclub.com, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Brian_Connolly&oldid=991221807, Articles with a promotional tone from April 2019, Wikipedia articles with style issues from April 2019, Articles needing additional references from June 2020, All articles needing additional references, Articles lacking in-text citations from June 2020, Articles with multiple maintenance issues, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, "Take Away the Music" b/w "Alabama Man" (1980) –, "Don't You Know a Lady" b/w "Phone You"(1980) – Polydor Records, Closed (Belgian psychedelic band) – guide vocals on "My Little Girl From Kentucky" and "Spider", This page was last edited on 28 November 2020, at 23:07. His death on Thursday morning, the cause of which is not yet known, was announced by …