Chris Glen is a Glasgow legend who got a bass guitar and cut his musical teeth in his first ever band, Jade, before moving onto another outfit, the charmingly named Mustard.
It was then that he met up with Alistair 'Zal' Cleminson and soon the pair moved onwards and upwards forming Tear Gas with drummer Ted McKenna and frontman Dave Batchelor. From here on, Glen's life became something of a rollercoaster as he joined the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, The Michael Schenker Group, Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan's solo outfit and even had a brief stint in a band with Brian Robertson (Thin Lizzy), Robin McAuley and Motörhead’s Phil Taylor in GMT (Glen/McAuley/Taylor).
All of these memories, stories and more have been painstakingly compiled in Glen's new biography, 'The Bass Business', with the help of Glasgow based journalist Martin Kielty, and they've recently been published under the title of 'The Bass Business'. To celebrate the book, Glen held a launch party at Glasgow's Hard Rock Café, and his dedicated fanbase turned out in their masses to support him.
Book launches are often difficult things to organise, but Glasgow based Shock City Productions had the measure here, enabling those who'd pre-ordered books a chance to get them signed and to have a chance to meet Glen, whilst still making sure there was ample entertainment to keep everyone at the venue all night long.
Glen was on top form throughout the evening taking to the stage with co-author Martin Kielty to undertake a quick question and answer session compered by Tom Russell. There was a musical interlude provided by Highway Jones, which featured ex-Heavy Pettin' member Dave Leslie, frontman Chris Aylward and current Edens Curse drummer John Cleland who ran through a selection of classic rock numbers including ZZ Top's 'Gimme All Your Lovin'', the evergreen 'Wishing Well' by Free (which also included Cleland's Edens Curse bandmate Paul Logue on bass guitar) and Queen's 'Tie Your Mother Down' by which really got the party going.
The main draw of the night had to be the live set with Glen himself on bass ably supported by a revolving door of young talent and musical guests. Kicking off a trip through Glen's musical career highlights with a clutch of Sensational Alex Harvey Band numbers was set opener 'Midnight Moses' featuring the incredibly talented Connor Williamson on guitar, Highway Jones frontman Chris Aylward and Cleland on drums along with a special guest appearance from and James Bird from local rockers Mason Hill which was followed by 'Framed' which featured Chris Thomson from Edinburgh prog rockers Café Jacques on vocals and guitar.
Following that was 'Swampsnake' from the 1973 SAHB release 'Next', which was warmly greeted as local rocker Charlie Moffat from Swamp Born Assassins took to the stage alongside guitarist Peter Scallan which was followed by a rendition of 'Buff's Bar Blues' which included a special appearance from Kielty on drums – and for someone who is a journalist and not a professional player, he did not badly at all.
Another Sensational Alex Harvey Band number, the ubiquitous 'Delilah', closed things off with the vocals being handled by ex-Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow and La Paz frontman Doogie White. In fact, it was White who really got the crowd going earlier in the set with high energy renditions of Michael Schenker Group classic 'Armed And Ready', ably assisted by Dave Cuthbert and Peter Higgins and also featuring Paul McManus from Gun on drums while the follow-up number, 'Let Sleeping Dogs Lie' saw both Williamson and Cleland return to the stage to join in the fun.
White stepped aside temporarily as Dave Cuthbert and Peter Higgins joined in the fun for spirited run throughs of UFO classics 'Lights Out' and 'Doctor Doctor' while Glen, never one to hog the limelight too much, seemed happy to stand towards the back for most of the set, coming forward to introduce the various members of his All Star Outfit.
Chris Glen’s All Star Outfit Setlist:
Armed And Ready
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
Buff's Bar Blues
Chris Glen's All Star Outfit included:
Chris Glen – Bass Guitar/Vocals
Doogie White – Vocals
Peter Higgins – Vocals
Charlie Moffat – Vocals
Chris Aylward – Vocals
Chris Thomson – Vocals/Guitars
Dave Cuthbert – Guitars
Peter Scallan – Guitars
Connor Williamson – Guitars
James Bird – Guitars
John Cleland – Drums
Ted McKenna – Drums
Paul McManus – Drums
Martin Kietly – Drums
Johnny speaks to Chris Glen about his autobiography 'The Bass Business' in the video here, as well as his career with the Sensational Alex Harvey Band and working with Michael Schenker.