All that's Glitter's: Should a perv profit from Wahoo-wah?

It's the riff that's been pumping up UVA fans for years, energizing the Scott Stadium crowd pre-game when the Cavalier Marching Band plays its distinctive chords. And when it blares over the Scott Stadium loudspeakers after touchdowns, the crowd usually launches into a Stadium-wide chant: "U-V-A. Go Hoos, go." But hearing it makes at least one Cav fan very angry.

The song is the 1972 rock anthem "Rock and Roll Part 2"– often called "The Hey Song." And one fan is so disgusted by the child sex convictions of its creator that he's offered to pay UVA $5,000 to stop playing the tune forever.

"This is so offensive," says UVA alum/fan Sean Gregg, pointing out that there's been a nationwide push to remove the song from sporting events.

"I'm amazed," says Gregg, "it's never gotten any traction in Charlottesville."

What has Gregg so riled is the fact that the song's creator, '70s pop star Gary Glitter, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, is a repeat pedophile. Gadd's "glam rock" music was wildly popular in the U.K., made so partly by his outrageous, campy image of an androgynous star sporting glitter suits and silver platform boots.  But in 1999, he was convicted of downloading thousands of child pornography images in the U.K. before heading to southeast Asia where his prurient interests escalated to even grimmer actions. In 2002, Gadd was ousted from Cambodia for suspicion of child sexual abuse, and in 2006, he was convicted of committing obscene acts against two Vietnamese girls, ages 11 and 12, and sentenced to three years behind bars.

Now that Gadd is a free man– able once again to travel the globe in pursuit of pleasure– many fans are eager to trim Gadd's profits, and some have pressured their favorite sports teams to stop playing the song. However, because of the way the song's rights are distributed to universities and sporting arenas by the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), even when recordings by Gary Glitter aren't played, Gadd, as the song's co-author, may still receive a steady stream of royalties.

This year, six years after asking all teams to stop playing it, the NFL banned use of the song in the Super Bowl's halftime show. Earlier this month, the Democratic party came under fire for playing the song at its national convention in Charlotte (as former employees from opponent Mitt Romney's Bain Capital came on stage).

The late June jury conviction of retired Penn State assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky did more than put away a molester on 45 felony counts. The crime and coverup at Penn State shattered a storied college football legacy and seemed to drive the great Joe Paterno to an early grave. It also seemed to end all performances of potentially offensive music at Penn State.

This fall, the Penn State Nittany Lions have banned "Rock and Roll Part 2" along with another fan favorite: the 1969 Neil Diamond classic "Sweet Caroline." Some fans say the school has taken note of the fact that Diamond– who included the line "touching me, touching you"– has made no secret of the fact that the song was inspired by a photograph of the then-11-year-old Caroline Kennedy.

That Diamond played the song to Kennedy at her 50th birthday celebration in 2007, and that it remains a favorite in her hometown's Fenway Park, suggests that Kennedy herself isn't terribly offended. And Penn State officials have denied that removing the song from the rotation was about the lyrics.

The Sandusky scandal may make quashing "Rock and Roll Part 2" an understandable choice at Penn State, but does UVA plan to keep lining a pedophile's pockets? And how much money does Gadd really get?

According to UVA Athletic Department spokesperson Jim Daves, the department is aware of Gary Glitter's criminal record, but says the Department hasn't received any complaints from fans or alumni since August 2010.

Gregg, an attorney in Orange, says the UVA official he contacted with his $5,000 offer– which he says he made earlier this month– was Cavalier Marching Band director William Pease.

Pease tells a reporter that he was under the impression that playing the song provides no royalties to Gadd. However, according to Daves, the University has a standard higher education agreement with ASCAP, one of several nonprofit music-licensing firms.

"We don't pay royalties directly to Gary Glitter," notes Daves.

The amount would be difficult to determine, but it's likely that Gadd does receive royalties indirectly from UVA because UVA pays a blanket annual fee to ASCAP allowing unlimited plays of any song in the company catalog– whether over the loudspeakers or from the drums and tubas of the Cavalier Marching Band.

According to Vincent Candilora, ASCAP's executive vice president of licensing, UVA pays at a rate of 33 cents per full time student. With approximately 21,000 students, that means the school might pay around $7,000 per year for unlimited rights to play or perform ASCAP-licensed songs. Candilora says ASCAP primarily looks at televised events to determine how to divvy up the royalties for songwriters and composers, using TV ratings and estimates of audience size in making the calculations.

While he won't comment on the amount paid to Gadd through UVA's annual license, Candilora notes that "Rock and Roll Part 2," along with Queen's "We are the Champions/We Will Rock You," and "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," are some of the more frequently played songs at American college sporting events.

But should the fact that Gadd makes money from UVA mean the song– and the longstanding tradition enjoyed by thousands of Cavalier fans– should end? Not all UVA fans think so, but finding someone to talk publicly proves difficult when the topic involves child sexual abuse.

"I personally am torn on this issue," says one UVA alum, one of several sources to request anonymity for fear of seeing his name in a "pedophilia" story.

"The fact that other venues and schools have banned the song because he was a scumbag will certainly shake fans out of their ignorance about who wrote it, and what he did," says the alum, noting he hadn't heard anything about Gadd before a reporter's call. "On the other hand," the fan notes, "it's a fun tune that fires up the crowd."

There are laws and court procedures on the books to divert profits away from criminal enterprises. Most notably, the family of Ron Goldman now receives nearly all the revenue from the book former football star O.J. Simpson penned about the murders of Goldman and Simpson's ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.

Another UVA fan points out that Gadd is hardly the only artist to have committed crimes and that receiving royalties for a song written three decades ago "doesn't amount to his benefiting from a crime."

Indeed, there's a litany of creative artists who have committed nefarious acts.

In 1977, film director Roman Polanski was charged with statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl and pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor. He went on to make acclaimed films– including The Pianist, which collected three Academy Awards.

In 2009, hip-hop musician Chris Brown was convicted of assaulting his then-girlfriend, fellow singer Rihanna. That didn't stop awards from flowing Brown's way, including a 2012 Grammy for Best R&B album.

Then there's Phil Spector. A prolific songwriter and music producer, Spector had a role in making hundreds of Top 40 hits including writing credits for "You've Lost that Loving Feeling" and "Da Doo Ron Ron." In 2009, then-68-year-old Spector was convicted of second degree murder for the 2003 shooting of actress Lana Clarkson.

A murder conviction may mean the public has lost some loving feelings for Spector the person, but his contributions go to the heart of popular music. Among the discs Spector produced are George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord," John Lennon's classic "Imagine," and the Beatles' final studio album, Let it Be.

Two years ago, Entertainment Weekly film critic Owen Gleiberman posed a question that considered several trouble stars including Mel Gibson, who has been accused of domestic violence– along with an array of antisemitic, racist, and homophobic rants.

"When a Hollywood star, or director, acts badly in life," wrote Gleiberman, "it may bring out the closet moralist in us, but it may also, in some ways, reinforce what we found so arresting about that person as an artist or star in the first place.

"In other words," concludes Gleiberman, "morality and art are a combustible combination. They don’t always mix well."

That may be true, but domestic battery, even murder, are no match for the taboo of pedophilia. For Gregg, there's also the problem that the Gary Glitter song and all its painful connotations come blaring at him in the crowd at Scott Stadium, whether or not he wants to hear it.

"I think that's the issue," says Gregg, who contends that listening to music by such a tainted artist should be an individual choice rather than one made by a university.

Based on the volume of the cheering that follows Gadd's song at UVA's games, it would seem the majority of the fans either don't know, don't care, or have learned to compartmentalize his past. Gregg says he hopes it's just ignorance.

"If people knew the guy's history," says Gregg, "they'd probably find it offensive."


Since Sean is soo offended maybe he should just stay in Orange and not attend the games where everyone else is having fun. He is clearly the only one offended which is why he has gained no traction in the ville. Cute lil campaign that he is on though I bet he has Jacko in his cd player right now.

I believe most people who know the connection between playing this song and Mr. Gadd's wallet would prefer not to have the song played.

As for my cd player, it currently has Candy Dulfer Joplin in it.

Suppose this clown had invented your precious iphone or the morning after pill?

The real problem here is that authorities didn't lock him up for life wouldn't matter how much money he had.. in jail you could only buy so many cartons of cigarettes....

Who cares UVA football is weak!

This is a small opportunity for UVa to step up the plate and take a stand. While it is clear you can't legislate morality, it would be a good first step in culture change at the #1 party school in the country. Small but steady change could help to stop the out of control drinking, the hook up culture and the disregard for townies.

The time for UVa to embrace change started when Ms. Love was killed. Perhaps Ms. Dragas and the other BOV members could spend time on these issues and get off the educationally absurd on line classes issue and other Darden School madness.

What ever happened to in loco parentis? Why does the entire Student Affairs area continue to be totally incompetent? If UVa was a business, they would all be looking for work. When fish rots, it stinks from the top down. Perhaps it is time for the VP of Student Affairs to enjoy retirement. Change can be good, UVa should give change a chance.

What does this post have to do with drinking at UVa, Yeardley Love,role of Student Affairs, and so on?
Should music of someone convicted of a major crime no longer be played at sporting events? Where do you draw the line? What about all the rock stars arrested or convicted of drug crimes? Should they be censored?
Homophobes would not approve of the music of Elton John or Melissa Etheridge.
Then there was the outcry when the Dixie Chicks attacked Bush-bans by radio stations, etc. And I am sure some would think Hank Williams Jr should be banned because of his anti-Obama remarks..
Will MADD call for a ban on Lindsay Lohan movies because of her DUIs?
Where will this all end, once it gets started?

He's like two clowns in a one clown bag

Didn't Jefferson impregnate at least one of his slaves? I say we take his name and image off of everything related to the University lest we seem to condone that sort of thing.

Since accountability is soo important to the hoos did'nt TJ have slaves? Did'nt he even impregnate some of them? Do the hoos really? have any moral ground to stand on here? Why not boycott TJ's academic village? To impregnate someone who is not of free will is no better than being a pedo. But he is TJ so it's cool. I bet TJ and Mr. Gadd have a lot more in common than you think...

Much Ado About Nothing. I do agree with the couple of folks that where do you stop. Polanski was likely a jerk, Woody Allen is not a shining example of moral standards, ect....

And I bet the portion of $7000 in ASCAP that makes it to Gary's pocket is less that a full admission ticket to a UVa F'ball game.

Among how many song performances is the $7K split? $7000 divided by 300 songs a years is what $23 a play? Less the handling fee, agents and all I'm guessing less than $10.

Several of the posts above show why UVa is always the last to join worthy causes (just like we were late to join the anti-apartheid movement in the '80s), and may be why we are starting to hear the return of the "Not Gay!" chant at games. Unlike at more grownup universities, we are so used to getting to have things the way we like them, that we don't often stop to question whether those things represent doing the right thing. The connection to the Dragas scandal is that it's all part of a piece -- we always think we can do something just because it's what we like or want to do, and react to contrary views by saying such things as "it's the UVa way" or "if you don't like it, leave" or "we have traditions" or "technically, it is not unlawful." But now that we know the song was basically the sole contribution to modern culture of a notorious child-harming perv, do we really want to hear it anymore? It aint THAT great of a song, and how does playing it fit with the wholesome family venue of a college game? (Maybe UVa thinks it's a teaching moment: "Hear that song, Johnny? If the man who sings it EVER asks you to get in his car, scream real loud and run away real fast!") I mean, Pee-wee Herman had his show cancelled when he got caught in a movie theater molesting only himself, a victimless crime other than the toll it might have taken on his eyesight.

I question the "wholesome family venue" statement. I have heard people say they don't want to take their young children to UVa football games because of the behavior of some of the spectators-foul language, drinking,etc. Heard about a father at a game who asked some UVa frat guys to watch their language as his young children were present.They verbally abused him in response.
Things like that are more important to address than some song being played.

And what does this guy say about Roman Polanski?? He is an admintted and convicted pedofile, and I have never heard any calls for the banishment of any of his films. In fact, the leftists in Hollywood and elsewhere love the guy! What kind of hypocricy is this Socialist tryying to pander to us??


Polanski IS a convicted pedofile, not just a mere jerk. He pleaded guilty. To put Woody Allen in the same sentence with this pedofile is deliberately hypocritical - unless you are ignorant of the facts. Given your statements, you probably are.. Allen never was charged with any crime. The girl he married was neither his nor his ex-wife's biological daughter. And he is now married to her longer than, say, 90% of all showpeople. And is certainly not the most scandalous person

@Hollow Boy and max, see what I mean? If the decision to do an easy right thing about a small wrong can't be made without fretting about slippery slope consequences and comparisons to other entities that fail to do other right things, we'll never solve any specific problems. There is always some problem that is worse in comparison, and there is always some entitiy that is more immoral in not solving a different problem. Here, it would be very easy for UVa to step up and take accountability and say it no longer wants to support this perv in any way, and it would not cost us a dime or harm anyone who we care about. Yes, Roman Polanski should have been plopped in jail long ago (he fled to France before he could be incarcerated), and yes UVa should also do something about the foul-mouth frat boys at games (what about it, President Sullivan? Now that we see your face up there on Hoo Vision announcing that you are a Wahoo, are you really at the stadium to police your students, like we would expect any other teacher to do?). But absence of appropriate action on those fronts shouldn't prevent any easy fix here -- it hasn't stopped the the NFL and several other schools, after all. Are we at UVa particularly weak such that we can't do it?

I believe the issue here is the direct link between playing the song and contributing directly to a convicted pedophile's bank account. I would make the same argument if UVa showed excerpts from Polanski's movies during halftime. It bothers me that so many people do not know about Mr. Gadd.

As to where one draws the line about "the crimes of the artist", I cannot answer that question easily. However, UVa choosing to replace Mr. Gadd's song with someting else strikes me as being an easy choice to make. Jefferson, for all of the alleged issues related to slaves, does not receive income from tuition at UVa.The litmus test for me is the DIRECT contribution to Mr. Gadd's economic well-being.

As for the Dixie Chicks, I recall a clamor among radio talk show hosts to boycott their albums after one of its members criticized the Bush Administration.

I am not sure where socialism fits into this argument. I am also not sure to whom I am allegedly trying to pander. (I believe "pander" refers to making arrangements for illicit/immoral liaisons, if I misunderstand Max's statement, I would appreciate clarification).

Finally, I do not have an i-phone. As for whether Gadd should have been locked up for life, he was not, and the next best remedy is taking an admittedly small step toward hitting him in the wallet.

If nothing else, maybe a few people will choose not to sing along if the Athletic Department chooses to continue playing the song, now that they know about the song's writer.

Alleged issues related to slaves TJ does not receive income from tuition. Well done Sean. So let's just forget all about TJ and his slaves that he took advantage of sweep that under the rug and get on with your moral crusade to bring awareness about Gadd. The founder of your college had slaves and impregnated some of them this is fact not alleged. While he does not profit monetarily he profits from people like Sean who easily dismiss TJ's actions that differed so much from his words. TJ is held in high reguard although he held slaves and had sex with them AND spoke against slavery. Awareness should be brought to TJ's actions by attending UVA you basically say you support this man and his behaviour. I don't feel like awareness is what Sean is really? after. Sounds more like a pre cursor for Sean to enter into politics given his high standard of awareness and moral fiber.

If nothing else maybe a few students will not go to UVA now that they know about the schools founder. Zzzzing!

If this is all some of you are concerned about, you need to get a life.

Again, Max and really? seem to be missing the point. No, we don't excuse Jefferson's misbehavior of over 200 years ago (but it is a little late to try to punish him directly), and no, this isn't "all" we care about if we care about this perv song issue. But it is something worthy of some concern, and as Sean Gregg said it's a problem that can be easily fixed -- no big deal, no requirement to give up anything of value. Is it really so hard to see and do the simple and obvious right thing here, or does a reactionary resistance to being told something is wrong prevent some people from being able to act right? How on earth do they get through a church service?

U-V-A! Go Hoo's go! Hey!

Presidents, the current one included, have a nasty habit of dropping drone strikes and other military means on innocents, killing hundreds if not thousands in the past decade.

But yeah, let's go after a has been sicko instead.

I'm not concerned with other celebrities and their behaviors, I don't like the fact that songs by a pedophile are played at events involving children. If Gary Glitter gets any royalties, so much the worse.

Sean, you really need to get a hobby.

Also obviously the song doesn't pep up UVA fans very much, they are the most comatose fans in I-A college football, and are probably half the reason the football program is a joke.

TJ's family DNA found in the makeup of a slaves does not mean he had children with his slaves. It only means someone in his family did.

TJ and Sally done it. Sean should try it. Speaking of church services maybe they could play the hey song for catholics at prayer meetings and such sounds right up their alley!

I am not sure I understand "really?"'s comments.

For the record, I have no intention of entering politics, and I do not see any connection between Mr. Gadd and Mr. Jefferson.

I still have not quite figured out the perceived role of the the Catholic Church in this issue.

If your point is that this is a relatively small evil in a world full of evil, I agree. It also happens to be one that can be easily corrected, with little effort.

I do not understand how anyone can defend playing a song that directly contributes to a convicted pedophile's economic well-being. I agree lots of other injustice occurs in the world. That we live in an imperfect world is not a justification for not trying to make it a (slightly) better place.