SUPERSTAR singer Gilbert O’Sullivan was riding high in the charts when he came to Glasgow in March 1975.

He played the Apollo, supported by English singer-songwriter Claire Hamill, and the show went down a storm with his fans.


Born Raymond Edward O’Sullivan in 1946 in Ireland, he originally trained in graphic design.

In an interview with our sister newspaper The Herald in 2018, he explains it was his mother who sparked his interest in music.

After the family of six children emigrated from Waterford to Swindon, she bought the seven year-old music-mad Raymond, a piano which was kept in the garden shed.

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She him to piano lessons in the hope he’d “at least be able to earn a bob or two playing in the local pub,” he explained.

His dad had died at the age of 12 - “It’s sad I never really got to know him. What I do remember was he loved to gamble. If he’d lived until I was successful he’d have wanted me to buy him a racehorse,” he told The Herald.

After forming and joining bands as a drummer and vocalist, he started writing his own songs, heavily influenced by The Beatles and Bob Dylan. He changed his name to Gilbert and released two singles, but it was not until his first chart hit in 1972, the classic Alone Again (Naturally), that he became famous.

The song topped the USA charts for six weeks and won him three Grammy nominations. His first British number one hits were Clair, Get Down and Back to Front and he went on to become an awardwinning, chart-topping household name.

He continues to record and tour - his 2018 self-titled album reached the top 20 – and Glasgow always features in his programme.

In that interview with The Herald, he admitted his early ‘look’ did not go down very well with his record company.

“I wanted to be different,” he said.

“In 1967, long hair was here to stay so I went instead for the Just William look, which came from a love of Chaplin and Buster Keaton.

“Every single record company didn’t like it. I was always being told to wear jeans, look like James Taylor and I’d be okay. But I’m proud of the fact I decided to be different.”

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Did you catch Gilbert O’Sullivan at the Apollo in 1975?

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