The Sweet and The Canadian Football League
An extremely brief snippet of “Fox on the Run” by “The Sweet” overheard sandwiched between plays in one helluva exciting 2005 CFL Grey Cup game contested by Edmonton and Montreal. A game with moments of true artistry displayed by Quarterbacks. Is there anything more wondrous than seeing that floating ball dropped into the hands of the receiver or the 96-yard punt return of Tompkins weaving his way past defenders with his teammates perfectly timed blocking?
Moments like these transcend the grunts and thuds of the blocking and tackling aspects of football and oddly enough there are moments when “The Sweet” rose above their teenybopper origins to reach some form of artistic peak. It’s an arguable point though which is illustrated by the schizophrenic nature of “Live At The Rainbow 1973”
I hauled it off the shelf after the game placed it in the portable and turned the volume up. There you are at The Rainbow Theatre in London nearly 32 years ago with mostly girly teenybopper screams punctuating the in-between song segments. It’s a rough raw live document alternating between hard rock anthems and poppy cartoon glam hits (and an interminable drum solo) with the band barreling along, guitar riffs blasting out of the overamped speakers but it also features some of rock music’s most misogynistic lyrics.
Their ode to groupies “If We don’t F**K You Someone Else Will” while strangely honest on some practical level must have had the mums in the audience cringing and what on earth did the young teenyboppers think at the time? They were also capable of showing their sensitive side with the acoustic “You’re Not Wrong For Loving Me” “Shh this is serious” is Brian Connolly’s introduction. Cue immaculate harmonizing one of this bands strong suits. They could all sing and Brian Connolly before the ravages of alcohol took hold combined with an injured throat from an altercation outside a bar is one of “the” Rock voices. In addition if you think the "Bee Gees" had a stranglehold on Falsetto vocals you haven’t heard Guitarist Andy Scott yet!
The band lasted 15 years or so in various permutations. Brian Connolly died from an alcohol related illness. Drummer Mick Tucker succumbed to a blood disorder.
Guitarist Andy Scott has been in the music business for almost 40 years now and still actively tours although on the Oldies circuit mostly trotting out the Glam hits. He fairly recently released a new CD containing new songs but it was decidedly 70’s retro flavored.
Bassist Steve Priest resides in LA occasionally popping onto the “Sweet Message Board” where he seems to get quite a few people riled up at his comments.
“Fox On The Run” is still played to the best of my knowledge at most if not all NHL and CFL games in Canada. “Ballroom Blitz” is still guaranteed to pack the dance floor.