There’s a new controversy with the new Joker movie and it has to do with music

If you’ve seen the new Joker, you’ll remember a scene where Joaquin Phoenix dances down a staircase while he transforms into The Joker. The music in the background has outraged some people.

The track is “Rock and Roll Part 2,” a (mostly) instrumental single from 1972 by Gary Glitter, one of the big stars of the UK glam scene. It was one of those hits that just would not die, showing up in movies, TV shows, and video games. And because of it’s anthemic beat and shouty bits, it became a staple at sporting events for decades.

Then came the truth about Glitter. He’s a hardcore pedophile.

Glitter–real name Paul Gadd–was first nailed in 1997 when a computer tech discovered kiddie porn on a laptop he took in for repair. When cops raided his home, they found more child porn. That led to a four-month jail term and registration as a sex offender.

When he got out of jail, he sailed his yacht to Spain where he lived under a fake name. From there, he moved to Cuba, then Cambodia. When he was discovered, he was deported to Thailand. from there he moved to Vietnam.

He was arrested again for having sex with underage girl, a charge that could have resulted in execution by firing squad. Instead, he was sentenced to three years in prison. Upon release, he ended up staying in Thailand after 19 countries refused him entry. Eventually he ended up back in the UK.

But then came more allegations, another trial, and a guilty verdict (attempted rape, four counts of indecent assault, and one of having sex with a girl under 13). He’s been serving a 16-year prison sentence since 2015.

Obviously, we’re dealing with a horrible, wicked man, a person that many want canceled. So why would producers use “Rock and Roll Part 2” in Joker? And will be make money from the song’s use on the soundtrack?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “There’s a new controversy with the new Joker movie and it has to do with music

  • October 8, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    As a fan of seventies Glam Rock I had a decision to make. Gary Glitter’s stomping songs were the epitome of commercial Glam and I loved them. I decided to separate the man from his music. There are lots if instances of popular music written and performed by disgraced artists and the songs are still loved even though the artists are reviled. I purchased Gary Glitter vinyl LPs used so Gary was not receiving money for them. I do think the film producers should have found other music and dropped Rock ‘N’ Roll Part 2 so Glitter would not make money from it. Once an artist commits a repugnant crime the public doesn’t want to pay the artist to list to him perform his material.

  • October 9, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Song is played at every single Leafs game. I never knew this back story till now. Why is it only coming to light now?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.