Saturday 30 January 2016

Jet goes down over Edinburgh

Macca pays Iron Virgin a visit
In December 1973, at the height of Glam Rock, five mildly camp bruisers from Edinburgh, going under the ill-advised moniker Iron Virgin, decided to record a version of Jet from Paul McCartney's recently released Band on the Run album. So far, so glamtastic. They released it in the February of 1974 on the Deram label and, remarkably, it began to gain a bit of traction. Kenny Everett loved it - he was playing it every day on his Capital Radio breakfast show. It looked like our Scottish glamsters had got a hit on their hands.

WOAH! Not so fast there. It was precisely at this point that Sir Macca decided to release his version as a single. Fair do's - he'd written it. But, whether or not his people did or didn't speak to the suits at Deram is still a debate that rages north of the border. What isn't in dispute, however, is that it left Iron Virgin's version dead in the water. It was never heard of again (a bit like the band). It had ceased to be, it had gone to meet its maker etc. etc.

A few years ago The Scotsman ran a non-story, in the way that local and regional papers specialise in, about the band. And I swear this is a direct quote from Simple Minds' former manager Bruce Findlay: 'There were dozens of of good Scottish bands at that time who didn't have any chart success but could sell out a pretty big venue. But I can't remember Iron Virgin at all.'

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