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Tom Robinson Band’s first TV appearance, when still unsigned and largely unknown. Janet Street-Porter’s lunchtime London Weekend Show, mid 1977.

Tony Wilson rarely managed to combine his twin careers of local TV news presenter and music impresario. However, having commandeered Granada Reports’ Friday evening ‘what’s on’ slot and changed it from a rundown of Lancashire jumble sales to a platform for punk, he was given his own TV show, So It Goes.

They filmed TRB doing this magnificently caustic Glad To Be Gay live in Manchester, and broadcast it on 6 November 1977.

Live at the Secret Policeman’s Ball benefit concert for Amnesty International, 30 June 1979.

For more information about this performance, see its page

Audience footage of a 2007 London performance with the original 1978 lyrics

Performing it preceded by the Alex Harvey anecdote at Aural Assault, David Hoyle’s series of queer music shows, London, 17 September 2009.

Robinson’s Home In The Morning tour had a storyteller format, talking extensively about his upbringing, early career and social context for the songs. Here he talks about the oppression in the 1970s before playing a version including the original Peter Wells verse in Ormskirk, 21 May 2016.

In July 2016 Theresa May became Prime Minister. Her long record of homophobia was a serious concern and so a few days later, on the 40th anniversary of the first ever performance of the song, Robinson went to Downing Street and sang Glad to Be Gay. He did it with its original 1978 lyrics, and again with the updated version that marks the progress made in a spriti alert to any backslidig under the new regime.

Another film of the event, with additional interviews with Tom and the singers, is here.

In-depth interview with Tom Robinson about Glad to be Gay in 2017. Interviewer: William Brougham.

Tom Robinson talks about his early career, the struggles of the LGBTQ movement in the 1970s and 1980s, being shunned by the BBC who refused to play his hit “Glad To Be Gay”, his influence on other LGBTQ performers and the challenges he sees for LGBTQ people today.

The interview was conducted by LGBTv in Manchester during LGBTQ History Month 2016. It is reproduced here by kind permission of LGBTv, who retain copyright.

The Story About Peter Wells audiobook, written by Merrick Badger and read by Tom Robinson. A biography of the man to whom Tom devoted a verse of the original lyrics of Glad To Be Gay. More info on the man and the book on this site’s Peter Wells section.

Tom’s tuition video of the Glad To Be Gay piano chords.

An excellent 1978 TV documentary about TRB with extensive interviews with Tom. Part 1 of 4 (link to nexts part follow at the end of each part):

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