Three Way: Nick Gilder – “Hot Child in the City”

Nick Gilder on iTunes.

Nick Gilder

by Walter Price

 

Shooting to fame with his band Sweeney Todd in 1975 with their #1 glam rock classic “Roxy Roller”, Nick Gilder struck a chord with rock fans and then struck out on his own. Embarking on a solo career that saw the London-born, Canada-raised rocker reach #1 again with his tale of LA teenage prostitutes, “Hot Child in the City”, from the City Nights album. Probably an unlikely subject matter to find on the top of the charts. But there it was, slightly confusing people and, to be honest, exciting teenage boys worldwide. Well, until they learned what the song was really about. Then the darkness wrapped in a virtuous tone made some cringe. If only for a brief moment.

“Hot Child in the City” isn’t at all creepy, but a first-hand account detailed by the witness in song. In a much-discussed quote, Gilder has said this of the song’s content, “I’ve seen a lot of young girls, 15 and 16, walking down Hollywood Boulevard with their pimps. Their home environment drove them to distraction so they ran away, only to be trapped by something even worse. It hurts to see that so I tried writing from the perspective of a lecher, in the guise of an innocent pop song.”

So young to be loose and on her own.
Young boys they all want to take her home.
When she comes downtown the boys all stop and stare.
When she comes downtown she walks like she just don’t care,
Yeah.

 

Whatever you take or how you interpret the 1978 rock classic and current classic rock radio mainstay, you can not deny the impact it had on you the first time you heard it. These interpretations and emotions have resonated with artists far and wide. As you’ll hear in the three fascinating cover versions below.

 

NICK GILDER

website

Frankie Clarke

 

Hagfish

 

Linus Of Hollywood

 

NICK GILDER “Hot Child in the City” (1979 ‘live’)

 

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