Sequins, capes, fake eyelashes: Tad McKitterick busts out these big guns, in addition to his octave-leaping pipes, as frontman for Sidewalk Driver. Their showmanship and epic balladry make them one of most legitimate glam acts in Boston. We caught up with Tad before he got his eyelids did.
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WHERE’D YOUR LOVE FOR GLAM COME FROM?
’70s glam rock, to me, is a pure thing. Bowie, Iggy, Elton—they were what they were because they couldn’t be anything else. I was into folk music when I listened to Space Oddity, and Ziggy Stardust brought me back to rock & roll. I needed to show my personality through my music, but had qualms with the visual element. It may be insane insecurity that makes me dress up in crazy costumes onstage, but this is how I want to express myself and how I’m gonna sing it.
HOW TALL ARE THESE PLATFORM BOOTS?
Seven-and-a-half inches! They put a wiggle in your walk. Put them on, you’re tall for a night, and the next day I’m walking around sad because I’m not 6’5″ anymore. They’re like the ring in Lord of the Rings.
HAVE YOU DRIVEN ON ANY SIDEWALKS?
No! “Trapper Keeper” was up there when we were thinking up names, but then I thought: “Sidewalk Driver! It’s how we met!” The name comes from the best shift at Boston Duck Tours, where three of us have worked. It means you’re the extra person and sit around and do nothing. It’s my preferable shift.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PRESHOW RITUALS?
Kate does my eyelashes for me. She’ll put them on and blow on my eyelids. At the last show, I asked her, “How many times do you have to blow on my eyelids before it’s, like, considered that we’ve made out?” I do two shots of Patrón, too.