Marc Bolan – The Guru of Glitter
An English singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and poet, he’s also the lead singer of the band T-Rex. Later, he becomes one of the pioneers of the glam rock movement of the 1970s. Marc Bolan had a lot going for him, he had the inspiration, and charisma. As well as the unique style of a true rock n’ roller. While some people think that he’s just weird by wearing glitter and strange attire but when he came on stage to perform, he was a true rock n’ roll superstar!
Some called him a sell-out when he started moving towards glam. But for the real fans, they loved his cheekiness. As well as the celebratory feel of his music and his sense of fun. With his whimsical personality and gold shoes people loved him and gravitated to him. He even had his own television shows.
Growing Up in England – The Early Days
Bolan knew at an early age that he is going to be a rock star. By age nine, he’s into the music of Eddie Cochran, Little Richard, Elvis, Gene Vincent, Chuck Berry and many others. Also, at age nine he receives his first guitar and starts a band. While at school, he plays guitar in “Susie and the Hula Hoops,” and during lunch breaks at school, he plays his guitar in the playground to a small audience of friends. At 15, his school kicks him out for bad behavior.
Bolan briefly joins a modelling agency and appears in a clothing catalog for a menswear store. He is a model for the suits in their catalogues as well as the cardboard cut-outs to be displayed in shop windows. Maybe this is where he got inspiration for his many personas.
The Master of Reinvention
Either way, music always seems to be his first love. He wants to be like Bob Dylan someone he truly admires but, the people didn’t embrace what he brought to the table, so he moves onto his next idea. Which turns out to be joining a young beat group called “John’s Children”.
In 1967, they release a single called Desdemona, which has questionable lyrics according to the BBC, and they ban the song. Making matters worse, the name of their album is “Orgasm”, which obviously causes issues in the U.S. The band decides to call it quits in 1968.
Tyrannosaurus Rex Headlines Glastonbury
Yes folks, the bright mythical rainbow shines once again on Bolan and the band. How the hell do they get to headline? Well, it’s an interesting story, the festival happens shortly after the death of Jimi Hendrix. While The Kinks are the top bill for the festival, they pull out of it. So, Tyrannosaurus Rex is asked to step in. While it’s before the festival becomes famous, at least they are a part of musical history! While their name is quite cool sounding, it’s rather long. So, shortly after this performance, the band changes their name to T-Rex. Much easier to spell with less roar!
It is during this time that the band starts exploring different avenues to see what works. Basically, moving away from acoustic to electric, wearing more hats, glitter and more. The fans embraced the changes with open arms. Hence, the era of glam and glitter rock is born. Along with the help of Bowie and a few others bands. They also include drummer Bill Legend, and bassist Steve Currie. Shortly after, T-Rex releases “Ride a White Swan”, “Hot Love”, followed by “Bang a Gong (Get it On)” in the U.S. In 1971, the band leaves their label Fly l for EMI.
The Musical Legacy of Marc Bolan
T-Rex releases several more albums such as the self titled, T-Rex, shortly after is Electric Warrior in 1971, The Slider, Tanx (1973) Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow (1974), Light of Love (1974), Bolan’s Zip Gun (1975), Futuristic Dragon (1976), Dandy in the Underworld (1977), and Billy Super Duper (1982).
Either way, you can’t go wrong with any of them because each of them bring something unique to the table. Our personal favorite are “The Slider” and “Electric Warrior”. He even has a television series titled “Marc” in 1977.
Leaving the World Too Soon
Just when he’s having a resurgence with his career, and things were really starting to happen. Tragically, Marc Bolan leaves the world too soon, after being killed in a car accident just before his 30th birthday. One can only imagine what might have been. He has inspired countless musicians and bands and still today, remains a rock and roll legend.