Today marks the birthday of the late Marc Bolan, glam child who took that rock genre and amped it up several notches with his main musical ensemble, T-Rex.
The British-born Bolan fused together the sounds of the early Elvis-Sun-Records era coupled with some Chuck Berry and Gene Vincent, and electrified up with glam arrangements to become one of the genre’s forerunners. He had spectacular success in England during the early 1970s on par with The Beatles, in fact, even being immortalized on film about the whole escapade in the motion picture Born to Boogie directed by none other than the drummer for The Beatles, Ringo Starr.
With his wild, curly, large Adonis-style long hair, glitter affixed to his face, and a kind of star spangled multicolored fashion sense alongside the great rock and roll on amphetamines sounds, Bolan and T-Rex became a sensation in what seemed like overnight. In truth, Bolan had been kicking around in musical groups for a while prior to the success of T-Rex, some much quieter and more baroque sounding, almost like pagan style sounds which was the norm during that British folk rock era which was during the windup of the 1960s. With songs like the jaunty, fried blues “Jeepster,” the dreamy “Ride A White Swan,” “Telegram Sam,” the chrome fetishistic “Metal Guru,” and the grooving on a neon stick “Get it On (Bang a Gong), Marc Bolan and T-Rex were the most popular band in England by far, untouchable really during their heyday. Many of the aforementioned songs were number one smashes in England for Bolan and T-Rex when first released, and the band enjoyed success in America as well, although more limited than the frenzy of T-Rexmania on the other side of the pond. “Bang a Gong” became a hit, but Bolan remained, and still remains, more of a cult figure here stateside.
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