I swear I’m only a psycho when it comes to my music and literary heroes…
I was in my mid teens by the time I really got in to T.Rex. By that point I already knew “Bang A Gong” and “20th Century Boy” (like everyone else in the English speaking planet does), but one day I decided to dig a little deeper. What I found was a sparkly explosion of catchy riffs, thoughtful lyrics, and really tight pants.
Marc Bolan became one of my greatest influences. Not only was he a pioneer of the Glam Rock music scene, he was also a total weirdo (who looks uncannily like Sigourney Weaver) who marched to the beat of his own drum (see: Born To Boogie (1972)). And yet, despite his trailblazing ways he is still largely a cult, underground figure.
And I believe he is the reason I now make sure to always stock a tube of glitter in my makeup case for when the mood strikes.
So I knew as soon as I booked trip to London for July, 2015 that I had to visit his memorial.
The shrine is in the exact location where Marc crashed his car into a tree on September 16, 1977. The right section of the memorial is a bust of Bolan with a board of laminated photos directly behind (draped in a pink feather boa when I was there), and to the left is a cork board where people can pin tokens and messages.
Except… I didn’t bring anything to pin to the board.
So, like a perfectly sane human being, I borrowed my friend’s nail clippers to chop off a lock of my hair, tied it to a pink flower growing nearby, and tacked it to the wall with the other offerings. It was one of a kind.
You can say a lot of things about me, but you can’t deny my passion.
Marc Bolan was born Mark Feld in London on September 30th, 1947. At the age of nine he started playing the guitar under the influence of artists such as Bob Dylan and Donovan. In 1967, Bolan joined protopunk band John’s Children, but the band broke up soon after and along with the drummer from that band, Tyrannosaurus Rex was born.
A few lineup adds and changes later, Tyrannosaurus Rex was shortened to T.Rex and the band released their first single, “Ride a White Swan.” The track sparked the band’s fame when it rose to Number 2 on the British charts. The success of the track gave Bolan the freedom to experiment with his style; Glitter, feather boa’s, bell-bottoms – he started wearing them all. This, along with influence from fellow artists such as David Bowie, Roxy Music, etc, our beloved Glam Rock was born.
Bolan passed away on September 16th, 1977 at the age of 29. After spending an evening at Morton’s Drinking Club and Restaurant in Berkeley square, his partner Gloria Jones lost control of the car and veered off the road. The car hit a fence post and stopped on a sycamore tree. The site of this tragedy is where the memorial to Bolan now rests.
Catch a bright star and a place it on your fore-head\
Say a few spells and baby, there you go
Take a black cat and sit it on your shoulder
And in the morning you’ll know all you know
(Ride A White Swan, 1970)
Check out this great psychedelic video for “Ride A White Swan”
Biography Source: http://www.biography.com/people/marc-bolan-248662#profile
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