Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy Deathday Marc Bolan

“People stared at the makeup on his face. Laughed at his long black hair, his animal grace. The boy in the bright blue jeans jumped up on the stage. And lady stardust sang his songs of darkness and disgrace.” ­­– "Lady Stardust" by David Bowie (supposedly written about Marc Bolan)

Sorry about starting off this post with cheesy song lyrics. But considering today is Marc Bolan’s 33rd deathday, I think it’s allowable.

A Quick Overview of Who Marc is & Why He’s Awesome (if you don’t know already):
-Founded Tyrannosaurus Rex, which evolved into the more widely known T.Rex (he was also part of John’s Children, which we won’t talk about).
-Dabbed glitter on his cheeks, often dressed in top hats & boas, and practically kickstarted the whole glam rock movement (although I would argue that Bowie later blew Marc out of the water with his glamness).
-His songs are so wonderfully bizarre…it was probably was 1/3 creativity, 2/3 drugs. He sang about unicorns, witches, spaceships, swans, and most importantly, CARS.

Don't think I posted this pic just because it was on Wikipedia. I posted it because of Mickey Finn's shirt that says, "Cocaine. It's the real thing. Coke." From left: Bill LegendMickey Finn (Marc hired him because "he looked like an Italian film star"), Marc BolanSteve Currie (one of the most underrated bassists ever).
Today marks the day that Marc died in a tragic car accident. The whole thing is very ironic because Marc feared getting killed in a car crash so badly that he refused to get his driver’s license. Yet half of his songs are named after cars, are about cars, or at least mention cars. Creepy, I know.

Watch this ridiculous Bolan skit from the fantastic Born To Boogie DVD. Yes, he's in a car. Yes, that's Elton John & Ringo Starr. Yes, I have no idea what's going on.

There’s a whole bunch of other pre-meditated conspiracy things floating around about the circumstances of Marc’s death. For example, in the song “Solid Gold Easy Action” he sings, “Life is the same…And it always will be…Easy as picking foxes from a tree.” Apparently, the license plate on the car had FOX on it, and he died from the impact of hitting a tree. There’s also several other supposedly spooky things like the fact that Marc repeated over & over in interviews that he didn’t expect to live long, or even past 30 (he died 2 weeks before he turned 30). There’s other things too, that seem too stupid to mention, but the whole fear-of-dying-in-a-car irony is definitely noteworthy.

I feel like I'm alone in my Marc love. Only my crazy-cool England-obsessed friend & a friend's British father-in-law have ever heard of T.Rex. "Bang A Gong (Get It On)" was T.Rex's only top ten hit in the US. In the U.K., T.Rex were apparently the next big thing since Beatlemania. In North America, nobody cares. 

Below is one of my favourites, "20th Century Boy." Placebo do a pretty good cover of it in the film, Velvet Goldmine. Velvet Goldmine does a pretty horrible cover of the glam period. Don't watch it.

Anyways, I'm gonna go be like Billy Elliot's brother & sit in my room with my record player & my T.Rex records, like I do every year on Marc's deathday.

Here's proof that Marc was conceited: a shirt with his name on it. He performed at the Wembley Pool in 1972 wearing a T shirt with his face on it + images & cardboard cutouts of himself on stage. I still love him, though.
Like the die-hard Marc fans say, "Keep a little Marc in your heart." 


  1. I KNOW WHO HE IS! (he says proudly).

    But then I'm British, so I suppose it doesn't count. Children of the Revolution is my favourite. I want to be a Child of the Revolution too. And I quite fancy riding a White Swan. In a completely non-sexual way, I should stress.

  2. Yay!!!!!! Children of the Revolution & Ride a White Swan are some of my faves too (obviously!), along with Cosmic Dancer, Jeepster, Spaceball Ricochet, and so many others.....

    This is nerdy, but I may be going to England next summer & I'm determined to go to the tree where he died which is now a shrine. Everyone I've told is like, "What? You want to go to a tree?!?" Sigh.

  3. you probably know Mickey Finn was prosecuted for wearing that T-shirt, crazy.
    Marc and Mickey and Steve were great so sad they are no longer with us.