ENTRY: Bolan, Marc
Mark Feld (b. September 30, 1947 – d. September 16, 1977),
better known as Marc Bolan, was a singer and songwriter for the English rock band
Tyrannosaurus Rex (later called T. Rex), from 1967 until his death in 1977.
After several years performing mystic folk music, he became a major figure on the
English rock music scene in the 1970s.
The son of a Jewish van driver/caretaker, Bolan grew up in post-war Hackney in East London,
and later lived in Wimbledon, southwest London.
He briefly became a model, then in early 1967 he joined the band John's
Children. When the band dissolved, Bolan claimed to have spent time with a wizard in Paris
who allegedly gave him secret knowledge. His songwriting
took off, and he began writing many of the neo-romantic songs, often heavily influenced by
The Lord of The Rings, that would appear on
his first albums with Tyrannosaurus Rex, but which were initially busked by Bolan
on the streets of London.
Eventually, he formed Tyrannosaurus Rex with percussionist Steve
Peregrine Took and released three albums and four singles. Although
commercial acclaim eluded them, the duo's early work received airplay and support from
Radio 1 DJ John Peel. One of the highlights of this period was playing at
the first free Hyde Park concert in 1968.
From 1970 later moved into glam rock from "Ride A White Swan" onwards, and Bolan became
a major star. With his corkscrew hair, boyish good looks, and cheekbones daubed with
glitter, Bolan's emergence heralded the start of the glam rock era of British music.
The hits later failed, the band disintegrated, and Bolan's marriage ended.
Bolan's health began to fail seriously as he put on weight and became addicted to
cocaine, and in late 1974 he suffered a heart attack. Bolan died on September 16th 1977,
two weeks before his 30th birthday, in a car crash.
My People Were Fair (1968)
Prophets, Seers & Sages (1968)
A Beard of Stars (1970)
Made in Staffordshire, England. © 2007.
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