Click on the link here for Audio Player: T. Rex In Concert At Wembley – March 18, 1972
Since we’re heading into a holiday tomorrow, I thought I’d get things partly rolling with a classic T. Rex concert, recorded at Wembley on March 18, 1972.
There’s a lot of live T. Rex material out there, but unfortunately, not much is very good. This one sounds excellent and it gives further evidence to the remarkable talent he was. At the time, I don’t recall T.Rex being taken all that seriously – something on the par with early Sweet and Bay City Rollers – bands that relied on appearance and songs loaded with hooks that had a lot of teen appeal, but not a whole lot beyond that. But over the years Marc Bolan has grown in stature – songs like Jeepster and Ride A White Swan are considered classics today. Even though the T.Rex fanbase was decidedly teen at the time – those teenagers have grown up and are now quite middle-aged. One wonders what Marc Bolan would be doing now, had fate not stepped in and ended his career. It’s true that, at the time of his death, his music was evolving. So it’s interesting to consider what T. Rex would sound like today.
But we’ll never know – and we will always be wondering.
For tonight at least, there’s no room for wondering – here is what Marc Bolan and T.Rex sounded like, smack in the middle of their heyday.
John’s Children circa 1967 – blame it on the guy in the front row on the right.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: MarcBolan1967-1969EarlyBroadcasts 1
A band more people have probably heard about than actually heard, John’s Children were one of those fabled “you-had-to-be-there” bands that loomed high in the pantheon of Psychedelia, but in fact released only one (sort of) album and a string of singles and became largely known as the band that springboarded Marc Bolan‘s career.
Their singles were banned from The BBC almost at the get-go. So their appearances there were rare, to say the least.
Here is one, from The Saturday Club at The BBC, broadcast on June 6, 1967.
And here’s what’s on the player:
(John’s Children – Saturday Club June 6,1967):
1.Jagged Time Lapse
2.The Perfumed Garden
3.Daddy Rolling Stone
4.Hot Rod Mama
Bolan would leave the band soon after and launch the career that made him a household name. But in 1967, it was all still very experimental.
Technical note – this broadcast sounds amazing – except for Daddy Rolling Stone, which is from another source. But rather than leave it out, it’s included because of the sheer historic importance of this appearance.
Marc Bolan – Before Jeepster, before Beard Of Stars, even before Desdemona.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: MarcBolan – San Francisco Poet – 1966
Long before T. Rex, and just before John’s Children, Marc Bolan was pounding the musical pavement, hoping for recognition. He was briefly signed by Decca Records (UK) and issued three singles for that label before joining the legendary John’s Children, sadly none of them made any ripples.
Tonight it’s the b-side of his second single for Decca. San Francisco Poet has all the earmarks of an attempt at Dylan. But since there already was a Bob Dylan in our midst, an also-ran just didn’t seem like a good idea. Luckily for everyone, he went back to his characteristic voice. But you have to give Marc Bolan an A for Effort on this track. Strangely, it’s never been reissued (that I know of) – for no good reason.
Well, now you have it.
Marc Bolan – in 1970, on the verge of becoming a whole new thing.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: T. Rex In Session – 1970
Probably one of the more eclectic entries in the Encyclopedia of Glam, Marc Bolan and T. Rex. Begun in the late 1960’s as a quasi-hippie/folk duo known as Tyrannosaurus Rex, they morphed into T. Rex in 1970 and further morphed, adding extra members, into a prototype Glam band and achieved mass popularity in the process. Fronted by Marc Bolan, they turned out a string of hit singles and albums which only slowed down with the advent of Punk, but T. Rex maintained a strong fan base up until his accidental death from a car accident thirty-five years ago next month. Since then, the legend has only gotten bigger and T. Rex have come to epitomize Glam of the early 70’s when they were at their peak.
Tonight it’s a session the band did for the Top Of The Pops radio program for The BBC in October of 1970, just before they plunged head-first into Glam, but were still shedding their hippie tie-dye roots.
Not a full-on Bang a Gong, but not Warlord of the Royal Crocodiles either.
Evolution in the making.