T. RexInventors of Glam Rock By Stewart Mason
Glam icon Marc Bolan and friends.
Even in a decade as improbable as the 1970s, Marc Bolan was the most unlikely of rock stars. An elfin man with a wash of corkscrew curls, Bolan looked like a glammed-up Hobbit, and his self-described "boogie" would have been unidentifiable as such to the Delta bluesmen who coined the term. The average T. Rex song consists of piercing, rockabilly-derived twang guitar riffs and fantasy literature-inspired lyrics delivered in Bolan's high-pitched, campy style, in front of a whomping rhythm section that often plays the same riff, unchanged, throughout the song. But this less-than-promising set of parameters led to some of the most delightfully moronic hits of the early '70s, including "Bang A Gong (Get It On)," "Telegram Sam," "20th Century Boy" and "Metal Guru." The chart-topping T. Rex started out as psychedelic oddities Tyrannosaurus Rex, a late '60s duo of Bolan on acoustic guitar and Steve Peregrine Took on bongos. A series of impossibly twee albums did little beyond a growing cult, but when Bolan added some rock muscle to singles like "King of the Rumbling Spires," chart success beckoned. By 1974, Bolan's run at the top of the pops was at an end due to some uninspired, self-parodic records, but as punk dawned, a new set of bands named T. Rex as a formative influence. Bolan seemed on the cusp of a career comeback when he died on September 16, 1977, after his soul-singer girlfriend Gloria Jones crashed his car into a tree in South London.
|T. Rex and an Intro to Glam|