Monday, 29 January 2007

On T-REX

Born to Boogie


Of all the singers or groups that have had a profound effect on me, of which there were many, I would have to say that none had such an impact as T-Rex.

As an impressionable 15 year old who was bumbling through adolescence and trying desperately to establish some kind of street-cred, T-Rex came out of nowhere with this new sound that hit me like the proverbial ‘sledgehammer’.

T-Rex, formerly known as Tyrannosaurus Rex, (who would have guessed?) a glam-rock band of the 70s fronted by the diminutive Marc Bolan with his trade-mark corkscrew hair and elfish looks gave rock and roll a whole new sound and image that quickly catapulted the band into the forefront of the music industry. Not only did the band attain an almost cult status, Marc Bolan became a fashion icon through his wearing of kitschy and ostentatious garb both on and off stage thereby setting a trend that was quickly adopted by many of the groups contemporaries such as, ‘Sweet’, ‘Gary Glitter and the Glitter Band’, and ‘Slade’ to mention but a few.

In the early years Tyrannosaurus Rex consisting of Marc Bolan (vocals and guitar) and Mickey Finn (percussions) had only ever performed acoustically with a very limited fan-base in and around the London university campus’ scene. Feeling that they were not realising there full potential Marc somewhat reluctantly decided to try a new approach by introducing electric guitar, Bass, and Drums into the band. It was also decided to hyphenate the name to T-Rex (this was considered easier to remember). This formula coincided with the release of ‘Ride a White Swan’ the first of many singles that when released wasted no time and shot to the top of the singles charts and launched the band on a meteoric rise to stardom.

With the phenomenal success of their first single, T-Rex released yet another single soon after entitled ‘Hot Love’ which proved to be an even bigger hit than ‘Ride a White Swan’ and was followed with their first aptly named album ‘Electric Warrior’. I would have to agree that Marc Bolan was a bit of a narcissist in that he believed it was his ingenuity in bringing the group from relative obscurity into becoming one of the countries biggest ‘Glam-Rock’ bands ever. I tend to agree with him!

Needless to say, like all teenagers past, present, and future, I could hardly contain myself when my Idols T-rex were playing at the local disco, I would be up there on the dance floor in my skin-tight crushed velvet flared trousers, platform shoes (?) satin jacket and wearing my sisters make-up (which I used to smuggle out of the house in case my father ever seen me wearing it!), bearing in mind, my day job was working as ‘Steel-fixer’ on building sites! How would I ever live it down??

Still in the immortal words of another Glam-Rocker of that era a certain Rod Stewart when he penned the words we were:

In and out of jobs running free, waging war with society,
My dad said we looked ridiculous, but boy we broke some hearts!

Eddie

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