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Marc Bolan, Ringo Starr and Elton John jam in ‘Born to Boogie’
06.01.2016
01:54 pm

Topics:
Movies
Music

Tags:
Marc Bolan
Ringo Starr
Elton John
T.Rex


 
Although I have always appreciated his music (“Ride a White Swan” was one of the very first 45s I ever bought), I have never been what you would call a major Marc Bolan/T.Rex fanatic. Don’t get me wrong, I am indeed a fan, but I’ve always put Marc Bolan in the same category as I do Chuck Berry, Little Richard or Eddie Cochran. Translation: a decent “greatest hits” is probably all I really need to own (Bolan also stole shamelessly from each of these artists, of course).

In actual fact, I do own quite a few T.Rex albums. Probably my favorite song by Marc Bolan is the comparatively little known “Jasper C. Debussy.” It’s not like I’m ignorant of his work, it’s just that a lot of it sounds pretty formulaic and “samey” to me. Bolan had “a thing” that he did quite well, but he just kept doing it and that’s the problem I have with his music.
 

 
Having offered the above disclaimer, I don’t think that I ever truly “got” Marc Bolan until I picked up a used Japanese import copy of the “deluxe” Born To Boogie DVD box set from a few years back in the bargain bin for a mere $7 bucks. A friend of mine had the film on VHS in the 80s and I saw it 25 years ago and quite enjoyed it, but the DVD version, with a monstrously powerful 5.1 surround mix done by the great producer Tony Visconti, totally blew me away. It must be the apex of Bolan’s artistry. Nothing short of stunning.

You know there’s always one guy on every block who has one of those huge fuck-off audio systems that the neighbors for a quarter mile radius can hear? I’m that guy. After watching Born To Boogie with the sound cranked up so loud it would have drowned out a airplane landing on my rooftop, I finally “got” Marc Bolan, and can see clearly why the flame of eternal fan love for him will never die. 
 

 
And now at long last, the Demon Music Group will be releasing Born to Boogie on Blu-ray, for the first time in HD on June 13th. There are tons of extras and both the earlier, late afternoon concert and the full evening show that was used in the film are included. 10/10 for content, audio/visual quality and overall “wow factor.” If you are wondering if you need to replace your old DVD, you probably do. There is no regional code on the disc, despite what it says on Amazon.

Born To Boogie was directed by Ringo Starr and produced by Apple Films. The concert segments were filmed at the Wembley Empire Pool in 1972 at the absolute height of T.Rextasy. Bolan’s guitar is just FAT sounding here and the 5.1 mix is outstanding. Listening to it cranked up is like having, well… a Tyrannosaurus Rex stomp all over your head… in a good way!
 

 
There’s also a stellar jam session sequence with Elton John and Ringo that was captured at the Apple Studios on Savile Row and some “surreal hijinks”—like the Mad Hatter’s tea party bit which was filmed on John Lennon’s estate—that bring to mind Magical Mystery Tour. Still, it’s the concert segments that dazzle the most with Bolan’s 500 megawatt charisma in full effect.

More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Did Marc Bolan play guitar on the Ike & Tina Turner classic ‘Nutbush City Limits’?


 
It’s a topic that needs to be tackled definitively by the cybersleuths of Snopes.com: DID Marc Bolan, in fact, play guitar on Ike & Tina Turner’s classic “Nutbush City Limits” in 1973? Or was it Ike? Or neither of them?

Although many have tried to get to the bottom of it in recent years, no one seems to really know. Allegedly Tina Turner herself confirmed, in a BBC radio interview that it was indeed Marc Bolan playing guitar on the song. But where is that elusive radio interview? Someone has a memory of it. That memory then gets repeated and “quoted” and ultimately once something comes up enough times in a Google search it becomes a “fact.” True. Or at least true enough.

From the “Nutbush City Limits” entry on Wikipedia:

Typical of the period, none of the session musicians who contributed to “Nutbush City Limits” were given specific mention in the song credits. It has been rumored for years that Marc Bolan, frontman for the glam rock band T. Rex, played guitar on the track. Gloria Jones, his girlfriend at the time—who herself provided backing vocals for Ike & Tina Turner during the 1960s—asserted that this was the case in the 2007 BBC4 documentary Marc Bolan: The Final Word. This claim is bolstered by the fact that Bolan toured the U.S. extensively and resided in the Los Angeles area during the mid-1970s, and is also acknowledged to have played on the Ike & Tina Turner singles “Sexy Ida (Part 2)” and “Baby—Get It On.” However, a 2008 Ebony magazine article about Ike Turner’s death identified James “Bino” Lewis, then a member of Ike & Tina’s backing band Kings of Rhythm, as the guitarist. It has also been suggested that James Lewis is the guitarist on “Baby—Get It On.”

 

 
In a 2010 interview with record collectors magazine Goldmine, Gloria Jones stated again that it was Bolan on the track:

He played on “City Limits” with Ike and Tina Turner. I’ll never forget. I called Ike and said we’re in town and he said, ‘We’re in the studio; you guys come down.’ Marc took his guitar; Tina and I were listening to the song while Marc and Ike were working out their guitar part. Ike said to Marc, “Play what you feel.” That’s when Marc put that “chink, chink” you hear on there. Ike and Tina also really admired him, and they appreciated a lot of the rock acts.

Gloria Jones ought to know. After all, she was there.
 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Easy listening medley of Hawkwind, T-Rex and Alice Cooper by The James Last Orchestra, 1973
08.07.2014
06:10 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Alice Cooper
Hawkwind
T.Rex
James Last Orchestra

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I could hear this playing in the other side of the house on my wife’s computer. “It isn’t?”

Oh, but IT IS: Mr. Dante Fontana of Mod Cinema has posted this clip of fab German bandleader James Last and his Orchestra performing an indescribably great medley of Hawkwind’s “Silver Machine,” “Children Of The Revolution” by T-Rex and Alice Cooper’s anthem to juvenile delinquency, “Schools’ Out.”

How lucky are we that this clip exists in the world: The James fucking Last Orchestra playing a decidedly UN-IRONIC (but truly incredible) big band version of Hawkwind’s greatest hit in 1973??? I mean, for that alone, sign me up, but throw in T-Rex and Alice Cooper covers in this style, too? That’s a party. A voodoo party.

Dig the fashion-forward stripey shirt and tie combo on some of the band members. That look takes “power clashing” to a whole new level. Makes it into an art form.

This is heavenly and I think you’ll think so too!
 

 
Via Mod Cinema/WFMU

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Marc Bolan: T.Rex rule Don Kirshner’s ‘Rock Concert’, 1974

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Marc Bolan’s career was in decline by the time he appeared on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. His singles were failing to chart back in Britain, the original T.Rex line-up had split after the departure of Bill Legend, and Bolan was no longer working with his key producer Tony Visconti. There were also rumors of Bolan living an out-of-control, tax exile, lifestyle of cocaine and brandy, and his once svelte, androgynous frame, had ballooned into a debauched cherub.

The fans had changed too. A new generation had sworn allegiance to the tartan-trewed Bay City Rollers, rather than fantasies of Glam. This then was the background against which Bolan was first introduced to the American public on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, in 1974.

In a new line-up that included Bolan’s girlfriend Gloria Jones on keyboards and backing vocals, T.Rex kicked ass (even Bolan’s voice was occasionally flat) as they played “Jeepster”, “Zip Gun Boogie”, “Token of My Love” and “Get It On (Bang A Gong)” to an audience that seemed both literally stunned and amazed.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
T.Rex Regeneration: Tony Visconti releases ‘new’ Marc Bolan track, ‘Childlike Men’
10.11.2012
03:25 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Marc Bolan
Tony Visconti
T.Rex

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Nope, this isn’t an undiscovered song by the 20th Century Boy recently unearthed here in the 21st: “Childlike Men” is the first track from Tony Visconti and son Morgan Visconti’s “T.Rex Regeneration” project.

They’ve taken the multi-tracks from some vintage T.Rex recording sessions from 1970-72—which, of course, Visconti Sr. produced—to create an entirely “new” song. (Well entirely like a new—and highly enjoyable, don’t get me wrong—fusion of demos for “Jeepster,” “Diamond Meadows” and “Ride a White Swan” with a spoken word poem section, strings and an unrelated guitar solo or two, I guess is more like it).

A few years ago Visconti mixed a barnstorming version of Electric Warrior in 5.1 surround, and took great care that it still sounded sonically like what it is, an album from the early 1970s. I didn’t expect this to be as good as it is, but I really, really love it.

Marc Bolan’s would have turned 65 on the September 30, 2012.
 

 
Well-spotted, Niall Connolly!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Marc’: Every episode of Marc Bolan’s 1977 TV series, now on YouTube!
10.08.2012
05:33 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Marc Bolan
T.Rex

image
Bolan with girlfriend Gloria Jones (who wrote sang “Tainted Love” in 1965), and son Rolan. Yup… Rolan Bolan. I suppose Rolan had play-dates with Zowie Bowie?
 
Though clips of Marc Bolan’s 1977 after school Granada TV series, Marc, have been floating around YouTube for a while, this is the first time I’ve seen all the episodes up in their entirety. It’s quite the visual parade. It’s got some really cool moments, though at times Bolan looks positively bleary, lip-synching to T. Rex tunes with what appear to be “The Marc Bolan Dancers” (one of the weirdest/awesomest parts of the show).

Many of the artists are were up-and-comers who came and went, but you can also catch some great performances by bands like Thin Lizzy, Hawkwind, The Jam and Generation X. David Bowie even makes an appearance on the final episode where Bolan trips over a microphone wire and falls off the stage. Not having time for a reshoot, they kept it that way as the paired giggled and Bowie allegedly asked “Could we have a wooden box for Marc [to stand on]?”

Nothing like basing a live television show around a guy with a serious drug and alcohol problem. Still though, it’s hard to imagine some honey-cooing glam rocker getting his own live musical variety show in this day and age, and the concept is golden. “If only…” you know what I mean?
 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Marc Bolan: Early Interview from 1970

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How young and beautiful, Marc Bolan looks in this TV interview from 1970. Filmed during the writing of songs for the first album as the abbreviated T.Rex - after 4 as Tyrannosaurus Rex - Marc can be seen working on “Children of Rarn” and “Suneye”, as he discusses the process of writing. Like many artists (David Lynch comes to mind), Bolan claimed he just pulled the songs out, as if they were already there, fully formed. He also said he was used by “melody” as if it were a being. O, to be touched by the Muse.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Marc Bolan on Belgium TV, 1973


 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Elemental Child’: Amazing live performance by Marc Bolan and T.Rex
07.13.2011
07:30 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Pop Culture
Marc Bolan
T.Rex

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Just watch and listen to this: An amazing live performance of “Elemental Child” by Marc Bolan and T.Rex, from 1971.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Born to Boogie: Marc Bolan, Elton John and Ringo Starr, what’s not to like?


Early Marc Bolan: Tyrannosaurus Rex perform ‘Seal of the Seasons’


 
With thanks to I Will Not Return Your Records
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment