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Get it on: The Replacements cover glam rock king Marc Bolan on legendary 80s bootleg
10.05.2017
08:38 pm
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The Replacements + Marc Bolan
 
Cover tunes have always been an element of live performances by the Minneapolis band, the Replacements. For decades, their only official live album has been the cassette-only release, The Shit Hits the Fans. Confiscated from a fan bootlegging a 1984 gig, it’s a covers-heavy set—everything from the Carter Family and the Jackson 5 to Robyn Hitchcock and Tom Petty. Many are requests from the audience, with the ‘Mats acting as a kind of human jukebox.

Though they didn’t cover them that night, the band had a particular affection for the English group, T.Rex. The Replacements covered a number of T.Rex tunes, including one they recorded in the studio and put out as a B-side. On the surface, it seems the two groups are very different. The Replacements were outsiders, never all that comfortable in the limelight, while Marc Bolan, the leader of T.Rex, was the first glam rock superstar and fully embraced his fame.

I reached out to the Replacements’ first manager, Peter Jesperson, to see if he could shed light on the group’s affection for Bolan and the songs of T.Rex.

How did the Replacements come to record/release their version of “20th Century Boy”?:

Peter Jesperson: Like most bands as they’re first getting together, the Replacements started out primarily doing covers of other people’s songs. Even after they began doing original material, a cover could be the most impassioned and exciting performance in the live set. If memory serves, the first time we recorded one for real was “Rock Around the Clock” during the Stink sessions in 1982. In 1983, as we were recording tracks for what became the Let It Be album, several cover ideas were considered and recorded. The two that turned out the best were “Black Diamond” by KISS and “20th Century Boy” by T.Rex. We figured one should go on the album and one on the flip of the single, “I Will Dare.” I clearly remember having a discussion about which one should go where and we all agreed that putting the KISS song on the album would be less expected, less “cool,” so that’s what we did.
 
I Will Dare
 
Why do you think they were so drawn to the T.Rex material?:

Peter Jesperson: All the guys in the Replacements were big fans of simple, catchy songs and T.Rex certainly fit that bill, but I seem to remember it was Paul [Westerberg] who especially liked them, especially the singles. I had the Bolan Boogie compilation, which had the semi-obscure B-side “Raw Ramp” on it, and I remember him asking me to play it quite often. The band toyed around a bit with that one, “Bang A Gong” and maybe “Jeepster,” but the only two they did seriously were “Baby Strange” and “20th Century Boy.”

Was the period in which Westerberg wore eye make-up on stage inspired at all by Bolan?:

Peter Jesperson: I never heard Paul credit anyone specifically with inspiring the make-up so I’m only guessing but I’d say it was bands like Alice Cooper, the New York Dolls, T.Rex, and later the Only Ones, that inspired the make-up.

                                                              *****
 
Paul makeup
 
In 1973, “20th Century Boy” came out as a standalone T.Rex single and went to #3 on the UK chart. It didn’t come out in America until 1985, when it was included on the stellar comp, T.Rextasy: The Best of T. Rex, 1970-1973.
 
20th Century Boy
 
The “I Will Dare” single, with “20th Century Boy” and a live rendition of Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Lookin’” on the flip, came out in 1984, ahead of Let It Be. “20th Century Boy” can currently be found amongst the bonus tracks on the 2008 reissue of Let it Be.
 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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10.05.2017
08:38 pm
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That time Marc Bolan interviewed Stan Lee, ‘nuff said?

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Marc Bolan loved comic-books. The Beano, The Dandy, The Topper, he read ‘em all and enjoyed the hilarious hijinks of the cheeky school kids contained therein. But he had a particular love for Marvel Comics and their far out superheroes like Silver Surfer and Doctor Strange. Bolan went so far as to even make reference to his favorite comic-book heroes in songs like “Mambo Sun” where he sang:

On a mountain range,
I’m Doctor Strange for you…

Yes, Marc, you are, oh but you are…

So, maybe it was inevitable, fated even, that Bolan would one-day interview legendary Marvel Supremo Stan Lee.

In 1975, Bolan had an occasional stint doing interviews on BBC radio program Today. It was the Beeb’s way of “getting down with the kids” by having a pop star talk to the kind of hip people they would like to interview in the hope this would bring in a younger audience to their flagship news and current affairs show.

That October Stan Lee was in London to launch a new British comic book The Titans. He was also in the Big Smoke to give a “one performance only” at the Roundhouse where he was to talk about “all your favorite Marvel superheroes” followed by the opening of a major exhibition of Marvel Comic’s artwork at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Having Lee in London was too good an opportunity for Bolan to miss, so an interview was arranged…
 
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To get some more skinny on Bolan’s love of Marvel Comics let’s spool forward a year to when Neil Tennant—long before he was one-half of the Pet Shop Boys—interviewed Bolan about his love of Marvel Comics:

“I’ve been into Marvel since 1967.  The Silver Surfer, in particular, was one I liked, Dr. Strange was another.  At that time they were very weird compared to the other comics on the market, though they got more commercial since then and Stan Lee was a great writer.”

“It was nice meeting Stan last year, he was lovely to interview.  Really he’s a hustler, a solid gold easy hustler! That’s just the way Comic guys should be,  he’s got such a lot of energy.”

“We talked about the possibility of me creating a super-hero for him.  something along the lines of Electric Warrior, a twenty-first century Conan.”

“In fact, I don’t like Conan as a character—I think he should be something less of a barbarian, more like one of Michael Moorcock’s characters.  You could make a much better composite character using Moorcock’s Elric, with a bit of the Silver Surfer, a bit of Thor, and create a far more involved character, a character more in touch with now ...”

 
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Bolan as he appeared in his own comic strip ‘The Magic of Marc’ from ‘Jackie’ magazine 1972.
 
More Marc Bolan on Marvel Comics plus his interview with Stan Lee, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.12.2017
08:21 am
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Orgasm: Dig the wild 60s pop art glam rock proto-punk of John’s Children
09.05.2017
12:05 pm
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“We don’t just do a musical performance. It’s a 45-minute happening.”—Marc Bolan on John’s Children in 1967

John’s Children were a mod-era proto-psychedelic, proto-glam, proto-punk rock British beat group who are today mostly regarded as a footnote in the career of Marc Bolan. The future T.Rex leader was briefly brought into the group to replace a departing guitarist by manager Simon Napier-Bell (who also managed the Yardbirds, and later Wham!). They were never Bolan’s band, although he did write a few songs for them.

Their flamboyant stage antics were reminiscent of the Who during their “auto-destruct” phase and featured pillow fights, feathers, fake blood and lots of beating up on their instruments. The group wore all white and apparently played quite loud. Their lyrics “went for it” in ways not typically done at the time, with a song like “Not the Sort of Girl (You’d Like to Take to Bed)” and an album that they titled Orgasm which their American label refused to release for four years. As one rock scribe remarked about John’s Children, they were “generally disrespectful and crazed” and once posed for a magazine advertisement wearing nothing more than some strategically placed flowers.
 

 
Probably the most notable John’s Children number is a powerfully strange ditty for the era titled “Smashed! Blocked!”:

Please! I’m losing my mind
Help me now before it’s too late
Try to bring me back
Everythings spinning
My eyes are tired
I’m losing my way
Where are you, where am I?

 

 
A few years ago a “Smashed! Blocked!” clip of somewhat mysterious origin turned up on YouTube. The group’s lead singer, Andy Ellison had this to say:

This is strange film clip, that Chris, John and myself (Andy Ellison) filmed for our first single, at the then famous, basement, ‘Establishment Club’ (Peter Cooks, satirical venue in Greek St Soho), 1967. The clip is made up from bits of film left on the cutting room floor. A technician must have kept them. And Somehow they have made it to YouTube! No Idea what happened to the proper film.

He went on to add:

SMASHED was a mod term for drunk and BLOCKED was a mod term for being pilled up (high on amphetamines).

Now ya know. Original copies of this single can sell for big bucks on Discogs.

Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.05.2017
12:05 pm
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Marc Bolan, Andy Warhol, Joan Jett & other famous folk with their dogs, for your election 2016 blues
11.07.2016
09:35 am
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A young Joan Jett and an adorable dog. Jett has gone on to dedicate much of her life to animal advocacy.
 
If you’re a jittery bag of nerves with questionable sleep patterns thanks to the fucking fiasco that is the Presidential Election of 2016, then I hope this post will help restore some of your faith in humanity. At least temporarily.

As the title indicates I’ve culled some images of famous people and their dogs that I’m quite sure will get you to your “happy place” pretty quickly. At the very least it will briefly distract you and keep you from checking the latest statistics over at Fivethirtyeight or wherever it is that you happen to be getting your political updates these days. Until this all blows over (if in fact it ever does) I’d keep this post close by for when you need to talk yourself out of moving to Canada, moving underground or perhaps relocating to the fucking moon. Honestly, if photos of Marc Bolan and David Bowie cradling adorable canines doesn’t help restore your pulse to a more reasonable rate, I’m not sure anything will. Hang in there kittens, it’s almost over!
 

Marc Bolan.
 

David Bowie and a wee little Scottie, 1980. Photo by Duffy.
 

The band Queen and their four-legged canine pal.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.07.2016
09:35 am
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Marc Bolan, Ringo Starr and Elton John jam in ‘Born to Boogie’
06.01.2016
01:54 pm
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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…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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06.01.2016
01:54 pm
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1970s glam rockers Cuddly Toys cover ‘Madman’ a song written by David Bowie & Marc Bolan
05.04.2016
09:39 am
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The Japanese 7” for Cuddly Toys’ cover of ‘Madman.’ A song written by David Bowie and Marc Bolan.
 

We always had ideas above our station, and wanted to be a bit more interesting than the rest of the punk groups who only wanted to sing about being poor and ugly, even though we were poor and ugly.

—Faebhean Kwest, Cuddly Toys guitarist

I know that many of you die-hard glam rockers out there will probably already own the stellar album Guillotine Theatre by Cuddly Toys (which was originally released in Japan in 1979 then remixed and released in the UK a year later). However, if you do not, then I’d highly advise you that you add this fantastic record to your collection as soon as possible.

Originally known by the not-so-catchy name of “Raped”—the title of their first EP was also a cringer called Pretty Paedophiles, yikes!—the band’s guitarist Faebhean Kwest, claims that he was once asked by Malcolm McLaren to audition for the Sex Pistols, but turned the offer down. Early in 1979, the band changed their name to the less aggressive sounding Cuddly Toys at the suggestion of none other than legendary Radio One DJ, John Peel. Influenced by bands like Richard Hell and the Voidoids and (naturally) the New York Dolls and the Sex Pistols, the Toys boys were soon rubbing shoulders with many of their idols like Sid Vicious and Generation X.

Shortly before Marc Bolan’s untimely death in 1977, he co-wrote the song, “Madman” with David Bowie. Recordings and rough demos of the sessions in which “Madman” was birthed exist. The Cuddly Toys covered the song and released the track as their very first single. To help promote the song Cuddly Toys played a gig at The Music Machine in London. According to an interview with the band, the show was attended by a few famous admirers such as David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Paul McCartney—not too shabby of a start for the up-and-coming glam rockers who would call it quits in the early 80s.

Keep reading after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.04.2016
09:39 am
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‘20th Century Toy’: Behold the glam-rock glory of this customized ‘Marc Bolan’ Lambretta scooter
05.02.2016
12:30 pm
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Danielz, the vocalist for the T. Rex tribute band, T.Rextasy sitting on the customized Marc Bolan Lambretta scooter
Danielz, the vocalist for the T. Rex tribute band, T. Rextasy sitting on the customized Marc Bolan Lambretta scooter.
 
In May of 2012, this vintage, customized Lambretta scooter plastered with images of T. Rex frontman, Marc Bolan sold for a whopping $17,372.22 in an Ebay auction. And once you see the images of said scooter, you’ll understand why.
 
The customized
Customized Marc Bolan Lambretta scooter.
 
Made in Italy, this model of Lambretta (a “TV 175” according to the listing) was manufactured in 1964. The seller, who aptly dubbed the tricked out ride “20th Century Toy,” completely rebuilt the engine before a team of experts “glamified” the scooter in nearly every possible way. Such as the addition swan-shaped mirrors, the modification to the Lambretta’s handlebars that include an engraved nod to T. Rex’s smash from their 1972 album The Slider, “Metal Guru,” as well as the brake & clutch levers which were cleverly fashioned into Gibson “Flying V” guitars. Bolan was fond of using the Gibson Flying V during the 1970s, and one owned by the “Jeepster” himself sold for $36,000 at a Christie’s “Pop Memorabilia” auction in 2007.

More photos of what possibly may be the coolest scooter ever, follow.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.02.2016
12:30 pm
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The original ‘I Love Rock ‘n Roll’ by obscure 70s trio Arrows, plus Marc Bolan and Slade!
03.09.2016
09:53 am
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Arrows
Arrows and the original version of the “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” single, 1975
 
I’m quite sure that everyone reading this has heard the anthemic “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” that was popularized by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts in 1981. But if you don’t know the origins of the song, then you’ve probably never heard of the Arrows, a rock trio comprised of musicians from both America and the UK—vocalist and Bronx native, Alan Merrill (the former vocalist for the cult glam band Vodka Collins), guitarist Jake Hooker (who went on to manage acts like The Knack and Edgar Winter), and UK drummer Paul Varley. Otherwise known as the band that actually wrote and recorded “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” back in 1975.
 
Arrows
Arrows
 
Arrows performing on their show, Arrows
A shot of Arrows performing on their TV show
 
As the folklore goes, Jett was on tour with The Runaways in the UK when she caught Arrows (who formed in 1974) performing the song on their short-lived television show Arrows. Produced by well-known television personality, actress and producer, Muriel Young (who was also behind Marc Bolan’s show, Marc), the 30-minute show which was broadcast between 1976 and 1977, and featured the band performing their own songs—many prodcued by the great pop impressario Mickie Most—as well as “star guest” segments from acts like Slade, and a short-haired version of Marc Bolan who lip-synced in front a live studio audience.

As glammy and cool as The Arrows were (and they really were), they never enjoyed the same success with the single that Jett’s version of “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” did, and the band broke up after the the last run of their eponymously titled show, sometime in 1978. Jake Hooker married Lorna Luft, the daughter of Judy Garland and the half-sister of Liza Minnelli during his tenure with Arrows and they stayed together until 1993.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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03.09.2016
09:53 am
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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…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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01.06.2016
09:19 am
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Alice Cooper, Jimi, James Brown, Marc Bolan, Frank Zappa (and many more) do Santa

Alice Cooper playing Ping-Pong with Santa
Alice Cooper playing ping-pong with Santa
 
‘Tis the Season folks and as I’m getting ready to roll off Dangerous Minds for a week, I wanted to share some choice photos of famous folks dressed up like our savior, Santa Claus or in some cases, just hanging out with jolly old Saint Nicholas.
 
Marc Bolan as Santa Claus
Marc Bolan as Santa Claus
 
James Brown as Santa Claus
James Brown
 
Lemmy Klaus!
Lemmy Klaus!
 
I really never get tired of pursuing the Internet for vintage images of celebrities and musical icons doing stuff that we all do, but I think this post is a doozy. I had all but forgotten about that time Nancy Reagan sat on Mr. T’s lap (who was dressed as Santa) at the White House during Christmas in 1983. Didn’t you?

From icons like Frank Zappa to Marc Bolan, even John Waters being confronted by Santa as he’s trying to steal a rib roast, and Ginger Rogers looking downright Cockettish in a Santa beard, I’ve got your Christmas covered in photos that are funny, touching and simply weird. Which is exactly how I like to roll. Merry Christmas, Dangerous Minds readers and thanks for digging us this year.
 
Nancy Reagan and Mr. T at the White House during Christmas time, 1983
Nancy Reagan and Mr. T at the White House during Christmas, 1983
 
Frank Zappa in a Santa suit
Frank Zappa
 
Wait until you see the one of a young Johnny Thunders, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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12.23.2015
09:23 am
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20th Century Boy: Photos of a nearly unrecognizable ‘mod’ Marc Bolan from the early 60s
11.19.2015
09:26 am
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A young Marc Bolan (age 18 in 1965)
A young Marc Bolan (age 16 or 17)
 
Before he became known as the “Marc Bolan” we all know and still love (you know - the guitar-wielding god-of-glam done up with eyeliner and with tons of hair?), Bolan was still going by his birth name “Mark Feld,” and resembled Donovan more than his soon-to-be bonafide rockstar self. 
 
Marc Bolan (or Mark Feld) age 15 modeling as a
Marc Bolan (who was still using his birth name of “Mark Feld”) at age fifteen modeling as a “John Temple Boy” in 1962 (far right)
 
A young Marc Bolan (mid-60s)
A young Marc, early to mid-60s
 
When he was just fifteen, Bolan did a little modeling as a “John Temple Boy,” (for John Temple menswear) sporting a short, mod haircut and Savile Row-style clothing. A far cry from his future, super-glammy “I’m gonna suck you” look that Bolan would go on to cultivate during his days with T.Rex. Even the publicity photos for Bolan’s first single with Decca, 1965s “The Wizard” feature a nearly unrecognizable short-haired version of Bolan.

In the 2001 book, Glam Musik: British Glam Music ‘70 History, Bolan’s future publicist Keith Altham said Marc would frequently walk into a bar called the Brewmaster with his new record in tow proclaiming that he was going to be “the greatest thing since Elvis Presley.” And he sure wasn’t wrong about that bit. Loads of photos of a young Marc Bolan (many of which were taken in the early to mid-60s), follow.
 
Marc Bolan with short hair and guitar
 
A young Marc Bolan (mid-60s)
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.19.2015
09:26 am
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In Their Own Write: Handwritten lyrics by Nick Cave, David Bowie, Joey Ramone, Kate Bush and more

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Beat writer Alexander Trocchi was wise to the easy money to be made from selling handwritten drafts of famous works of literature. When short of cash for his drug habit, Trocchi would write out in longhand one of his novels (Young Adam, White Thighs, whichever) and sell it on to some collector as the one and only original handwritten manuscript. It kept him from finding a job or worse, from writing something new. Across London and Paris there’s probably dozens of these supposed “originals” cobbled together by Trocchi in his moment of need.

If Trocchi had lived and tried the same today, he would probably have been found out for his ruse as the market for original handwritten drafts to books, poetry and pop songs is now a mega business.

Last year, Bob Dylan’s handwritten lyrics for “Like A Rolling Stone” was sold at auction for $2 million. In 2005, John Lennon’s pen-drafted words for “All You Need is Love” made $1.25 million at auction, while in April 2015, Don Maclean’s handwritten lyric sheet for “American Pie” sold for $1,205,000.

Handwritten pop lyrics are as valuable as works of art—in fact they are works of art—as in this digital age where everything is written by keyboard, the value of such pen-scrawled texts on legal pad or hotel note paper only increase in value year on year. Though the top ten most expensive lyric sheets are about 2/3 the work of John Lennon (4) and Bob Dylan (2), there are plenty of other musicians out there who are finding their first drafts to popular songs offer them or their inheritors a comfortable pension.
 
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David Bowie’s handwritten lyrics for ‘Jean Genie’ made $29,063 at auction.
 
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Bowie: Lyric detail for ‘Jean Genie.’
 
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Ziggy jams with a ballpoint pen: David Bowie’s handwritten lyrics for ‘Ziggy Stardust.’
 
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One of Nick Cave’s many notebooks with original lyrics for ‘No Pussy Blues.’
 
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Cave’s typed lyrics for ‘Push the Sky Away.’
 
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No notebook or typewriter for Joey Ramone—the lyrics for ‘Disassembled’ were written on an old Alka Seltzer box.
 
More original pop lyrics, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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11.11.2015
10:46 am
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‘Supersonic’: Mid-70s footage of The Damned, Thin Lizzy & T.Rex performing on UK kids TV show
11.11.2015
10:40 am
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Marc Bolan of T-Rex performing on UK kid music TV show, Supersonic, 1975
A shot of Marc Bolan of T-Rex performing on UK kids music TV show, Supersonic

There are days I really, really love my job. Lucky for you, this is one of them, because I can’t wait to share this super intimate (as well as sort of strange) footage of T.Rex, The Damned, and Thin Lizzy performing on the short-lived kids Britpop-music television show awesomely titled, Supersonic.
 
Supersonic annual from 1977 featuring Bay City Rollers, David Essex and the star of the show Mike Mansfield
Supersonic annual from 1977 featuring Bay City Rollers, David Essex and the star of the show Mike Mansfield
 
The show was hosted by producer Mike Mansfield, and was targeted to kids and teens as well as filmed in front of a screaming audience full of them - hence its afternoon time slot.

Supersonic only ran for a couple of years and would feature musical performances from all kinds of groups. Some that would distinctly appeal to the shows targeted demographic like the Bay City Rollers, but there were also appearances by legendary rock musicians and glam bands like The Sweet, Slade, Ginger Baker, and The Kinks. I gotta say that the footage of Thin Lizzy doing “Wild One” from their 1975 record, Fighting on Supersonic is really something special. And after you watch it, you can’t help but hope that it made a lasting impression on the lucky kids in that studio.
 
Phil Lynot of Thin Lizzy performing on Supersonic
Phil Lynott on Supersonic
 
A strange aside - Gary Glitter also made several appearances on the show. Which of course in retrospect sounds like a terrible fucking idea as Glitter’s activities that earned him the title of “pedophile” date back to 1975. Yikes. Anyway, I can’t think of any better way to cleanse your mind of my previous statement than watching a certain Marc Bolan getting doused by a giant bubble machine while lip-synching (and gyrating) his glittery heart out to his 1975 single, “Dreamy Lady.”
 

T.Rex performing “Dreamy Lady” on the UK kids show, Supersonic
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.11.2015
10:40 am
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Brown Sugar: Marsha Hunt, beautiful muse of Mick Jagger and Marc Bolan
10.16.2015
05:07 pm
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Although a famous Vogue magazine cover shot by Patrick Lichfield of Marsha Hunt, naked, with a huge Afro, as a London cast member of Hair is an indisputably and quintessentially iconic image of the 1960s, Hunt remains under the radar of most music fans. For one (quite good) reason, there are exactly zero CDs of her music on the market currently and there is nothing on iTunes or Spotify either. This is too bad, because she made some worthwhile music during her career. However, some pretty great clips of her live on European TV have been popping up on YouTube and many of her better known singles have made it to some audio blogs as well, so there’s plenty for me to illustrate here what still makes Hunt the object of cult fascination. Eventually, I have no doubt, she’ll be rediscovered by music nerds. It’s about time…
 

 
Hunt, an insanely gorgeous, highly-intellectual 19-year-old model, originally from Philly, went to UC Berkeley, smoked pot, dropped acid and marched alongside Jerry Rubin protesting the Vietnam war. She moved to swinging London in 1966 and married Mike Ratledge of the Soft Machine so she could stay in the country (and is still married to him to this day, although they have not been together for decades). She sang backup vocals for blues great Alexis Korner and became a cast member of Hair, playing “Dionne” in the West End production. A photo of Hunt by Justin de Villeneuve was used on the poster and Playbill of the London production.
 

 
There’s very, very little surviving footage of the London production of Hair—which opened on September 27, 1968, one day after the abolition of theatre censorship, allowing for nudity and profanity onstage—but I did find this amazing clip of “Black Boys/White Boys.” Marsha Hunt, looking stunning, comes into view at about one minute in:
 

 
More Marsha, after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.16.2015
05:07 pm
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‘Music-Hall Humorist’: Read Marc Bolan’s Melody Maker article about David Bowie
05.21.2015
09:59 am
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Bowie and Bolan on the final episode of Bolan’s TV show, MARC

He had a mime act and used to open up the show. He didn’t sing at all but had a tape going and he’d act out a story about a Tibetan boy.

Mime act? Tape going? Tibetan boy? It can only be another reminiscence of David Bowie’s early years in showbiz. But this one is special: it comes from a Melody Maker feature by Bowie’s friend and sometime rival Marc Bolan. It appeared in print just six months before Bolan’s tragic death in a car crash.

I came across Bolan’s article, “Music-Hall Humorist,” in the foxed and brittle pages of David Bowie, A Chronology, a relic from the Let’s Dance era. “Music-Hall Humorist” first appeared in the March 12, 1977 issue of Melody Maker, a number that was heavy with Bowie-related news. Published during the Thin White Duke’s annus mirabilis, the issue featured both Iggy and Bowie on the cover, and the headline screamed LOU REED DUE.

The article reads more like a transcript of Bolan talking to a reporter than something he sweated out over a typewriter, but who knows? Maybe it was laboriously composed over a period of several weeks. Sure it was…

David is a great singer . . . he can sing anything, almost. I remember him when he was in The Lower Third and he used to go to gigs in an ambulance. I used to think he was very professional. He was playing saxophone then and singing. I suppose it was a blues band then and he was produced by Shel Talmy.

He did a record which I’m sure everybody has forgotten. It was ‘Pop Art’ – yer actual feedback. I can’t remember what it was called.

After that he went to Decca around the time I was doing ‘The Wizard’. He was into . . . bombardiers then. Don’t you remember ‘The Little Bombardier’?

He was very Cockney then. I used to go round to his place in Bromley and he always played Anthony Newley records. I haven’t spoken to him about it, but I guess that was how he got into mime.

Newley did mime in Stop the World I Wanna Get Off. The funny thing is that ‘The Laughing Gnome’, which was one of David’s biggest singles here, came from that early period.

It came at the height of his supercool image. And that’s very ‘Strawberry Fair’ . . . ‘the donkey’s eaten all the strawberries!’ That was his biggest single, so it just shows you it doesn’t pay to be cool, man!

Rock ‘n’ Roll suicide hit the dust and the laughing gnomes took over. We were all looking for something to get into then. I wanted to be Bob Dylan, but I think David was looking into that music-hall humour.

It was the wrong time to do it, but all his songs were story songs, like ‘London Boys’. They had a flavour, with very square kinda backings.

But in those days there weren’t any groovy backings being laid down. I think if he played back those records now he’d smile at them, because he was an unformed talent then. He was putting together the nucleus of what he was eventually going to be.

When he had ‘Space Oddity’ he was on tour with me in Tyrannosaurus Rex. He had a mime act and used to open up the show. He didn’t sing at all but had a tape going and he’d act out a story about a Tibetan boy. It was quite good actually, and we did the Festival Hall with Roy Harper as well.

I remember David playing me ‘Space Oddity’ in his room and I loved it and said he needed a sound like the Bee Gees, who were very big then. The stylophones he used on that, I gave him. Tony Visconti turned me onto stylophones.

The record was a sleeper for months before it became a hit, and I played on ‘Prettiest Star’, you know which I thought was a great song, and it flopped completely.

But I never got the feeling from David that he was ambitious. I remember he’d buy antiques if he had a hit, when he should have saved his money. David got his drive to be successful once I’d done it with the T. Rex thing. At the beginning of the seventies it was the only way to go.

 

“It’s so easy, a baby could learn to play it in fifteen minutes”: an ad for the Stylophone
 
David Bowie, A Chronology also includes this unsourced anecdote from March 1977:

While in London, David is taken for lunch to Toscanini’s in the Kings Road by Marc Bolan. After the meal, David and Bolan, both slightly drunk, wandered down the Kings Road singing. At one point, when in view of a packed open-topped double-decker bus full of school children, the two jumped up and down trying to attract the children’s attention shouting alternately, ‘I’m David Bowie’, and ‘I’m Marc Bolan’. Although the school children were none too interested in their antics, they did manage to attract some Bowie fans who couldn’t believe their luck when David obliged with an autograph and a chat.

I’m not sure if this is the “pop art” single Bolan was trying to recall, but here’s Bowie (in the Manish Boys) singing “I Pity The Fool” in 1965. Shel Talmy produced and Jimmy Page played lead guitar. (Be warned: there’s six seconds of silence before the song starts.)

Posted by Oliver Hall
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05.21.2015
09:59 am
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