BEFORE: Tyrannosaurus Rex (1967-1969):
MUSIC: Tolkienesque’ Acoustic Acid Folk
Marc Bolan took an acoustic guitar, bongo player Steve Took, and made four very eclectic albums of odd ball waif-folk. Mythology, magic, and gnomes were the subject matter. The world remained unimpressed. Without a course correction, Tyrannosaurs Rex was headed for the same Acid-Folk purgatory as the Incredible String Band and Tir Na Nog.
AFTER: T.REX (1970-1977)
Bolan was a smart, Jewish self-promoter. He swapped his acoustic for a Les Paul Custom. He swapped his drug impaired bongo player for eye candy skin-beater/male-model Mickey Finn. Bolan shortened the band name, cranked up the volume and loaded on the Max-Factor and eye shadow. Lyrics now sang the praises of Cars, Girls, and Cats. David Bowie was crouching in the weeds watching. Though Bowie would eventually establish the universal Glam brand, Marc Bolan was the first to take uber-androgyny to the bank and make it pay.
Bolan and T.REX cured Great Britain’s great cultural depression that had resulted from The Beatles’ demise. The idiot energy that fed Beatlemania found a new mode of expression. It was called “T-Rextasy” and it swept the nation. In fact, Ringo Starr passed the torch himself by directing Bolan’s only feature length film. America remained immune to the hysteria, but “Bang A Gong” remains a staple of the Classic Rock radio format. Bolan ‘died young and stayed pretty’. He died as a passenger in a car crash at age 29. The driver was his paramour and mother of his only son Rolan.