Marc Bolan – British singer and songwriter
Marc Bolan was a British singer, songwriter and guitarist, leader of the band T. Rex. Before long creative activity with T. Rex (1967) he recorded solo singles and collaborated with the band John’s Children.
Mark Feld (his real name) was born on September 30, 1947. He grew up in a simple Jewish family in London. As a child, Mark was fond of early rock ‘n’ roll and at the age of 9 he received his first guitar. Soon he gathered a skiffle group. Even then, Mark was a rebel, and at the age of 14 he was expelled from school. Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Cliff Richard and Elvis Presley were among the artists who influenced Bolan. Later Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and Beach Boys were added to them.
Within a short time he worked as a model and in 1967 he joined the band John’s Children. Bolan claimed that when they disbanded he spent some time in Paris with the magician, who knew how to fly through the air, and from whom he received the secret knowledge. Then he began to write neo-romantic songs that were included in the T. Rex’s first album.
Bolan made a living as a street musician, performing his songs on the streets of London. Tyrannosaurus Rex, his duet with percussionist Steve Peregrin Took, released a total of three albums and five singles, which had no commercial success. The first manager of Bolan became known later, the photographer Allan Warren, a musician with whom he studied at drama school at the famous Drury Lane Theatre. Then his partner was Mickey Finn with whom one album was recorded, after which the name was reduced to T. Rex and the acoustic guitar was replaced with electric one.
Bolan married June Child and began writing songs at home, hoping to create the first big hit. He succeeded in 1970 with the song Ride A White Swan and producer Tony Visconti. The single slowly climbed the British charts, reaching number two in early 1971. Since 1971, the T. Rex’s singles became hits, rising to the first lines of the charts. In 1972, Bolan appeared in the musical documentary about T. Rex Born to Boogie, filmed by Ringo Starr.
Since 1973, the success of Bolan and T.Rex went on the decline and at the same time his first marriage broke up. He began an affair with singer Gloria Jones, who gave birth to a son in 1975. Bolan had disappeared from the public for three years, but continued to release singles and albums. In the mid-1970s the singer’s health worsened: he gained weight and addicted to cocaine.
In 1975-1977 Bolan lost weight and began to give concerts and to appear on television, in particular, he was a presenter of the musical TV show Marc, in the latest edition of which he sang a duet with David Bowie.
Marc Bolan was killed in a car crash on September 16, 1977.
Bolan had a great impact on a lot of musicians and entire areas, such as punk rock and Britpop, there are many cover versions of his songs.