Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Marc Bolan had rock stardom down to a T

Marc Bolan, 1973 (Allstar Picture Library)
Marc Bolan, 1973 (Allstar Picture Library)

HE may have churned out one hit single after another, but to his faithful followers, Marc Bolan was much more than just a pop star.

Born Mark Feld at the end of September, 1947, he was dead before he’d reached 30, when his car crashed into a tree two weeks short of his birthday.

September 16, 1977, is a date none of his fans will forget, and many Marc devotees seem to get more attached to his legacy each year.

The ten best T Rex songs: Glam rock icon Bolan made his Marc on pop with long list of chart hits

A singer/songwriter and very able on guitars and keyboards, he’d have huge success with T Rex, in the Glam Rock era of the 70s.

He’d also enjoy a friendly, but fierce, rivalry with pal David Bowie, and like Bowie, he was something of a style icon, with his trademark curly locks and flashy bohemian gear much copied across the world.

Marc Bolan (Alamy)

The man who would be Bolan was born at Stoke Newington Common, Hackney, East London.

His mum was Phyllis Winifred, his dad Simeon, a lorry driver of Ashkenazi-Jewish-Russian-Polish extraction.

They later moved to Wimbledon at about the same time Marc was getting into Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Chuck Berry and others.

It began a lifelong love of not just singing and sporting cool stage outfits, but of great guitar playing. Aged 12, he’d perform with his instrument in the playground.

He was also in a trio of kids desperate for success that included Helen Shapiro, aged 12.

Also a rebel, Marc would be kicked out of school for bad behaviour before he was 16, but by then, he was clearly destined for bigger things.

He joined a modelling agency and was seen looking trendy in catalogues and the like, along with cardboard cut-outs in stores.

His first proper manager tried to mould Marc as a new Cliff Richard.

None of it quite clicked, but it was all priceless preparation for the real superstardom to come.

In the end, rather than sharp suits, Marc opted for corduroy caps and bohemian gear, Bob Dylan style, and even recorded a version of Blowin’ In The Wind.

Some have even claimed Bolan was a contraction of the words Bob and Dylan and, again like his mate Bowie, Bolan was a huge fan of the American folkie-turned-rocker.

In the mid-60s, Simon Napier-Bell was a big name in the British music industry, as a journalist and manager.

He was used to young wannabe stars knocking on his door, and Marc promptly did so, informing him he was destined for stardom.

After letting him in and listening to what he could do, Simon first thought he might get Marc into one of his top bands, The Yardbirds, but then opted to put him in with John’s Children, who were crying out for a prolific songwriter.

Marc Bolan with girlfriend Gloria Jones and their baby son, Rolan Bolan, 1976 (Alamy)

Their single Desdemona was banned by the Beeb for its line “Lift up your skirt and fly”, and he didn’t stay with them long.

It’s at this point that he began writing his vivid, fantasy-filled novels and songs, talked about wizards and all sorts of mythical things, and his next big outing, as Tyrannosaurus Rex with a few mates, really saw him take off.

It was very colourful, psychedelic and dreamy, with acoustic guitars and hippie hand percussion, and several albums and singles stormed the charts.

The late, great DJ John Peel would often mention Tyrannosaurus Rex, playing their material every chance he got.

They were getting a large cult following, but that was never going to be enough to satisfy Marc.

He married June Child, who’d worked in the industry and would go on to help raise his profile. He started buying loud electric guitars again, his band became the less- unwieldy T Rex, and suddenly that cult following was becoming a massive mainstream one.

In 1970, Ride A White Swan brought his first hit with them, recorded with the help of producer Tony Visconti, who would also be responsible for many landmark records by, you’ve guessed it, David Bowie.

Now fame was arriving, Marc took to his top hats, feather boas, glitter on his cheekbones, and he was one of Glam Rock’s main poster boys.

Like Bowie, when his fans began wearing make-up, many a parent was shocked and outraged. Purple platform boots and orange hair probably didn’t help.

T Rex would deliver one catchy song after another, such as Jeepster, Telegram Sam, Metal Guru, Children Of The Revolution, 20th Century Boy and more.

Even Bowie and the likes of Elton John saw some of their greatest records kept away from the top of the charts by his band.

Marc had become so big that he also starred in 1972 Ringo Starr rock movie Born to Boogie, with some scenes showing Marc and T Rex playing at John Lennon’s mansion, Elton John on piano and Ringo on drums.

Bolan back in 1965 (Evening Standard/Getty Images)

T Rex, incredibly, accounted for 6% of total British record sales at that time. This meant they shifted 100,000 records each day.

Sadly, however, Marc and his music didn’t really manage to attract the huge worldwide audience that Bowie, Elton and Lennon mustered.

By the mid-70s, his star was waning.

His marriage ended after an affair with backing singer Gloria Jones, who gave birth to son Rolan Bolan in September, 1975.

Two years later, with punk rock in full swing, something of a comeback looked on the cards, with a new record and his own TV show, Marc.

One episode saw him playing alongside Bowie, and Marc’s enthusiasm saw him stumble and fall out of camera shot!

Not long after, he was the passenger in a purple Mini being driven by Gloria, heading home after an enjoyable meal and drinks at Mortons in Berkeley Square.

It’s thought she lost control, the car struck a steel post and they came to a halt against a sycamore tree. Neither had a seat belt on.

Marc died instantly, Gloria had a broken arm and jaw. It was only on the day of his funeral that they told her he had died.

Disgustingly, Marc’s home was looted shortly after.

Bowie, Rod Stewart, Steve Harley and many others, famous and not, attended the funeral, featuring a swan-shaped floral tribute.

Ironically, they say Marc never learned to drive due to a fear it could lead to his dying prematurely.

Not even 30, he would surely have done much more had he only lived longer.