22 August 2008

From Mod to Glam to Metal to Dead: T Rex Rules

When I first heard Bang A Gong -- I was, instantly, Marc Bolan's riff-rock slave -- he kept me mesmerized with that riff he coined, latter briefly gathered together again by INXS, until two tragic deaths, years apart, killed it.

Or so I thought. That's what I get for thinking -- because rocker philosopher King Bishop gonna take over. Introducing, the living legend in my own mind, newe Guest Contributor King Bishop take:

(Me): Ready King...1...2....1,2,3,4 --

[King B.:] T.REXTASY!!!! After several years of folk-rock sucess in lesser -known bands like God's Children and Tyrranesaurus Rex, Marc Bolan and Percussionist Mickey Finn broke onto the british charts in spring of 1971 with the infectious HOT LOVE.Britian fell into a mania that wasn't seen since the Beatles.Combining simple, uncomplicated chord changes, nonsensical lyrics and a complete overdose of charisma Marc Bolan exploded and domineered Britian for the next 18 months. In the states, we embraced BANG A GONG, the album ELECTRIC WARRIOR and not much else.Production genius Tony Visconti was another important factor in the sound ( as were former Turtles-Zappa -Springsteen back up vocal specialists Flo and Eddie:Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman) but the breathy, almost whispering leads by Bolan make his sound unmistakable! TV commercials and modern films have embraced Bolan as his music is still all over the place. I have always said that Marc Bolan gets away with things I would hate somebody else for doing but when he does it, it's cool! Do I understand it? Naw, just love it! T.Rex made one film, an Apple film(The Beatles Apple, mind you) with Ringo at the helm, co-starring and playing a mouse. Elton John also appears and segments were filmed in John Lennon's back yard. This was commercially released in 2005. My son, taking a college course in audio engineering was studying recording techniques taught by a former BABE RUTH bassist. T.Rex became the discussion and my son mentioned the movie BORN TO BOOGIE. No one had ever heard of it and my son became the class kingpin for not only hearing of the film, but actually seeing it! His dad has owned a bootleg copy since 1989.
(-- by King Bishop, all rights reserved; copyright Mango Turnpike Ltd, LLC, 2008.)


LadyMadeleine said...

Great blog post, KB!!

It's so true, sometimes you don't have to think too hard about why something is good to know it just works and you like it! Bolan helped pave the way for so much, and he doesn't get enough credit... He created changes with Bowie, start!-ed things rolling for The Jam and had no fear of punk rock. And where would ABC, William Broad, Robert Palmer, etc. etc. etc. have been if he didn't come first? Oh and possibly even Elvis and Gretzky, too. (I know, but didn't I have to get Elvis in there somewhere? Oops, I think I might get banned for that one...)

He was such a force on his own, and his ever-continuing influences I am eternally grateful for!

I've never heard of that movie... That's pretty funny about Ringo... I'm guessing Lennon didn't have any outdoor cats!


Paco Malo said...

Hey, my next post is on Bowie and his 1978 Heroes element of his Berlin trilogy. If you're gonna read my mind, then write it down and be brave like King Bishop and brilliant like you, dudette on her way to Suffragette City via Mars and the Berlin Wall with Eno and Toni Visconti.

Thanks again King, and a big thanks to Lady M. for making the sum of the parts greater than the whole.

LadyMadeleine said...

Okay, I am not brave like King Bishop, and I think my brilliance is in be able to keep up at all with you guys!

If you ever want an (to use your phrase) "I was dere" analysis of Randy Newman's "I Love LA", now that I could handle, lol.

Now I'll just dance the blues, put on my red shoes and click them three times while I wait to learn about Bowie.


Paco Malo said...

I will keep your kind offer in mind; I am honored to think of you as a colleague.

"All the angels wanna wear your red shoes."
(-- E. Costello)

A guest contributor post on Randy Newman's "I Love LA" would be a fine addition here. Thanks, whenever you get a chance, Gold Coast Bluenote staff and readers await!