First there was Tyrannosaurus Rex – Then there was T.Rex...




Biography by


With much appreciated help from my very dear and much cherished friend 





Mark Feld – (born September 30, 1947 – died September 16, 1977) better known as Marc Bolan, was a singer, poet and songwriter for the band Tyrannosaurus Rex and later T. Rex, from 1967 until his death in a car crash in 1977. He is credited by many as having invented glam rock. Marc Bolan and Tony Visconti largely (and, in many ways, unwittingly) invented the style that would become glam rock and helped restore a brash and exciting feel, when rock bands had grown increasingly self-important. Marc & Tony is by many regarded as the new Lennon/McCartney.

Marc also starred a cinema movie directed by Ringo Starr (former member of The Beatles) called “Born to Boogie”. This movie is loved by the fans and attempts are made to get Born to Boogie shown in cinemas today.  

The son of a Jewish lorry driver/caretaker, Marc Bolan grew up in post-war Hackney in the east end of London and later in Wimbledon, south London. He fell in love with the rock and roll of Gene Vincent and Chuck Berry at an early age and became a Mod, hanging around coffee bars in Soho.  He was featured in an early 1960s BBC documentary about Mods.

Marc Bolan briefly became a model, and had a short lived career as a solo folk singer using the name Toby Tyler.  In 1965 he joined the group John's Children, achieving some success as a live band but selling few records. When the band dissolved, he claimed to have spent time with a wizard in the south of France, who gave him secret knowledge. His songwriting took off, and he began writing many of the neo-romantic songs that would appear on his first albums with Tyrannosaurus Rex.

After a short period of street busking he formed Tyrannosaurus Rex with percussionist Steve Peregrin Took and released three albums and four singles produced by Tony VIsconti, a young American living in London. Although commercial acclaim eluded them, they had a strong cult following. The duo's early work received airplay and support from Radio 1 DJ John Peel, one of their biggest fans.

Musical and ethical differences led to Marc Bolan sacking Steve Peregrin Took. Marc replaced him with bongos player Mickey Finn, releasing one album, A Beard Of Stars. For the follow up the band’s name was shortened to T. Rex with the new album having the same name; adding an electric guitar in the process. Marc’s biggest ambition in life was to be famous. He wanted to be a star - right from the very beginning. Even if it meant him being the star of 4 streets in Hackney – he was always a star.

Marc Bolan married his girlfriend June Child (former secretary to the manager of one of Bolan's idols, Syd Barrett) on January 30th 1970. It was a private wedding with the closest friends attending.

David Gilmour of Pink Floyd once noted, when asked about Marc in the early days:     "Marc Bolan used to hang around in our office and sit on the floor, strumming his guitar, flirting with our secretary, June, who, of course, he later married. He was a great Syd fan. I was quite fond of him. He was a big pain in the arse, of course, very full of himself. I always liked that thing where he called himself the Bolan child, this magical, mythical name. It was really from his doorbell in Ladbroke Grove. It had his name, and our secretarys surname, Child, so it read Bolan Child and fans used to think, wow, he is the Bolan Child!"

He was writing songs at home, hoping to find that first hit. This he did when, in 1970, he played for his wife a simple high-pitched four-verse tune called "Ride A White Swan." He then immediately rang producer Tony Visconti to sort out a studio session. The single was recorded and released, making slow progress in the UK Top 40 and finally peaking in early 1971 at Number 2. Marc Bolan became a new star.

Marc Bolan and Tony Visconti proved to be a brilliant, creative and innovative team as well as being very good friends. Marc was a wizard of fantastic ideas for catchy melodies with adventurous lyrics and Tony refined and developed his musical ideas, adding classical strings and rock horns and mixing the T. Rex sound. It was a magical historic duo who created music, styles and sounds still used today by new bands.

With his corkscrew hair, elfin boyish good looks, and cheekbones daubed with glitter, Marc Bolan's emergence heralded the start of the glam-rock era of British music, which also saw the rise of Marc Bolan's longtime friend David Bowie. It was initially Chelita Sekunda who put glitter under Marc’s eyes and it was a big success. Chelita also took Marc to Alkazura to find fabulous clothes for him. Marc loved the style and he was wearing those colourful beautiful clothes for a long period. In the beginning of his career his aunt made his amazing clothes for him.

By now, T. Rex with Marc Bolan and Mickey Finn had bassist Steve Currie and drummer Bill Legend completing the band. The lineup, wich by most fans is regarded to be the true – the real T.Rex. Marc left his deal with Fly records to join EMI. Fly released the album track "Jeepster" as a riposte to Marc Bolan's quitting, and it peaked at Number 2.

Marc Bolan's next single was a five-minute song called "Hot Love”. It was Number 1 for six weeks and was quickly followed by "Get It On," a grittier, more adult tune that spent four weeks in the top spot. The song was renamed "Bang A Gong - Get it on" when released in the US to avoid confusion with another song called "Get It On" by the group Chase. The fans loved Marc’s new style and his fans exploded in numbers everywere – However John Peel did not like Marc’s new style and he stopped playing Marc’s music on his radioshow after years of helping Marc getting his music out to as many as possible on the air. It was “Get it on” that brought John to this drastic decision and this was the end of their friendship.

Sadly, in some sense, it was the only T. Rex song to ever make the American top 40, reaching only the number 10 position - and some people speculated that it would not have done that well, had the song not included the backing vocals of Howard Kaylan and Marc Volman, thus pulling into the American T. Rex fold a number of former Turtles fans. In England the song was entitled "Get It On." But in America, to avoid confusion with a song with the same name by another artist, it was retiled "Bang a Gong, Get it On". Today, over twenty years later it is still played on Rock radio stations, and it unfortunately is the only T. Rex song most Americans have ever heard.

After completing most of the recording for the next album and the American tour, Marc and T. Rex prepared to return to England. The American tour had once again been a failure to a large extent. The newest T. Rex recordings had not yet been released in America so, like the previous tour, the concert attendees had come expecting to hear the older Tyrannosaurus Rex songs and were unprepared to hear the newer, rockier, electric T. Rex songs that were unleashed upon them. But when the band returned to England, they in turn were unprepared to find what waited for them there. In their absence, T.Rextasy, as the press called it, had erupted into full swing. Marc had become a big star – his biggest dream had come true. He was a Star !!!

T. Rex's first concert at Bournemouth appeared more like a football game than a concert. Scores of teenagers showed up wearing coloured scarves around their necks and wrists upon which were imprinted the names T. Rex and Marc Bolan. When the band took the stage, hundreds of young girls swarmed to the front, clawing at each other to get as close as possible to the new star of Rock and Roll. Outside, just getting to the waiting limousines was a risk. Scores of young fans would toss themselves at the cars, clawing at the doors, banging at the windows, trying to get a look at their idols. Many fans even brought scissors and tried to cut a piece of Marc’s hair, which made it very hazardous for Marc and the people around him trying to avoid the scissors. In Newcastle the crowd broke down the front of the hall and in Glasgow the city police had to be called in to help get the band out of the hall safely. Each concert seemed to require more security than the last - a condition that, as time went on, would make it more difficult for the band to tour England.

The only low point of the tour came during a gig in Lewisham in July when confirmation of the death of Jim Morrison was received. "Everyone laughed when I said there is no time," Marc said, "but now I know that it’s right - I've got to give everything now, while I can. Hendrix wasted the last two years of his life; just think what he could have done in that time. There is no time, I may not be here in two years, I don't know." One of many remarks from Marc, indicating that he didn’t see himself getting very old. Chilling thought.

In 1972, Marc achieved two more Number 1s ("Telegram Sam" and "Metal Guru") and two more Number 2’s. In the same year he appeared in Marc Bolan and Ringo Starr's film 'Born to Boogie' a documentary (amongst many other things; this was the early seventies!) of Marc Bolan's concert and stage performances at the time. In the movie was the very famous Tea Party Medley starring Marc as the Hatter, Tony Visconti as the Conductor, Ringo Starr, Mickey Finn as guests and the two nuns being Marcs wife June and Chelita Secunda. The waiter was Geoffrey Bayldon (Catweasle). A movie very much loved by Marc’s fans still today.

Of the fans Marc had attracted, one of the biggest was ex-Beatle drummer Ringo Star. The two had become close friends and Ringo considered T.Rex to be his favorite band. He invited Marc to play lead on two songs he was recording, "Have You Seen My Baby" and "Back Off Boogaloo". Ringo was trying to establish a new career for himself following the demise of the Beatles, and he was looking toward film to provide that new career. His first project became basically a documentary on Marc Bolan and T.Rex. The film was called "Born to Boogie". It was a mixture of live concert footage, some studio footage, a comedy segment, and some short takes of Ringo and Marc attempting some comedy. Marc’s very loyal fans today are trying to get the movie “Born to Boogie” shown in cinemas again.

By 1973, his star gradually began to fade, even though he achieved a Number 3 hit with arguably his most famous tune to the next generation, "20th Century Boy."

The band disintegrated, and Marc Bolan's marriage with June ended in 1973/74 in a separation. They never got divorced because none of them would. This was very hard on him as June was his rock during his years of becoming a star – looking after his best interests taking care of business for him.

He disappeared for much of the next three years, continuing to release underwhelming singles and albums. However, he managed to score one more UK Top 20 hit per year until 1977. Tony Visconti also left in 1974 because Marc wanted to cut his salary in half and because Tony could’nt stand Marc’s cocaine fueled ego any longer. The fantastic Bolan/Visconti sound ended here. The sound was never the same again after the split of Marc & Tony. Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow was released on 1 February 1974, and reached number 12 in the UK. The album harked back to the Tyrannosaurus Rex days with long song-titles and lyrical complexity, but was not a critical success, T. Rex by now had an extended line-up which included second guitarist Jack Green and BJ Cole on pedal steel. Soon after the album's release, Marc split with his long time friend and producer Tony Visconti. And in December 1974, Mickey Finn too left T. Rex due to the same reasons as Tony left. Soon after, for the same reasons, Bill Legend and Steve Currie left as well. Marc never gave them a raise – still paying them 75£ a week at the height of T.Rextasy. Marc had a very complicated personality and because of this he created these unfortunate situations for himself.

He started an affair with backup singer Gloria Jones. That, along with Marc’s affairs with other women finally became too much for June. She left Marc after visiting him in US where the affair with Gloria was the last straw for June. They separated, but they never finalized their divorce because neither of them wanted to. They felt that going to court would kind of cheapen the love they still had for each other despite their separation.

Marc and Gloria were mainly living in America, but for a period they lived in Monte Carlo. Gloria gave birth to a baby boy in 1975, who they called Rolan Bolan. In this period Marc had a lot of problems with his health – he gained weight as he was no longer a vegetarian, and he had alcohol and cocaine problems. This was a serious downwards slide for Marc. He was very frustrated because he never really made it in America. Marc suffered a heart attack, but in 1977 he changed his way of living and lost a lot of weight, he lived a healthier life with healthier food, no alcohol or drugs. He and June met again privately on a number of occations and had long conversations.

Marc Bolan got a new band together and set out on a comeback tour, taking along punk band the Damned as support, cleverly guaranteeing that a young audience who did not remember his heyday would come to the gigs.

Marc then re-appeared in the public eye with a TV show called Marc in the UK, where he introduced new and established bands as well as performed his own songs. This was broadcast during the post-school hour on ITV earmarked for children and teenagers, becoming a big success. The last episode featured Marc Bolan's guitar duet with David Bowie 9 days before he died.

"20th Century Boy" introduced a new generation of devotees to Marc Bolan's work in 1991 when it was featured on a jeans TV commercial and was re-released, reaching the UK Top 20. Marc Bolan is still cited by many guitar-centric bands as a huge influence. However, he always maintained he was a poet who put lyrics to music. The tunes were never as important as the words. He loved the sound of the words and this was more important than the meaning of the sentences.

Many preferred the early long haired Bolan but some quite liked the experimental phase he went through visually.......he was light years ahead of the times..........the Bolantino and New York City look were straight out of the New Romantic period which came many years later from when Marc was doing it. Marc was always years ahead of his time... Would have been fabulous if he was still here today... I wonder what his life would have developed into by now... Looking at David Bowies journey in life - Marc's would have been every bit as amazing.  

Marc Bolan died tragically on September 16th 1977, two weeks before his 30th birthday. He was a passenger in a Mini driven by his girlfriend Gloria Jones as they headed home from a restaurant. The car collided with a sycamore tree after spinning out of control in Barnes, London. For some of his fans the tree now acts as a shrine to his memory and receives frequent visits from fans to this day as does his grave at Golders Green.

At Marc Bolan's funeral, his coffin was covered in a swan-shaped floral tribute in recognition of his breakthrough hit single “Ride a white swan”. He is sorely missed by his close friends and his many fans still today.

Marc Bolan's wife, June, unfortunately died of a heart attack on 1. september 1994 on a vacation in Turkey

Gloria is married and lives in Cicinatti OH, Rolan is persueing his own music career and lives in Los Angeles, California.  





Date of release:             ALBUMS / Singles  


1965 November

The Wizard

1966 June

The Third Degree

1966 December

Hippy Gumbo

1968 April


1968 June


1968 August

One Inch Rock

1968 October


1969 January

Pewter Suitor

1969 May


1969 July

King of the Rumbling Spires

1970 January

By The Light of the Magical Moon

1970 March


1970 October

Ride A White Swan

1970 December


1971 February

Hot Love

1971 July


1971 July

Get It On (Bang A Gong)

1971 September


1971 November


1972 January

Telegram Sam

1972 March


1972 May

Metal Guru

1972 May


1972 July 21


1972 July

The Slider

1972 September

Children of the Revolution

1972 October


1972 December

Solid Gold Easy Action



1973 March 23


1973 March

20th Century Boy

1973 June

The Groover

1973 September


1973 November

Truck On (Tyke)

1973 November


1974 February 1


1974 February


1974 February

Teenage Dream

1974 June

Jasper C. Debussy

1974 July

Light of Love

1974 November

Zip Gun Boogie

1974 November




1975 February


1975 July

New York City

1975 October

Dreamy Lady

1976 February


1976 February

London Boys

1976 June

I Love To Boogie

1976 September

Laser Love

1977 January

To Know You Is To Love You

1977 March

The Soul of My Suit

1977 May


1977 May

A Dandy In The Underworld

1977 August

Celebrate Summer

1977 September






Thoughts about Marc by Tony Visconti:  

“I sincerely believe that Marc still hadn't done his best work yet. He would've done amazing things had he lived. The Children of Rarn was the start of his future. Had he lived, Marc would have come up with yet a new thing after a period of seclusion and he would have been succesful. He would have woodsheaded for a period and then he would have come back strongly.”


We would like to thank Mette from all our hearts for this very personal biography on the real KING OF GLAM - Marc Bolan and T. Rex. and the help from Mr. Tony Visconti approves the authenticity of this unique biography. 

Thanks again, Mette...!





Marc Bolan on Wikipedia on Marcs death