Kinks Of The Stars: Marc Bolan

Marc Bolan was the charismatic and highly sexual leader of the UK rock act T.Rex, who had many huge international singles including “Bang A Gong” which was a big top 10 hit in the United States as well, and remains one of rock music’s most enduring anthems. Bolan’s songs often had a peculiar mix of Greek mythology, automobiles and sexual interest angles in them. It almost seemed as if Bolan had some sexual interest in automobiles themselves. Yet, Bolan never had a drivers license himself and was strangely killed in an automobile accident only days before he would have turned 30. He still remains a hugely important cult figure in British rock music helping to spur on many more modern musical genres including glam rock, heavy metal and even to some extent, punk rock.

Bolan was also perhaps one of the most sexual of any UK rock performer who ever lived. Recent information about his life have uncovered the fact that Bolan was having sex since the age of nine, preferring older and taller girls than his own small elfish stature. But, Bolan wasn’t just content to have sex with the girls. His former manager, Simon Napier-Peel admitted that he had a sexual relationship with Bolan only hours after the two first met in 1966. According to Peel, “Well, Marc Bolan never came out but he was completely bisexual. I slept with Marc. But he liked girls. Privately he was never very discreet about it, or careful. Looking androgynous and pretty might have said many things to people but the band The Sweet were also pretty and lovely, but there was no one Gay there”. Even the cover of the 1973 T.Rex album, TANX sure looks more than sexually suggestive. If anything, this guy was mighty proud of his gun.

Even the son of Marc Bolan, Rolan Bolan admits that his famous father was often looked at as living in a “Twilight world of drugs, booze and kinky sex”. With his featured boas and glitter makeup on, Bolan started a whole new genre of dress for modern rock musicians. Onstage, he would go wild during an extended version of “Bang-A-Gong”, attacking his guitar with a bullwhip before tossing it into an amp, creating an onstage pyrotechnic explosion. He was always the great showman and frontman for a changing cast of backup musicians over the years. T.rex was hardly so much a real band as it was entirely front and center, Marc Bolan.

While singers such as Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix were obvious victims of their own use of alcohol, drugs and excessive lifestyles, Bolan’s own excesses no doubt led to his early death as well. His affair with a backup singer from his band unfortunately led to the early morning car crash into a tree that took his life on September 16, 1977. And like many who died young, fans continue to wonder to this day what new music he might have created.

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  • Nice post. 🙂

    I’m absolutely obsessed and infatuated with Marc Bolan. When I was a kid I loved T.Rex and have actually been surprised to learn–all these years later–that they never achieved the success here in the States they had elsewhere. I grew up in the Los Angeles area and heard their songs on the radio day in and day out, so I assumed it was like that everywhere. I still don’t get WHY America didn’t get Marc Bolan! I certainly did.

    And after many years of not listening to his music I recently became reintroduced to it, and have become rather obsessed with all things Marc ever since. I’m now building quite the Marc Bolan collection of DVDs, books, and CDs. (Amazon just loves me!)

    You’re right, by the way: He most definitely was highly sexual and, I’m pretty sure, proud of his “gun.” 🙂 Some of the pictures I’ve seen of him, for example on the back of the “Marc Bolan: A Wizard, a True Star” set, are practically obscene. It’s hard for me to pry my eyes away from his crotch area!