top of page

Marc Bolan

Today we will tell you about the singer, guitarist, and creator Marc Bolan:


1. He was born in London, England, on September 30, 1947. His name at birth was Mark Feld. Mark's father was a Jew of Russian-Polish descent and his mother was English.

2. His first musical influences were in the rock and roll style with artists like Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent, and Eddie Cochran.

3. He got his first guitar at the age of 9 and has not left it since. He used to play during school breaks for his fellow students.

4. At age 15, he was expelled from school for misconduct.

5. Following this, he joined a modeling agency and modeled men’s suits in fashion catalogs and on advertising posters.

6. He began his musical career at the age of 17 when he recorded a song called "All at Once" which is similar in style to Cliff Richard the artist he admired.

7. He was later influenced by Bob Dylan and played folk music. To adapt his appearance to music, he changed his name to Toby Tyler.

8. In 1965 he was signed by the record company "Decca Records" and by this time he had already adopted the stage name, Marc Bolan.

9. The first single he released under the new stage name was "The Wizard" played by, among others, Jimmy Page as a session player.

10. In 1967 he joined the band "John's Children". One of the songs he wrote for a band called "Desdemona" was banned from being broadcast on the BBC due to the inclusion of the line "lift up your skirt and fly".

11. After the band disbanded, Bolan formed "Tyrannosaurus Rex" in 1967. The band's first album with the long name: "My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows" Released in 1968.

12. The band whose style is folk-psychedelic and acoustic rock continued in this band and released three more albums until 1970 when they also performed at the first "Glastonbury" festival.

13. In 1970 came the upheaval. The band's name was shortened to "T. Rex" and Bolan and his band became "electric" as he adopted the Gibson guitar Les Paul who even appeared on the cover of the band's fifth album "T. Rex" released in 1970.

14. With the help of producer Tony Visconti, the band recorded their first big hit "Ride a White Swan" which was released in October 1970. The song is considered groundbreaking, and one of the first glam rock style tracks.

15. Bolan was influenced at the time by David Bowie. He performed on stage in flashy makeup and costumes that added to his musical style and persona.

16. Bolan was Bowie's friend, they both had the same director and both were produced at the time by the legendary Tony Visconti.

17. In 1970 Bolan was even featured on guitar playing David Bowie's song "The Prettiest Star", which will later be released on the album "Aladdin Sane".

18. Bolan's stylistic change was completed with the band's sixth album "Electric Warrior" released in 1971. The album was a huge success and also critically acclaimed and became the best-selling album in England in 1971. Needless to say, the album was included in the list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

19. At this point Bolan is already branded as an extroverted and ostentatious rock star with a charismatic appearance that cannot be ignored. This is accompanied by the colorful performances of Boulogne and a hit of TV appearances, one of the iconic ones even alongside Elton John.

20. In 1972, Bolan continued to release other hits that reached the top of the charts, including "Telegram Sam" and "Metal Guru". "Children of the Revolution" was also released which was the first to break the incredible streak of four consecutive singles that topped the charts in England, when it reached "only" second place.

21. Bolan and "T. Rex" were the great things in England in those years. Their sales at the time skyrocketed to 6% of total record sales in the UK, with an average sales of 100,000 albums daily.

22. In the same year, the documentary "Born to Boogie" directed by Ringo Starr was also released, which documented a live performance of "T. Rex" at Wembley as well as recordings at the Apple studio, which featured Ringo Starr and Elton John.

23. In 1973 Bolan joined his friend Jeff Lynne when he was a guest on two songs from the "Electric Light Orchestra's" album "On the Third Day".

24. That same year Bolan continued to rave about hits such as "20th Century Boy" and "The Groover," but these failed to reach number one on the charts.

25. The band's eighth album "Tanx", already included a change of style towards funk, soul, and gospel.

26. On the album "Zinc Alloy And The Hidden Riders of Tomorrow" from 1974, Bolan enriched the band's sound through the addition of other musicians, including the keyboardist and backing singer Gloria Jones.

27. At that time he separated from his wife and lived with backing singer and keyboardist Gloria Jones, who in 1975 gave birth to his son Rolan Bolan.

(Photo: Terry O'Neill)

28. Bolan and his band will continue to release albums until 1977 when the band's 12th album "Dandy in the Underworld" was released.

29. Several months after the album's release, on September 16, 1977, about two weeks before his 30th birthday, Mark Bolan was killed in a car accident. Bolan and his girlfriend Gloria Jones are back from a party. During the ride, Gloria lost control of the vehicle, which collided with a pillar and then a tree. Bolan died on the spot and Jones broke her arm.

30. Here it is worth noting that Bolan had fears of premature death. This is also the reason why he did not drive the vehicle at the time of the accident, as he did not hold a driver’s license.

Follow us on Facebook or Subscribe to our website

"Face/Off" - Israel's Rock Blog & Podcast


Enjoying the Blog? Subscribe to get it right to your mail!

Thank you !!

bottom of page