“Your diamond hands will be stacked with roses/And wind and cars and people of the past”
A couple of days ago, I wrote about post about Belle & Sebastian’s Tigermilk. Scroll down. The record blu-tacked next to it on my wall, however, possibly means a little more to me- (hence the central position of it.)
T.Rex, like The Beatles, were a band I came to know through going to see a tribute band with my papa- and both have been groups who’ve pretty much been at the forefront of everything I’ve ever listened to, since I’ve been able to actively make choices in what to listen to (apart from Steps, who really were the first band if I’m honest, but for the sake of the post- let’s be cool and pretend that wasn’t the case.)
An extract from my diary from the day I devoted the rest of my life to The Beatles, reads:
I HAD TO write, I have just realised the most important thing in the life. The People. Imagine the world without shit like WAR?!! There will be a feeling among the world like the time in the room with the Bootleg Beatles playing All you need is LURVE when everyone stood UP and drifted into their own world full of daises and rabbits and lollipops. I am going TO SPREAD SOME LOVE AND PEACE AND TRY TO SAVE THE PEOPLE ON THIS EARTH! peace. I just hope that a peace resolution will START so I can live in a world of harmony and tranquility.
I wish I could say that I made that up, but unfortunately I actually wrote that once.
But for now, let’s think about T. Rex.
I watched the tribute T.Rextasy- and, of course- being an impressionable 10 year old, surrounded by 40-somethings all singing along to Hot Love (na na na na na na na) I peered about and thought, HEY! This band must be good! There are all these paunchy middle aged people really having a good time! And, although I didn’t know it at the time, I was doomed, as now I would love the music that our Dads listen to, at the age of ten. I was a 10 year old paunchy middle aged man.
Alas, the glittery, shimmering frontman that is Marc Bolan doesn’t make you feel like that. Bolan has the power to take you out of your frumpy little self, and place you into a world where you can do anything, be anything, say anything. His lyrical style is simple, and often nonsensical with favourites such as these:
- I could never see/The cosmic sea/Was like a bumblebee
- Me I funk/But I don’t care/I ain’t no square with my corkscrew hair
- I have never never kissed a car before/It’s like a door
But I still love him. I love him cause of the flamboyance and the ability to make anything sound sexy and wonderful in its own right. Amongst the ‘silly’ lyrics, he really wrote some stuff that tugs at my old and battered heartstrings including one that inspired the name for this blog.
- You diamond browned hag/You’re a gutter gaunt gangster
- Book after book/I get hooked everytime/The writer talks to me like a friend
Oh, Marc. *breathes as he does towards the end of Get it On*
Bolan is often compared to Bowie, they’re both similar- yet I can appreciate them in their own ways. Bowie had more of an artistic vision, whereas baby Marc wanted to be famous. And he got really, really famous. The rise of T.rex is often likened to the early stages of Beatlemania, and well- OBVIOUSLY, because have you seen this guy work a stage? REALLY THOUGH? REALLY MARC, YOU’RE KILLING ME
T.rex will ALWAYS remind me of being in my early teens, it’s theatrical and fun and sexy and really, really good music to get ready for a party to, (and then go to the party and still play it all night, slut-dancing with your friends to ‘Well you can bump and grind, if it’s good for your mind’)
However, The Slider as an album means more than the CD of hits, because it sounds so complete, so right, and most of the songs were single releases anyway, so one’s thirst for glam-pop is satisfied.
I would happily travel everywhere listening to this album on a loop, and Ballrooms of Mars maybe is one of the best songs I will ever hear. Oozing with drama (and glitter)
The BEST thing I ever found one day when trying to rearrange LPs is this:
Dad’s graphic/calligraphic artwork on ‘Ride a White Swan’ was drawn when he was 12, which we always joke about as we pretty much heard their music at the same time, so in that respect this band means a lot to me too.
The Slider was all I had to listen to for a while, it was so playable and interesting I only needed that (before I started to listen to Electric Warrior more a few years after- which, is- hjdfkadjh) Like Springsteen’s Thunder Road, sometimes you only need one album to listen to- because it just does everything. 100% pleasure.
And finally, my favourite ever quote ever said by anyone, which I apply to my day to day life:
“Rock n roll is a bitch, and you’ve got to come on that bitch” Marc Bolan
Change the words Rock n roll to ‘life’ and you’re guaranteed to have a good time.