Mark Bolan

Mark Bolan

English singer, songwriter and guitarist, leader of the band T. Rex.
Date of Birth: 30.09.1947
Country: Great Britain

Biography of Marc Bolan

Marc Bolan was an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist, best known as the leader of the band T. Rex. He grew up in London and developed an early fascination with rock and roll. At the age of 9, he received his first guitar and soon formed a skiffle group. Bolan was a rebellious teenager and was expelled from school at the age of 14. His musical influences included Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Cliff Richard, Elvis Presley, and later, bands like Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, and Beach Boys.

In 1967, Bolan joined the band John's Children and later claimed to have spent time in Paris with a flying magician who taught him secret knowledge. It was during this time that he began writing neo-romantic songs that would later be featured in T. Rex's early albums. Bolan supported himself as a busker, performing his songs on the streets of London.

Initially performing as Tyrannosaurus Rex with percussionist Steve Peregrin Took, the duo released three albums and five singles, which had little commercial success. However, their music was championed by radio presenter John Peel. Bolan later partnered with Mickey Finn, and the band's name was shortened to T. Rex, with the acoustic guitar being replaced by an electric one.

Bolan married June Child and started writing songs at home in the hopes of creating his first big hit. This success came in 1970 with the song "Ride a White Swan," produced by Tony Visconti. The single climbed the UK charts and reached number two in early 1971, ushering in the glam rock era and establishing Bolan and T. Rex as prominent figures in the genre alongside David Bowie.

T. Rex's lineup expanded in 1971, and their singles consistently reached the top of the charts. Bolan appeared in the musical documentary film "Born to Boogie" in 1972, directed by Ringo Starr. The film featured a T. Rex concert, as well as footage shot at John Lennon's mansion with additional performances by Ringo Starr on drums and Elton John on piano.

From 1973, Bolan's success started to decline, and several band members left. His first marriage also ended during this time. He began a relationship with singer Gloria Jones, who gave birth to his son in 1975. Bolan withdrew from the public eye for three years but continued to release singles and albums. In the mid-1970s, his health deteriorated, and he developed a cocaine habit.

Between 1975 and 1977, Bolan made a comeback, performing concerts and appearing on television. He hosted the music show "Marc," and in the final episode, he performed a duet with David Bowie. Tragically, on September 16, 1977, Bolan was killed in a car accident while returning home with Gloria Jones. Bolan had never learned to drive for fear of meeting the same fate as James Dean. In 2002, on the 25th anniversary of his death, a bronze bust of Bolan was placed at the site of the accident.

Bolan's music and style had a significant influence on many musicians and entire genres, including punk rock and Britpop. His songs have been covered by numerous artists, attesting to his lasting impact on the music industry.