RECOGNITION AT LAST
Marc Bolan and T.Rex make it in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Well, it finally happened. Some 42+ years after his untimely death Marc Bolan and his band T.Rex have at long last been inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – for those that don’t know, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (RRHOF) is a museum and hall of fame located on the shore of Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio. The museum documents the history of rock music and recognises the artists, producers, engineers and others who have influenced its development.
So what? The cynical among us may question whether it really matters. After all, take a look at some of the past inductees and you can question the legitimacy of the whole thing… and it’s American, so is that really of any significance for our much-loved British artists? If Marc hadn’t made it in I for one would have been poo-pooing the whole thing, pretty much in the same way that Thin Lizzy fans are doing currently – they achieved more fan votes than Marc but failed to be inducted by the member vote this time round. Considering Whitney Houston made it in and Thin Lizzy didn't, that's a travesty in itself… rock and roll, really?
However, Marc DID make it in so allow me to savor this glorious achievement for as long as it is relevant – which begs the question how long exactly will that be? In my mind it’ll be forever; it’s the ultimate achievement, albeit posthumously awarded to Marc, Mickey and Steve.
The love in the UK for Marc Bolan and T.Rex is and has been alive and well since his rise to stardom in the 70’s to the present day. I’m a part of that love doing my bit to keep his music alive as the bass player of T.Rextasy. We were honoured to receive the following comment from Bill Legend, the only surviving member of the original T.Rex line-up, following the news that T.Rex had been inducted: “You guys have also made it possible over the years, so let me thank you all and congratulate you for your own personal passion in keeping Marc and T.Rex alive. Much appreciated and my best wishes to you all” – how nice is that?
Marc and T.Rex never really made it in America, something that would have troubled Marc to his dying day. So, will entry to the RRHOF finally cap Marc’s goal of breaking America some 50 years later? Billboard magazine asked the exact same question in this interesting article posted shortly after the 2020 inductees were announced. It contains some interesting insights and comments from curator Martin Barden and author Mark Paytress.
On May 2nd 2020 a host of icons, celebrities and associated hangers-on will attend a glamorous ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio (notably, Cleveland was the location of T.Rex’s final headline US date in November 1974 – thanks to Martin Barden for that fact) to welcome in the 2020 inductees. As I understand it Bill Legend will be receiving the award on behalf of Marc and the band alongside, understandably, Gloria Jones and Rolan Bolan. My only hope is that the one and only Tony Visconti is included in the party as Marc's close friend, producer and the man behind that distinctive T.Rex sound. I also hope of course that the musical tribute at the event is performed by legitimate and relevant artists!
Let us all hope that following this night of celebration and recognition the US flame for Marc Bolan and T.Rex doesn’t extinguish itself too quickly. I fear it may, but we’ll have to wait and see.
So, in summary, is there really any significance in a band being inducted into the RRHOF? From a fans perspective I think the significance is what you make it. I’m sure it depends entirely on whether your favourite artist/band is in or out. So yes, to me, it’s very significant.
We can never deny the influence that Marc and his music had on so many artists past and present (the list is simply too long to publish here). He’s certainly been a major part of my life since the 70’s and for me, that’s a life-long love that will never fade.
As we say at the end of every gig, please, ‘Keep a little Marc in your heart’ (KALMIYH).