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  • Rob Butterfield

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE TEENAGE DREAM

It's now over 41 years since Marc Bolan's untimely death. His music lives on and seems to be attracting a whole new swathe of younger fans. By the looks of it the Teenage Dream is alive and well.


I’ve always been a huge fan of Marc Bolan. Having a brother four years your senior had the distinct advantage of listening to cool music from a very young age. Electric Warrior (for me the most iconic T.Rex album) was released just after my 9th birthday and I vividly remember my brother endlessly playing this masterpiece. I was immediately drawn to the iconic cover artwork and instantly fell in love with the music – a love affair that holds strong to this day.


Between us my brother and I eventually amassed the whole Tyrannosaurus Rex and T.Rex collection, eagerly awaiting the next release to spend our pocket money on, our (shared) bedroom wall adorned with Bolan posters. I even joined the T.Rex Fan Club – membership number 10,492 if my memory serves me correctly. Around 1975 my brothers interest waned a little, he was turning 17 and girls, cars and nightclubbing were way cooler. For me the passion just got stronger and I was fortunate enough to see T.Rex live on two occasions: 19th Feb 1976 at the Queensway Hall in Dunstable for the Futuristic Dragon tour (I was just 13) and again on 18th March 1977 at the Rainbow Theatre in London for the Dandy in the Underworld tour. Those memories will last with me forever.


I’ll never forget waking up to the news on the radio on the 16th September 1977 – the day before my 15th birthday – that Marc had been tragically killed in a car crash. I was devastated. My mate Andy (Gwynne) knocked for me on the way to school that morning with tears in his eyes. We were both pretty speechless as we wandered up the road. Life would never be the same.


Fast forward 41 years and my passion for Marc Bolan is as strong as ever. In fact, I’m blessed to be the bass player with T.Rextasy, the worlds only official tribute band to Marc Bolan and T.Rex. My ‘job’ now consists of playing gigs every week of the year keeping the memory and music of Marc alive. Getting the gig is another blog piece entirely and one day I’ll share that story.


You’d imagine our core audience to be ‘of a certain age’ and to some extent that’s true - and they’re pretty hardcore and extremely loyal too! But what warms my heart the most is seeing the great mix of ages at the gigs and there is definitely a swathe of younger fans coming through. For some we may be their introduction to the music of Marc Bolan and T.Rex and hopefully they experience just a little bit of what being at a T.Rex gig in the 70’s was like. To see the youngsters in the audience singing along is a real testament to the timeless attraction of this iconic rock star.


Marc Bolan 1972 by Masayoshi Sukita.

The Teenage Dream? I’m living it right here, right now. Keep a little Marc in your heart!

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