Music was my first love
I have written many articles about music on this blog, mainly because it is one of my obsessions, it really was my first love.
My love of music began when I was 10 really. I’d been listening to music since a much earlier age and can vividly remember my Aunt Rose shaking her stuff at New Years Eve parties to songs like ‘Love grows where my Rosemary goes … Bus stop, and Band of Gold’ amongst many others, but my serious love affair began as I walked through the school play yard and listened to the girls in front of me all singing along in unison
“La la la la la la la, la la la la la la la”
repetitive and rhythmic, they sashayed and strutted as they went along their way to class, oblivious to my curiosity.
The song by the way was Hot Love by T.Rex and once I discovered them there was no holding me back.
I very quickly collected everything Marc and T.Rex and Tyrannosaurus Rex had released to date, which was a fair amount of stuff for a 10 year old with limited resources. Thank goodness for Dad who secretly helped fund my burgeoning record collection and who also gave me a rather splendid hi-fi for my bedroom.
My bedroom walls were adorned with images of my hero, my school books (naturally) were bound in images of Marc and T.Rex. Everywhere I went I wore at least one badge. the pic above is me entering the Mr Fashion contest at Butlins Filey (the irony is never lost on me, I came 3rd having been beaten by two boys in suits). The badge i’m wearing, it got lost but I bought the exact same one off Ebay many years later for an astronomical sum!!
On September 16th 1977, I was in bed, at home, and my Mam came upstairs, woke me up and said she had some bad news for me. I was 16 and still mad about Marc but had long since removed the posters and moved on to other music as well. The news and the rest of the day I can vividly recall and it’s as if my day was in slo-mo.
Mam said “Marc Bolan has been killed in a car crash” and my response was “I know i’ve slept in but please don’t say things like that to get my out of bed”.
“Sorry son, it’s true” Mam replied and I fell out of bed, I fell downstairs, hysterical, my sister Dawn’s friend was in the hallway waiting to walk to school with her, the look of shock on her face, I can still see it.
Breakfast was out of the question, i couldn’t face anything. Instead I got dressed and set off to work. Walking across the school field (St.Anthony’s) I was met by groups of school kids crossing to go to their school. Such was the level of awareness of my Marc mania in the town that as I walked past one group of kids they started shouting ‘Marc Bolan’s dead Na Na Na’ … I can hear it even now. I was in a world of my own and continued walking to work holding back the tears.
I opened up the fruit shop (long story, first job, working for my dad) turned on the radio and guess who came on. That was me finished, I spent the day in slo-mo tears. At lunchtime a dear friend arrived, Shelleen saved my day, as a crowd gathered outside the shop window to chant about my hero dying she went out and shoo-ed them away, She then stayed for the rest of the day helping me cope as best I could.
At home I was inconsolable, Marc was all over the news and my Mam helped me the best she could. I remember her saying “I hope you cry as much for me when I go son” … my naive answer “I don’t think I will Mam” that statement of course, many years later was proven to be very wrong.
And so the years went by as they do but every September I focus back in on what made me love Marc and T.Rex, the music! It was my first love and it stays with me. I listen to Marc a lot, the songs remind me of good, no, GREAT times and this week in particular plays huge significance for me.
Ironically, my other musical hero Kate Bush released an album ‘The Dreaming’ 35 years ago on the anniversary of Marc leaving this mortal coil, and so today and for the rest of this week my soundtrack will be mainly T.Rex and then i’ll drop in tracks from one of my all time favourite Kate albums.
On September 15th it will be 10 years since my Mam passed away. The tears I have shed for her have far passed those for Marc, that of course is natural and I wish I could take back that stupid, innocent sentence voiced all those years ago, but, I know Mam understood and I know she knows the tears for her still flow.
RIP Marc, I miss you and would love to have seen how you developed as an artist.
Mam, I miss you more than words can ever say.
PS: The cover pic, me and my badge, a distant relative and her daughter, my brother and my Mam with some rather wonderful chunky blonde pieces in her highly stylised hair!