Archive for the ‘T Rex’ Category

T Rex Newcastle City Hall 10th March 1977

T Rex Newcastle City Hall 10th March 1977
TRex77tix1977 was, of course, the year of punk rock. Marc was well aware of this and, in an interview in The Sun (February 1977) said that he had been waiting ‘for something like punk rock to come along…..I consider myself to be an elder statesman of punk” and declared himself “The Godfather of Punk.” Unlike many stars, he wasn’t afraid to put his money where his mouth was and “picked The Damned to tour with me because I wanted to put the best of the established bands against the best of the new wave bands, so we‘ll see who can out-punk the other every night” (The Journal, March 1977). A new T Rex album “Dandy in the Underworld” was released to fan and critical acclaim, and the band went out on tour with, as alluded to above, punk rock band the Damned as support. The tour was our chance to see a new, rejuvenated, slimmer Bolan, sharp-suited with smooth elfin looks, and a new band featuring Dino Dines (keyboards), Tony Newman (drums), Herbie Flowers (bass) and Miller Anderson (guitar). Although not every show was quite sold out, attendances were good, and the UK tour gained positive reviews. Bolan and T Rex were back on form and the future looked bright. From the tour programme: “Bolan today is a genuine star – the man who put magic back into pop music; seldom heavy and most often playful….Marc is a global super-star who has toured over 500,000 miles in the last two years….I am a teenage idol I suppose”. Big statements, but actually Bolan could live up to them.
TRexdandyprogI saw the tour at Newcastle City Hall on 10th Macrh 1977. The Damned were their usual crazy manic selves; it was quite brave of Marc to invite them on tour with him, as it could so easily have back-fired. In fact, the pairing worked well, with the Damned warming the audience up, and T Rex playing a set containing a good mix of old and new and which showed just how good a live act Bolan and his band could still be. Bolan was enjoying a new surge in popularity, and he even talked about the possibility of performing again with Finn and Took, as well as reuniting with producer Tony Visconti.
Set List: Jeepster, Visions Of Domino, New York City, The Soul Of My Suit, Groove A Little, Telegram Sam, Hang-Ups, Debora, I Love To Boogie, Teen Riot Structure, Dandy In The Underworld, Hot Love, Get It On

While driving home early on the morning of 16th September 1977, Marc Bolan’s purple Mini crashed into a tree, after failing to negotiate a small bridge near Gypsy Lane, Barnes, in southwest London, a few miles from his home. Bolan was killed in the crash, which took place two weeks before his 30th birthday.
Thanks to Michael and his excellent site of the tour for helping refresh by memories and providing pointers to some of the reference material of the time.

T Rex Sunderland Empire 15th Feb 1976

T Rex Sunderland Empire 15th Feb 1976
trexprogTwo years on and T Rex were touring again, this time to promote their new album “Futuristic Dragon”. The truth was that the T Rex star was waning, and they weren’t hitting the charts in the way that they used to. But in Marc’s head he was, of course, as big a star as ever, and if you read the programme you would believe that the band were as popular as ever: “Marc Bolan is back in Britain and set to lead T Rex on their first major UK tour since 1973….Today when Marc Bolan declares he is a ‘rock and roll phenomenon’ it is no wild exaggeration… he has become a legend to millions of fanatically enthusiastic young people. It was with T Rex that Marc brought back the screamage excitement which had not been seen since the halycon days of the Beatles….With a little help from his lady Gloria Jones (vocals and keyboards), Steve Curry (bass), Dave Lutton (drums), Tyrone Scott and Dino Dines (both on keyboards) the ‘little bopper’ is about to put the bounce back into rock. Look out!” Usual Bolan under-statement 🙂 trextix76
The tour called at Sunderland Empire on 15th Feb 1976, and support came from Lennie MacDonald. For the people of Sunderland that evening, it was T Rex mania all over again. The venue was packed and the crowd went crazy for Marc; we were back in 1972 again. A huge (futuristic) dragon stood at the back of the stage breathing flames towards us. The crush at the front resulted in some seats being smashed; and at one point during the acoustic set a guy jumped on stage to hug Marc. Unfortunately he grabbed Marc around his neck causing him to choke and he had to leave the stage for a little while. Luckily Marc was ok and T Rex returned to continue their set. The concert featured a selection of the hits and a few nods back to the early days. Life’s a Gas has always been one of my favourites. I can’t believe the ticket price was only £1.25 !
Setlist: 20th Century Boy; Jeepster; Solid Gold Easy Action; Children of the Revolution; Debora; Conesuala; One Inch Rock; Life’s a Gas; Dreamy Lady; London Boys; Teenage Dream; Hot Love
“As the years pass by” he said at one point “I’m still only 16, and so are you baby. You’re my stars….”

T Rex Newcastle City Hall 21st January 1974

T Rex Newcastle City Hall 21st January 1974
TRextix741974 was a year of big change for Marc Bolan and T Rex. Marc announced that “glam was dead” and that “T-Rex no longer exists.” He released the album ‘Zinc Alloy and The Hidden Riders of Tomorrow – A Creamed Cage in August’ and declared that his new band was called ‘Zinc Alloy and The Hidden Riders of Tomorrow’, an idea clearly borrowed from Bowie and his Ziggy persona. The record company was having none of it, and insisted that the T Rex monicker was retained. In January T Rex began their first British tour in over a year. The short six date tour started at Newcastle City Hall, and featured a new nine piece line-up. The new band still included previous members Steve Currie on bass and Mickey Finn on bongos, and added wife-to-be Gloria Jones and Pat Hall on backing vocals, two sax players and two new drummers Davey Lutton and Paul Fenton, replacing Bill Legend. A new single ‘Whatever Happened to the Teenage Dream’ was released, but it’s chart success was moderate. The tour sold well, although demand was nowhere near the heights of the 1972 outings.
trexprog1Marc emerged onstage lying on a massive hydraulic star which raised him from the floor so that he was facing the audience. Behind him was “T Rex” in massive lit stars. Marc had gained weight, and had his hair cut short (apparently his ex-wife June Child had cut his hair just before they split). The new larger band gave the songs a fuller sound, and was beginning to resemble a soul review, but in doing so it lost some of the raw rock’n’roll edge of the previous T Rex. Although some screamers were in attendance, the crowd reaction was much more subdued, and there was none of the mad craziness of their 1972 shows at the City Hall. The T Rex star was definitely starting to fade. I don’t recall who the support act was; I have a feeling that there may not have been one (although the ticket says otherwise).
An enjoyable gig, but it didn’t reach the heights of the previous time I saw T Rex.

T Rex Newcastle City Hall 24th June 1972 6pm and 8.30pm

T Rex Newcastle City Hall 24th June 1972 6pm and 8.30pm
TRexprogIt is early 1972 and it all started with a question. “Who is the best live band?” The silly questions that kids ask each other, and that seem so important at the time. “Who is the best live band?”. The answers were usually Led Zeppelin (we had all seem them live a few months before and they totally blew us away), Free, Family (both bands were big favourites with rock fans in the North East), Deep Purple, The Stones, oh and T Rex. Eh? Yes one guy was insistent that the best band he had ever seen live was T Rex. We scoffed at this. T Rex? Hadn’t they “sold out” and become teenyboppers? Now if he had said Tyrannosaurus Rex (we would all nod sagely and knowingly when that name was mentioned) we might agree. Tyrannosaurus Rex were cool, progressive, hippy and all those cool things. But T Rex?
It’s funny how such trivial things are so crucial when you are young.
My friend posed a challenge to me. I had to go and see T Rex with him the next time they came, so that I could see for myself. I agreed.
Roll on to June 1972. T Rex have announced a short tour and are coming to Newcastle City Hall. They are playing two shows, at 6.00pm and 8.30pm. Now being a man of my word I have to keep my promise. I’ve never see T Rex live. I missed out on seeing Tyrannosaurus Rex, which I regret, and at the time I secretly fancied seeing T Rex, but it had become too uncool to admit to that, or so I thought. Any way, I had accepted the challenge, so I had to go, and secretly I was quite looking forward to it. But first there was the task of getting tickets. T Rex were the hottest ticket (with teenage girls) at the time. The tickets went on sale on a Saturday morning, and my friend and I agreed to meet early in the morning and get the train through to Newcastle, in time for the box office opening. When we arrived at the City Hall the queue was across the road and right down the street. A couple of policemen were trying to organise and control the crowds, but as soon as the box office opened its doors, there was a massive dash and the line of the queue descended into chaos. This gave us an opportunity to take our chances. We rushed to the front and managed to get close to the doors. We were planning to buy tickets for the late show, but as we found we were able to buy good seats, we decided to go to both shows. We ended up with seats in the middle of the third row for the early show and towards the side in the fifth row for the late show.
TRextix6pmRoll on to the night of the concert. We turned up at the City Hall early, as the first show started at 6.00pm. Support were Quiver (soon to join forces with the Sutherland Brothers) who played a short, excellent, set which was lost on the screaming Bolanites. The City Hall was packed with girls in their early teens, all decked out in satin clothes, with T Rex scarves, and glitter on their cheeks. Several were wearing a top hat, mimicking the hat that Marc was wearing on the front cover of the recently released “Slider” album. To call the show pandemonium is an under statement. The screaming started from the minute the house lights went down and didn’t let up until T Rex had finished their short set. Marc was resplendent, an elfin rock god in a glitter jacket. He camped it up to the delight of the crowd. Everyone around was screaming “Marc! Marc!” and crying, tears running down their faces. I swear we were the only boys in the front block. T Rex were incredible. Very LOUD, and you could feel the energy flowing out of Marc and Mickey. The set included a few of the hits, I think they started with their current single “Metal Guru”, some album tracks, and a short acoustic set where Mark and Mickey sat cross-legged on a rug; Marc with acoustic guitar, and Mickey with small bongos between his knees, harking back to the Tyrannosaurus Rex days. Great stuff. Marc played the part of the rock god perfectly, pouting and prancing around the stage. Wonderful. The set was very short, less than an hour, and then by 8pm it was over, and we back out on to the street to join the queue for the late show.
TRextix8pmRoll on to 8.30pm. If I’d thought the early show was crazy, the late show was total chaos. This time the fans were just that little bit older and that little bit more determined to get to the front and touch Marc. We had girls climbing over us, and were crushed from all sides. We ended up with girls on our shoulders (“Can I get on your shoulders, Mister?”), both (the girls, that is) screaming “Marc! Macr!” at the top of their voices. And is seemed even louder. My ears were ringing for days afterwards. At the end we had to run down to the station to catch the last train home.
So, returning to my initial question: “Who is the best live band?”. My friend was even more convinced that no-one could match T Rex. And in some ways I could see where he was coming from. I’d certainly never been to a gig quite lack it for craziness and energy, from the band and the audience. But it’s like comparing the proverbial “apples and pears”. T Rex and Zeppelin were, of course, completely different bands. So we agreed to disagree, and although I 100% enjoyed my T Rex experience, I also remained 100% committed to Zeppelin, The Stones, Purple and others. But I did cross a line that night, and realised that “cool” wasn’t everything and that there was serious fun in seeing pop bands like T Rex, and serious merit in their music. From then on I stopped worrying about whether a band was cool, and if I fancied going to see them, I went.
Setlist: Metal Guru: Cadillac; Jeepster; Cosmic Dancer; Telegram Sam; Debora; Spaceball Ricochet; Girl; Get It On; Hot Love; Summertime Blues