Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"He struts, man, and I like that about him"

It's a blessing from above that there exists a direct connection between The Beatles and glam rock pioneers T. Rex. Some backstory first. After Beatlemania, T. Rextasy was the next pop phenomenon to sweep the U.K. For many, the frenzied fan reaction that T. Rex elicited in the early '70s – typically young girls convulsing with elation – called to mind Beatle-generated hysteria. At the center of it all was T. Rex's Mad Hatter gypsy lead singer, Marc Bolan. A lusty, swaggering, mysterious, androgynously handsome frontman, Bolan was born for the stage. He was "born to boogie."
Indeed. That's the name of a T. Rex concert movie from 1972. And here's where the Beatles connection comes in. The director of the project? Our own Ringo Starr, who was Managing Director of Apple Films at the time. Ringo admired Bolan for his brash star power (see the title quote) and reached out to him about doing a film, which they centered around two concerts at Wembley Empire Pool. There's more. Per Wikipedia: "Born to Boogie consists of concert footage; recording studio scenes with Ringo Starr and Elton John, filmed at the Apple Studios in Savile Row, London; and various vignettes reminiscent of The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour, shot at Denham and Tittenhurst Park, Sunninghill (the latter of which was home to both John and Ringo at different points)."
I recently watched Born to Boogie - what a hoot. It showcases some of the most fun and flavorful rock 'n' roll that the often self-serious '70s had to offer. The mood is always light, the performances are electric, and Bolan of course steals the show. Oh, but don't miss Ringo's elegantly understated beard/mullet combo. It's bottom-heavy but top-shelf. It may change your mind about some things.
Here's the trailer:
Other T. Rex-related posts: "Great non-Beatles song..."

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