43 years after his death at age 29, the leading in forced in British glam, Marc Bolan, is getting his due as his band T. Rex finally enters the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On Saturday night (November 7th), his friend and collaborator Ringo Starr will do the honors saluting Bolan and the band. Ringo has directed the quintessential look at Bolan at the peak of his fame in the 1972 movie, Born To Boogie.
T. Rex was primarily known Stateside for its sole Top 40 hit, the Top 10 — “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” — which was renamed from its original title “Get It On,” which was deemed too risque for the U.S. audience in 1971. The group, which was led — on every level — by Bolan, was tremendous force in the UK in the early-'70s, leading the glam movement along with David Bowie and Slade.
Bolan and T. Rex drew countless comparisons to the “Beatlemania”-like state Bolan drove his fans into, which was dubbed, “T-Rextasy.”
At then height of his early-'70s fame, Marc Bolan, whose image, music, and vision encapsulated T. Rex, admitted that settling into superstardom was easier than he could've ever imagined: “I find it exciting and I like to do what I do. I can't walk down the street anymore. I had to move, because I couldn't stay at home with hundreds of kids outside. It's a hangup for the neighbors — I enjoyed it, but it was, like, the neighbors got worried. I consider myself a craftsman at what I do, be it writing songs — I do it and give it to people and I like feedback. And if I don't get it, I'm very sad. And If I'm a dustman tomorrow, tough.”
T. Rex drummer Bill Legend will be inducted along with his late-bandmates, Bolan, percussionist Micky Finn, and bassist Steve Currie. He told us that no matter which way you cut it — Marc Bolan would be so proud of achieving American Rock Hall status: “Marc tried very hard to break the States, quote unquote, during the early-1970's. And although he achieved success on the coasts, he didn't necessarily become quite as well known in the U.S. as he would've liked. Y'know, he would've been very rewarded during his lifetime if he had he been more welcomed, if you like, in the U.S. But all these years later to be talking to you about this induction into the Hall of Fame is terrific news. We're really every proud Londoners today, on Marc's behalf, and on behalf of his family, and we should thank all the fans for voting, as well.”
Gloria Jones — Marc Bolan's partner and the mother of his son Rolan Bolan — was beside her self when she heard the news that Bolan and the band had gotten the nod this year: “We are so excited because Marc's family and his loyal fans, we have worked on his legacy for a long time. And it's just so wonderful that Marc is now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We're just so honored, and we're grateful — we're in tears.”
Rolan Bolan spoke about his father's longtime partner-in-crime and onstage foil, Micky Finn: “Y'know, he was very charismatic. He had a great time. Y'know, he was very dedicated. He was a really nice person. He had a bond with my dad, and they had a lot of fun making music and creating together, and he brought a lot to the whole stage. And even to this day, you could see it in his eyes — in that charisma, y'know?”
The 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions have downshifted to a virtual ceremony this year, with the event airing on Saturday (November 7th) on HBO at 8 pm ET. This year marks the first time the Rock Hall will induct its members online.
This year's class also includes the Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, and the Notorious B.I.G. Jon Landau — Bruce Springsteen's manager and producer, along with music mogul and Eagles manager Irving Azoff, will be both receive the Ahmet Ertegun Award.