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Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Marc Bolan Glam Personified
Marc Bolan, glam fashion icon, emerged from the "mod" scene about the mid-60's and became hugely popular in 1970 as Marc Bolan and T. Rex. Before achieving any record deals or pop stardom, Bolan was a model for various magazines and commercials sporting the "mod" look and bold fashion wear of Italian clothing designers. Combined with a bright psychedelic inspired apparel, the "glam" persona was quite stunning and sometimes effeminate. The term, "mods", translates as Modernist - a progressive extension of the beat generation - Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S Burroughs. In stark contrast of the social opposition in their generation were the "rockers", still sporting their 1950's style leather jackets and blue jeans, as portrayed in Pete Towshend's movie, "Quadrophenia". A sort of two separately defined classes of sub-culture youths clashing into a high-spirited social awakening amongst British society, characterized as the "mods" vs. "rockers".
Mods were also notorious for ingesting substances such as Benzedrine - Amphetamine pills, Mandrax, LSD-25 tabs, Hash/Cannabis and alcohol as a constant mainstay. The "Glam" scene undoubtedly embraced Bolan as a trend-setter and he was very close to Syd Barret, pop music icon as original singer/songwriter and musical director of the psychedelic band, The Pink Floyd. Other notable rock stars close to Bolan were Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, Elton John and collaborations with Jeff Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra), Ringo Starr and androgynous, avant-garde artist, David Bowie. Marc Bolan's songwriting talent is quite apparent in smooth tunes like "Get It On", "20th Century Boy", "Children of the Revolution" and "Metal Guru", all of which have become rock anthems within the classic rock genre and get heavy radio play here in the states from East to West.