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marcbolan.com
Mission Statement:
A Site Celebrating the LIFE of T. Rex's
Marc Bolan (1947-1977) Every Day of the Year


presents:

Prelude

God, what a ball we had...
The vicarious thrill was seductive to the point of insanity, & my world was a total delusion, but when I hit the stage in a packed house, under a rain of confetti & glitter, I felt like I had napalm in my veins. I lived the culture to the hilt & beyond, & hardly noticed when the party was over.

Producer Charles Politakes, "A Misspent Youth", Deus Ex Mac

Natalie at the home of Marc Bolan's parents


The Scraggly Sisters, Natalie's first group


I'm beginning at the end
There's a story I must tell and not pretend...

Producer Richard Barone, "Within These Walls," clouds over eden


It's been 30 years since I first became a journalist writing about rock music and, specifically, the group T. Rex and its leader Marc Bolan. When I first started the American fanzine on this subject known as the Electric Warrior Free Press in the summer of 1973, there was a pressing need to do so at that time. The success which Marc Bolan enjoyed in all other parts of the world was not entirely recreated in the United States, leaving his American fans often confused and woefully underinformed. In the mid-1970s, it was extremely difficult to learn where to buy T. Rex records and merchandise, where to see the group perform live during American tours, or to find out about the intriguing history of Marc Bolan himself. Somebody, somewhere, needed to help Marc Bolan achieve at least a small measure of the acceptance in the United States that he so desperately craved throughout his brief lifetime, but it certainly wasn't going to be his management, his record companies, his booking agents or his publicists. Every one of them had dropped the ball early in the game -- so who would step in? Although I was only a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl living in Hackensack, New Jersey at the time, a series of unusual circumstances propelled me into a spotlight of my own, as the one person determined to, if you will, "set the record straight" and try to help my idol. When T. Rex toured the US in 1974, Marc Bolan and I came face-to-face in the "New Jersey heights" he sang about in "Dandy in the Underworld." Shortly thereafter, Marc gave my ideas enough serious consideration that he directed his manager to make me a part of the Bolan team, actually replacing the London-based T. Rex Fan Club newsletter with copies of my own publication around the world. The best way I can think of to describe this dream-come-true to a 21st Century audience would be to say that it was quite similar to the autobiographical film Cameron Crowe produced about his own teenage years as a rock critic, "Almost Famous."

There were only four issues of the Electric Warrior Free Press published between 1973 and 1975, but today they are collectors' items auctioned on eBay.com, all-too-liberally quoted and plagiarized in modern-day biographies of Marc Bolan. When I first picked up these books, it was very disheartening for me to discover how many people have jumped into the fray since Marc's death and are profiting by his tragic demise. The biographies, pitched to a brand new generation of fans discovering T. Rex for the very first time, were loaded with misinformation stemming from insufficient research and slipshod proofreading. An entire industry has sprung up around the marketing of slickly-repackaged T. Rex collections and merchandise, and one can't help but wonder into whose pockets all the royalties are really going nowadays.

When I originally turned to the modern research tool of the Internet back in 1995, here is what the major search engines pathetically revealed: page after page of transcribed lyrics that were nothing but hopelessly inaccurate phonetic approximations of Bolan's original words, abandoned links to non-existent home pages, sites only visible to those with Japanese browsers, and more. And, just like three decades ago, people began sending imploring messages to me all over again, asking "Hey, isn't anybody going to do something about this?"

I seemed to have gotten myself re-elected, though nowadays it feels strange to be back at the keyboard writing about Marc Bolan and T. Rex. When Marc was killed in that 1977 automobile accident, I was still a teenager, and I felt paralyzed with grief for a long, long time. I had been presented with numerous opportunities to cash in and write about this subject, but I just didn't want anything to do with it. I opted instead to embark on a recording career of my own. However, many of the original people connected with T. Rex have also passed away over the years, and so they're not here to defend themselves against the gross inaccuracies floating around in cyberspace these days. There are now indeed Web sites, mailing lists and a newsgroup which contain first-hand information from some of the people who actually participated in the rise and fall of T. Rextasy, but unfortunately one also finds sites run by people who are merely self-appointed experts. Consequently, if I don't tell you the truth about what happened to Bolan's U.S. career in the mid-1970s, I'm not sure who else will. Call me an old curmudgeon if you will, but I've always been a stickler for journalistic integrity -- and that's why "Depth Charge!" is the place to look for world-exclusive scoops like our page on the musical debut of Rolan Bolan.

The development of this site has progressed slowly since its inception. There are times when I'd like to be designing flashy new Web pages, but instead I find myself sidetracked with my daughter Nathalie bouncing on my knee while I'm simultaneously chatting on the phone with Rolan in California or e-mailing Gloria Jones in South Africa. My life today is, to put it mildly, a pretty surreal experience. Nevertheless, in the months to come, the highly subjective but purely autobiographical tale of my involvement with the careers of both Marc Bolan and Richard Barone will unfold little by little. I'll also share some of my own curious adventures as a recording artist, and, who knows, I may even have a few quips about rock 'n' roll motherhood, too (a special shout-out here to one of Nathalie's favorite rock musicians, Australia's fabulous Suze deMarchi). Please be sure to bookmark the Table of Contents if you haven't done so already, and as Marc himself sang, "Hope you all enjoy the show!"


Natalie McDonald
Gloucester, Massachusetts


"Within These Walls" © 1992, 1993 Miniature Music (ASCAP)/Peer International Corp. (BMI)
Richard Barone and George Usher
Permission to reproduce Richard Barone's image, lyrics and music has been granted personally by Richard Barone; all rights reserved.



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