|#9, april 1969|
fac simile of Best 9 was reprinted in Jukebox magazine 329 , may 2014
|#10, may 1969|
Bolan of Tyrannosaurus Rex is probably the most honest man I've ever
met. Nonetheless he was 20 minutes late at our appointment ! The reason
why ? "I just finished a photo shoot with Steve Took (the second Rex)
and found myself delayed by traffic jams. But I'm desperate to make
amends. "Of course, I did not think twice and jumped at the chance to"
stalk " him with my questions.
- You seem particularly busy. Do you
find time for leisure?
|# 31, February '71|
At the Rock 'n' Roll Circus, the Xmas week, TV cameras were surrounding several interesting Rock musicians.
In the great tradition of French TV, T.Rex, Dave Edmunds, Golden Earring were miming to their songs while young exhibitionnists were moving frenetically on the dance floor... We got the opportunity to approach these singers who had in common to be there for presenting their last releases. The success of their singles is opening them quite a lot of doors (T.Rex: "Ride A White Swan", Dave Edmunds: "I Hear You Knocking", Golden Earring: "Back Home")...
(Our Critics have listened to)
|# 32, March 71|
Pierre Jahiel (Best magazine): Are you happy to be in France?
T. Rex: - Yes, but it's only for a TV recording. By the way, it's a shame, we would have liked to give a real concert. But as nobody asked us...
Best Mag.: - Tell me about your last album, T.Rex?
T. R.: - Well, at first I was afraid it would be a huge flop. I mean I was uncertain that this album was very representative of our music and I was afraid that people could misunderstand us. Finally, slowly, I realized it was just the opposite, and I'm now sure we could not have done better. I do not mean that it is of extraordinary musical quality, but at least it is relevant of who we are...
You know, everyone has something special; the whole thing is to find how to show it. Personally, I’ve been trying for two years to show the audience I am someone special, and I can tell it's not easy. Nor should we fall into the opposite excess, in exhibitionism. That's why I love Lennon's album. Because, all his weaknesses, all his problems, and his ambitions are present, musically translated. I’m no one to judge the album; I'm just telling you that this kind of thing is deeply acting on me.
Best Mag.: - Who else do you like apart from Lennon?
T. R.: - I love Clapton; Hendrix. In fact, I do not have very specific tastes. I listen to anything, if it's good I stay, if it's bad I leave. I do not have a favorite sound. For me, it's a matter of emotions. There are very good guitar players like McLaughlin or Coryell, who can do anything they want with a guitar, without touching me, inside, for a second. On the other hand, when I listen to a record that reaches me, then I really feel like learning something, you understand? And nothing can replace that. Jazz is perhaps very good, but I do not care. I like Miles Davis, but I will not buy his records.
Best Mag.: - But you never listen to a record for your pleasure only?
T. R.: - Off course yes, but my pleasure is learning, that's all. I do not have the material time to do things that do not bring me anything. Now, there is nothing in jazz that I can pull and put in my head and use it. From the emotional point of view, jazzmen are strangers; extraterrestrials that go far beyond me. I'm not prepared yet. When I say learn; I am not talking about new techniques, new sounds that I can imitate. Alvin Lee could play millions of notes for twenty minutes while drinking his coffee, it might be a performance, but it would definitely not reach me. Every time I listen to him, I feel like I'm hearing an accelerated tape. On the other hand, an 8-year-old kid who touches a guitar for the first time can totally get me a kick. Anyway, Alvin Lee is famous because he is beautiful. This is what it takes, nowadays, to be successful: being beautiful and working properly. I do not mean by that that I am better than he is, far from it; but today there are so many "honest" guitarists that the only way to become the leader of the pack is to use external elements: beauty, stage act, and so on.
Finally, it is unfortunate for him to be so beautiful, because people love him for his face, whereas he is a good guitarist: he does very well what he wants to do and believe me everyone can’t tell the same.
Best Mag.: -: - But then, what defines a very good guitarist, for you?
T. R.: - A real good guitarist is one who knows exactly what he is going to play before taking his guitar, without having carefully prepared it, without anyone telling him what to do.
Best Mag.: - So, can you name one for me?
T. R.: - I say Hendrix, right away. You certainly know “Are You Experienced”? From his first LP, Hendrix has reached true perfection and has never stopped since. He was a guy who could work five weeks on a solo, and then drew the five notes that were the most important to him, and record them. Well, in five notes, he managed to say what others can not yet express in a double album.
One should not be forced to listen to an hour of mediocre music for thirty seconds of perfection, thirty seconds of total expression. Listen to "All Along The Watchtower" and you will understand what I mean.
During the three minutes of that recording, not a note is in excess, each sound has the exact meaning that his author meant.
Best Mag.: - At the beginning, you were only two, why have you changed?
T. R.: - We added a bass player to give a little more wideness to our music, to increase our possibilities. On the last LP we used a full orchestra, violin, etc. It is for the same purpose, but also to change a bit. At first I was not playing an electric guitar, now I play it, but that does not mean it's definitive.
Best Mag.: Would you like to play on stage with a full orchestra? "
T. R.- Yes, but not right away. In a year or two maybe. I want the public to know us well as we are now, so they can accept more easily the adding of an orchestra. In any case, it would only be before a very large audience.
Best Mag.: Are you tempted by touring the U.S.A.?
T.R.: - Not only are we tempted, but, to be honest, we’re planning to go there around next March. It will not be our first time, we’ve already toured there. America is a country that many people do not like, I do not understand why. In any case, youth is everywhere the same; and violence is as common in France as in Great Britain or in the United States (up to a point, of course).
There has been a lot of hype about Altamont, but what happened there is quite common today.
It's unfortunate, I agree, but we can’t do absolutely nothing, it happens anyway, and all the publicity that is made about this, makes no sense. Hendrix, too, should not have died, and yet he is dead...
Interview by Pierre JAHIEL.
|# 36, July 71|
T.REX - Glasqow (or The Price of Fame)
(Friday 21 May 1971, from Cliff McLenehan’s book, Bolan: A Chronology).
I was expecting a lot from this concert, being
one of their unconditional fans. But as soon as I entered the dusty
old cinema that is the Green's Playhouse, I almost had a heart
attack. Can you guess why? A boy, 11 to 12 years old,
rushed in my way. Taken by surprise, I nearly fell and broke my
bones on the stairs. That was, however, only an introduction to what
was still to occur. Without my specs on my beautiful blue eyes, I
sat peacefully, thinking to myself that I had probably just dreamed.
Alas and alack, I had made no mistake. First of all, the great
majority of the audience were females. (Note: if it were just that,
I could not complain) But, in addition, their average age was from
12 to 16 years old, with very rare exceptions. And how excited they
were, those trendy chicks! The reason why? First, Marc Bolan is very
sexy - at least that's what I was told. And then the band have
charted twice in a row: "Ride A White Swan" and "Hot Love"; the
latter remained three months on the charts. Now go back in time to the most beautiful days
of Beatlemania and you will have an idea of
I was expecting a lot from this concert, being one of their unconditional fans. But as soon as I entered the dusty old cinema that is the Green's Playhouse, I almost had a heart attack.
Can you guess why? A boy, 11 to 12 years old, rushed in my way. Taken by surprise, I nearly fell and broke my bones on the stairs. That was, however, only an introduction to what was still to occur.
Without my specs on my beautiful blue eyes, I sat peacefully, thinking to myself that I had probably just dreamed. Alas and alack, I had made no mistake. First of all, the great majority of the audience were females. (Note: if it were just that, I could not complain) But, in addition, their average age was from 12 to 16 years old, with very rare exceptions. And how excited they were, those trendy chicks! The reason why? First, Marc Bolan is very sexy - at least that's what I was told. And then the band have charted twice in a row: "Ride A White Swan" and "Hot Love"; the latter remained three months on the charts.
Now go back in time to the most beautiful days of Beatlemania and you will have an idea ofthe atmosphere that reigned in the hall. As soon as Bolan appeared, half of the audience fainted, and the other half climbed on their seats, with their multicolored "hot pants" on display (this being my last euphemism!).
The band started the concert with "Elemental child". Marc Bolan is particularly good at playing wah-wah guitar. Then came a medley including "Ride a White Swan" and "One Inch Rock".
As far as I was able to judge, this was slightly not as good as the recorded version.
Then "Gimme Love", a very nice, funky song; allowing Mickey Finn and Steve Currie to show their great skills as instrumentalists. Then came one of their "old" songs: "Debora". Still as good as the original. This song highlights the very characteristic Bolan voice, sometimes half-rattle, sometimes half-sigh. Then Marc introduces a song he has just written and sings alone, playing his acoustic guitar. You can guess the result: no one heard anything but the din of the chicks in madness. Then their new single, I forgot the title, and I was not able to hear that either.
I started searching for the worst insults in my mind. Another song followed; I think it was "Salamanga Palaganda", but I would not swear. Disgusted, I decided to leave.
Basically, the music is good old Rock and Roll with a very personal touch, mainly made remarkable by Marc Bolan's voice, but also by his guitar playing, and by the percussion. The stage act is limited to a few Bolanic convulsions, which are enough to make the "teenybopper" girls faint.
A few years ago, I was told Tyrannosaurus Rex were playing the same hall. The place was half empty. No amps on stage. And people were listening, and able to hear. (Actually, it must have been only a few months sooner, on Thursday, 3 December 1970, from Cliff McLenehan's book, Bolan: A Chronology). So goodbye Tyrannosaurus Rex...
(our correspondent in Glasgow)
|# 40, Nov '71|
|# 56, March '73|
Monday 12th march, T.Rex will appear for a gig at the Olympia. The first act will be Doctor Hook, for their first French concert ever. They (Doctor Hook) already released 2 LPs on CBS.
Marc Bolan, member of T.Rex, will probably produce an important cartoon series for TV. The band have in charge to write and play the soundtrack.
# 58, may 73
|Best at it's worst!|
By 1973, French musical press that up to that point had looked at T.Rex with a certain kindness, breaks out and lynches Marc Bolan.
BEST, whose name badly depicts its quality, recruits a hired killer, a second knife, a drudge of crass ignorance. Equipped with a sawn gun pen his words are malicious, bad, vicious, but also... quite naive sometimes.
30 years later... Bolan worldwide ackowledged by musical press, re-reading yourself must be quite painful, Mr Mareska.
The young man came out of
the Madeleine subway station, greeted by a harsh wind, making him
shiver from head to toe. Moaning, he fastened his duffel coat,
wondering a while, as he hadn't visited this area for ages, and moved
towards the bright lights that were illuminating the front of the
Olympia. "The Olympia"...This brought back vivid memories of
unforgettable concerts such as The Beatles, and later The Stones and
the beautiful racket that followed the gig, Le Golf (musical hall ), La
Loco (nightclub), The Who, Daltrey with short hair and a leather white
and brown striped belt. Shortly after, He even bought the same belt
while visiting London. Townshend slaughtering his guitar, Keith Moon
looking sorry at the drums he had just ruined a few seconds earlier.
The Yardbirds too, Beck leaning on his guitar, his beautiful syphilitic
face gleaming under the spot lights, Keith Relf blowing in his
harmonica as he were about to die.
This had been going on for so long now that he often wondered if he¹d not been caught in some kafkaïan trap that forced him to repeat the same thousand-year-old gestures, again and again until he¹d died.
this evening, for a change, he was going for the first time in many
years, to a pop-music concert. He has forgotten for long the name of
the band he was supposed to see. Nevermind. He was not aware of the
music scene anymore. Sometimes, in conversations, he had heard names
that sounded new to his ears. Grand Funk, Blade, or Slade, or something
of that kind, a David something also, who was usually quoted with
respect, Roxy Music, this one he had not forgotten cos their name
sounded great, Genesis, and many more.
not to have missed the star, the hippy sat as comfortably as he could
and waited. Deep inside, he was pleased he didn't arrive earlier as he
wou;ld have had to sit through the entire set the support act played. This set, was
threatening to be endless, as between each song , the small gnome,
after having awaited the end of the applause, ran his fingers through
his black curly hair, and launched out in a long speech, from which one
could understand that he was happy being in France, and playing for the
Parisian audience, etcŠ etcŠ and a new song started again. The
guitarists attitude was a total surprise for the hippy. Crossing the
stage with small tight steps, the small gnome stopped sometimes posing,
drawing toward the audience his young face, or raising a leg before
falling to his knees, then standing painfully a few seconds later.
Song followed song , the hippy,
while still following with a lazy eye the moves of the small gnome in
red and yellow, tried to remember the name of the main act. 'At the
interval I will give a look at the posters', he thought. It¹s really
silly attending a concert and not being aware of the name of the band ,
especially when you haven't attended a concert for years. He combed his
beard with his extremely long nailed fingers, digging his memory,
hoping for the end of this horrible opening act , swearing that next
time he will look at the posters before entering anywhere.
Of a Hero
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