marc bolan music


The Marc Bolan story, year by year, compiled by Marc Arscott, titled Unzipping The Abstract

- The Marc Bolan Story -

"You know, I hate talking about me, but I have to insist that people understand that I enjoy being considered banal"
~ mb 1973

1947 >    1965-1967   1967-1968    1969    1970     1971     1972    1973     1974     1975     1976     1977

 Marc Bolan Melody Maker cover  Marc Bolan New Musical Express cover Marc Bolan Sounds cover 

When I was a little kid I was a big Marc Bolan fan and I collected, like most Marc fans, all the magazines and newspapers that featured Marc and his band T.Rex, whether it was just a small photo or a few lines about a new release,  all the great Record Mirror, Sounds, New Musical Express and Melody Maker's that featured Marc on the cover, the interviews, the new release adverts, the reviews – good and bad.    Second to the music (which was actually second to the lyrics for me at first) were his interview responses, always so eloquent, humorous, surreal and self-confident, full of reality and imagination, truth and lies...  and it always seemed that he was speaking in such a way that I, as a Marc Bolan / T.Rex fan, was in on his game, that I / we, understood what he meant and why he was saying what he was saying, while the journalist and the fans of all the other bands ‘out there’ that dismissed us, didn’t…. oh yes, the Bolan family was already in place back then and when it was great – we were great, when times got a bit difficult, it was hard being a Bolan fan, but there was never any doubt that Marc was a genius, that the music was great, that what he was doing was important and that one day all that would be recognised by the music world… thankfully that was better realised during Marc’s final years on Planet Rex

 Marc Bolan New Musical Express cover  Marc Bolan Record Collector cover  Marc Bolan Melody Maker Special

I think I digressed. So the collection of newspapers, cuttings, notes, etc. grew and grew – the options were to pile them up in a corner and flick through those at the top that I could get to, cut them up into scrap books which I always found problematical when articles went over two pages, or transfer the information using my considerable typewriting skills into my own reference document that one day would be blasted out into space so that when our little planet took the big hit, 'they' would know that once upon a time there lived a man…    I chose the latter and the pages grew and grew, considerable cut-and-pasting (old style) went on - the new single came, the next album, there was a time when things got a little quiet which gave me a chance to catch up… I showed my writings to a fellow Bolan friend and he asked me what the book was called – book? what book? Well Metal Guru is it you - yes it was a book, it did tell a story that I narrated as much as possible without opinion. Information, quotes, reviews – they seemed all that was necessary
I decided on Unzipping The Abstract, the title of an interview by Andy McConnell with Marc while in America which was printed in Sounds, October 5th, 1974 - it was full of Bolan bravado, arrogance, humour and lots of sex...

Your stage act is very sexual...

Yes, very sexual. Freedom. That's what rock & roll is all about. Sex is a tremendous energy force. It's probably the strongest common denomenator there is. It's a basis from which everything else can work. It's an instant place to start. Everyone in the audience has either got balls or tits and they can relate to it in that way. When one gyrates it doesn't necessarily mean you want to fuck somebody, it's just a place to start communications from....

Yes, it seemed an appropriate title - it was, after all, all
about understanding the bizarre mind that was Marc Bolan’s

 'unzipping the abstract' -  the marc bolan story compiled by marc arscott

So it went on, the next release, a tour, some TV, and then

And then I found myself writing what would be the last page of my book

Then I went to college, got involved with bands, went out to work in collector’s record shops and at the massive Brighton Records Fair. The shop and fair allowed me to expand my hunger for all things Bolan, vinyl and paper, now able to buy material from all over the world and obtain copies of papers and magazines from before I originally started collecting. While the collection of papers grew, Unzipping The Abstract lived in a box, occasionally browsed through but no longer added to. Books on Marc were published, lots of new information revealed, stories told by Marc thought of as ‘leaps of the imagination’ at the time were proved to be true, and others revealed not to be so, stories were told that I didn’t want to hear and there were stories that I was still waiting for. It all seemed unending, too much to add into the book, how could I ever decide when to say "completed". Then it got better and worse at the same time as I became involved in the Bolan scene, firstly meeting with more fans, then members of T.Rex, then friends and work colleagues of Marc, then in working with his Toby Tyler material and the Thunderwing tapes - so much more information, so much music to inform

With the arrival of the computer I decided to type-up the book so I could have a version that wasn’t held together by sellotape and tippex. It has been transferred from PC to PC to PC, through a range of programmes (WordStar anyone?) and formats and not all of it survived the journey. Now I have this website and no Marc Bolan story on it, which is a bit crazy if it’s meant to be any kind of resource facility - there are many excellent biographies available in hard print and on the net and there are some great period specific sites (see the links page), but although intended as my own reference document it felt tragic after all that has gone into it for 'the book' to be left to disintergrate in a box, so I have decided to gradually add it to this site as I get the opportunity.   As 1973 had survived the most (there are some gaps I have yet to retrive or re-type) it was the first chapter added here, I seem to be working backwards first... except for '72, a lot happened in '72 and there's still a lot I have to finish typing. But, bit by bit it will all find its way on here


Please note, I have not 'written' Unzipping The Abstract, as the cover describes, I have compiled it. This is not a definitive story - I decided long ago not to include any material post 9/77 in the way of interviews with Marc's family, friends, band-mates, colleagues, etc., for the reasons I have given, however I shall continue until the end of time to add information and illustrative material that helps colour and present this story

I never quite let go of Unzipping The Abstract as this became the catalogue prefix for my Barracuda Blue Records releases, starting with Gardenia's EP, UTA7

PLEASE email me about any questionable information and / or outright mistakes in the 'book', also stuff that's been missed out  or things worthy of debate. Email addess at bottom of the page

J. Edward Oliver cartoon from 'Disc' March 2nd 1974