As a 13 year old girl in 1991 I was finding my feet in life, realising who I was, what I liked and what I wanted to be. I was alone at home. My two brothers and sister had left home to live with their partners. My Mum and Dad were fantastic and loving parents but I needed inspiration to see and find out who I really was. Then one fantastic evening after school, I had the TV on, and saw an advert for Levi Jeans. I heard the song on it and I was transfixed. It was 20th Century Boy by Marc Bolan & T-Rex, someone who, at that time I had vaguely heard of but didn't know anything about. I didn't realise it at the time, but it would be the song that changed my life
All the girls at school raved about this advert as Brad Pitt was in it! Clad in his Levi 501's and white tee shirt, dancing with a scantily clad and (according to them!) very lucky model! I didn't care for all that, all I cared about the amazing music that I had just heard. I was literally blown away, re-living the stomping bass and guitar riff, the all-important lyrics of the chorus that danced around in my head frantically so that I didn't forget them. The very next day I heard the song on the radio. I was so exhilarated as I actually got to listen to the whole song for the first time and, of course, to hear the name of the singer/band. I went to the local library to read up everything I could about this man, Marc Bolan. To find out about the man, the mystic sorcerer, conjuror and alchemist of this amazing sound and his incredible voice, a voice that I hadn't heard anything like before. The fact that he looked as good as he sounded only compounded my wanton need for his music all the more. The more I read the more I wanted to see about him, the more I heard the more I wanted to hear about him. He seemed so interesting to me, so pure and raw. I felt affinity with him and his music. It felt as though it was speaking to me personally. So I saved up from my Saturday job in a hairdressers salon and bought the cassette album of Marc Bolan - The Essential Collection. As I listened to the songs it felt like a voyage of discovery for me. As though I'd found who I was, wanted to be and where I fitted in. I took in every lyric, every whimsical quaver and sexy moan that oozed out of the stereo and felt bittersweet euphoria but at the same time sadness in the way that I felt I was born too late. Too late to see this great man perform live, too late to get the chance to meet him. I then tried to collect every album and film on the market about him, just to get a flavour and essence of him. I swooned as I watched him and still do wherever I see that smile. Ah that warm, sexy smile. THAT look and style. Just purely MAGICAL.
As a result of his influence I got involved in music myself, singing in various Rock bands, singing in holiday camps and pubs and clubs. I tried, and failed to make it in the music industry, but it didn't matter to me, I was having fun and living the dream. A massive high point was meeting Herbie Flowers, The bass player with T-Rex, Bowie, Lou Reed (he created that instantly recognisable bass line on 'take a walk on the wild side') and many more at The Create Festival near my home in the county of Kent, England. He was THE gentlest, most gracious man. So lovely to talk to and to ask questions to. He was courteous, polite and so interesting. A real high point for me.
I revelled in Marc's music in the really bad times that life throws at you. Having lost both my Nanna's, My Aunt, My beautiful young Nephew, My dear Mum and the family dog in the space of 4 years, I needed something constant to be there. Marc always was. His music brought me comfort, escapism, sanity and hope in the worst possible times. He has also been there in the extremely happy times, when I was pregnant with my gorgeous miracle baby, I used to put the headphones to my bump and felt him kick and swish around! No wonder my 4 year old son is a massive Marc fan now! Whenever we are near a cd player he says "How about Marc Mummy? I like Marc."
I've been to see the musical 20th Century Boy: The Marc Bolan Story three times now and each time I find myself totally blown away. I've been to Barnes to lay flowers down at the site where he passed on some 36 years since his life was so tragically cut short whilst still in his prime. On September 16th 2013 I went to Golders Green Crematorium on his anniversary for the first time to make a speech at his memorial in the chapel and pay my respects to the man whom I owe so much to, who shaped my life without even knowing me or meeting me. It was my own way of reaching out to him and saying thank you.
I think that as fans we all agree that Marc was one of a kind, a one off, an original. His music and talent will live on for as long as time goes on and we were lucky to have him for the time that we did, Even though it was so sadly premature and so utterly and sorely short. To be able to experience his talent, music, charisma, beauty, voice, songwriting, poetry and guts is something to behold. He had a determination and drive that just doesn't compare to the manufactured, self obsessed, conceited fake celebrities of today who seem to achieve fame by minimal talent or just by sitting in a house for 10 weeks and using their idiosyncrasies to get where they want to in life.
He changed my life, my outlook and I'm so proud to be a fan. Thank You Marc.x