Saturday, August 2, 2008

do you remember tyrannosaurus rex ?

RZ 302269.

illustration by gus macdonald.

My friend - and co-conspiritor [sic] from The Ghosts - Gus, recently e-mailed me with the suggestion I might feature some Marc Bolan and Steve 'Peregrine' Took. Or more specifically, the b-side to Tyrannosaurus Rex's groundbreaking 1969 single, "King of the Rumbling Spires".
Gus, I believe I may have mentioned sometime earlier, lived for a period - as did fellow Ghostly wraith, Ken Warner, a while later during the mid 70s - in Ladbroke Grove in London where Pink Fairies once held court alongside the Pretty Things; Ian Kilminster's Sam Gopal; Tomorrow; Hawkwind; and Mick Farren & The Deviants. Though not necessarily in that order. In fact, general disorder would be a whole lot more appropriate.

The list goes on.

The Grove was London's Greenwich Village and Haight-Ashbury rolled up in a joint of Persian Carpet proportions. These days I believe it has sadly undergone a more gentrified makeover. Escalating rents have doubtless all but drained it of local colour. You may remember Van Morrison serenaded it not once but twice on his "Astral Weeks". A good few of those incidental anarchic characters have featured quite prominently here in previous posts. And no doubt shall continue to do so regardless of fashion or fad. Or higher intervention.

"Lord have mercy, I think that it's the cops".
As Gus recalls:

"Bolan was a (Ladbroke) Grove resident at the time and Steve Took was a regular at the PinkWind gigs under the Westway every Saturday afternoon during 70/71 and lived with them at that time.

Any track with a first line like that deserves an entry."

For further coverage drop in on Mick Farren's Doc 40. And here in an essay by Nigel Cross.

Say hello to Magic Michael. Incidentally, Bolan on the sleeve to this bears an uncanny resemblance to my great aunt Rae, an artist of mildly bohemian eccentricity and a lovely woman. Just noticing that there makes me want to go and dig out some Lemonheads.


TYRANNOSAURUS REX: KING OF THE RUMBLING SPIRES from "King Of The Rumbling Spires b/w Do You Remember (Cult)" 45 (Regal Zonophone) 1969 (UK)

TYRANNOSAURUS REX: DO YOU REMEMBER (CULT) from "King Of The Rumbling Spires b/w Do You Remember (Cult)" 45 (Regal Zonophone) 1969 (UK)



Your driver said...

I feel like there's some piece I'm missing. I never could understand what the big deal was with Bolan. I like John's Children. Does that count?

ib said...

Yes. Desdemona is mod perfection. I love T. Rex in virtually all their incarnations, however. It's just that British Glam Racket, I have to surmise.

roldo said...

In 1970 I was living in Scotland and heard Tyrannosaurus Rex on the John Peel show. Couldn't understand a word Bolan sang but I did dig the vibe and got the albums. The electric "T. Rex" didn't appeal to me as much but even then the times they were a-changing...

ib said...

Yes. John Peel was a huge champion of Marc Bolan, and rightfully disgruntled when the elfin one turned his back on him when the electric T.Rex finally breached those stellar ramparts. I'm intrigued - perhaps more than is seemly - that you were living in Scotland circa 1970, Roldo. Were you a native ? Or just restless ?

Thanks for the comment.

roldo said...

Please forgive the delay - I keep forgetting to check this mailbox.
Native to Canada, me but in 1970 I teamed up with Scots guitarist Colin Browne, here to marry a local, to form the band "Pocklaw Slap" so when he went back, I went too. By '71 I was this-home again and rejoined my previous band now known as "Anomaly". Both it and my solo music are on myspace somewhere.
As for Tyranosaurus Rex, I was amazed to discover, by his absence, how much Steve Took had contributed.
Thanks for the interest - and the music.