My friend Liz from work commented the other day when I put up a quote ("Life's a gas - I hope it's gonna last!") from Marc Bolan as my Facebook status. Bolan was a guy, born Marc Feld in England in 1947, who became known as the leader of the rock band T Rex, who gave us memorable records such as "Bang A Gong (Get It On)," "Jeepster," "Mambo Sun," and my favorite, "Raw Ramp." I mean, who could not love music with an insistent boogie-woogie backbeat, conga drum percussion and albums with titles such as "My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows." And how was I to know, way back then, that the phrase "Baby, I've got metal knees!" would take on added significance in my life, what with having knee replacement surgery and all.
In the intro to Raw Ramp, we hear this verse, which has ricocheted across my tender brainpan countless times since 1972:
"There was a time everything was fine,
we got drunk on the day like it was wine,
and all the children, they put flowers in their hair
and all the grownups, they put daggers there instead."
Which totally explains Dick Cheney's baldness.
But Bolan, who was not only a marvelous lyricist and great singer, was also a fantastic guitarist, good enough to play on sessions for the likes of Ike and Tina Turner, and David Bowie.
Ike and Tina Turner
He was only two weeks away from turning 30 when he died, one month after the passing of Elvis and one month before the death of Bing Crosby. It was a car crash that claimed his life; he was riding in his own car that was being driven by his girlfriend. The car hit a sycamore tree and Marc, who never learned to drive because he feared that he would die in a car crash, died in a car crash.
So. Am I the only person who thinks of him when people talk about riding the commuter line known as the MARC train? There must be someone else who would sooner ride the Maryland Area Regional Commuter Train than drive a car. Get it on, or get on it, whichever. Let's go Bolan.