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Cosmic Dancer: The Life & Music of Marc Bolan Paperback – 1 Mar 2012
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"Paul Roland has written the definitive book about Marc Bolan; an overdue reassessment of his sadly short but significant part in rock and roll history." --Andy Ellison Author Paul Roland discusses his book about Marc Bolan in the Jewish Telegraph.
From the Inside Flap
Marc Bolan was the biggest pop star in post-Beatles Britain and in 1972 the Beatles acknowledged Bolan and his group T.Rex as their natural successor.
Paul Roland chronicles the life and music of the vibrato-voiced glam rock idol and 20th century boy who created some of the most instantly appealing and enduring songs of the 70s - 'Ride A White Swan', ''Hot Love', 'Get It On', 'Telegram Sam', 'Children of the Revolution' and 'Solid Gold Easy Action' - in what appears to have been a fevered rush to cheat Fate. Cosmic Dancer is a truly definitive account of one of the most colourful and contradictory characters in rock, and features a cover by the renowned artist George Underwood and is illustrated with many rare and previously unpublished photographs.
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Top customer reviews
I'm pleased to say, he hasn't disappointed, this is an excellent addition to the many Bolan related books already out there, with some interesting interviews & angles on the Bolan story that should interest long term fans & newcomers alike. I was initially a little sceptical about the dramatisation of some of the scenes from Bolan's life, but doubts were soon dispelled as I became wrapped up in the dialogue & the stories.
Included are lots of interviews the author has gathered over the years, including an old friend of Bolan's from the early sixties which are of particular interest.
The balance is very good too, with equal care being given to the Tyrannosaurus Rex period (my personal favorite) and the more familiar T.Rexstasy of the early seventies.
Not afraid to pull any punches, the darker side of Bolan's (all too brief ) career is also explored.
Readers may find themselves disagreeing with some of Paul's personal opinions on a few of the songs, but I guess I'd rather hear an honest opinion than an 'everything Marc did was genius' type approach (although everything Marc did was genius!)
Well written, with an obvious passion and respect for its subject and well illustrated with some excellent photos & memorabilia. As a long time Bolan fan myself I thoroughly enjoyed it, a few minor gripes aside, I'd give it "A Beard of (5) Stars".
Where the book most comes into it's own though is when describing the events during the height of Marc's fame, where Paul Roland truly excels in describing those heady times with a very well-chosen selection of quotes from all the people who knew the bopping elf the best. Unfortunately, some of the testimony from people who knew Marc can be quite damning, in particular the well-known account of roadie Mick O'Halloran, who recounts the tale of Marc lambasting him whilst drunk and coked up, causing a huge row. There are other indications that Marc could be violent and certainly could throw tantrums! The oddest thing of all though, is that in most cases however bad Marc behaves the interviewee inevitably tells us that they still loved him, whatever his failings!
The only problem with the book is that it possibly relies too heavily on journalistic responses to Marc. Indeed, it is Roland's background in journalism that most informs the book, giving it a hefty weight of factual data which brooks no dissension. The only trouble is that Marc's music is really the most unique & wonderful body of work ever to come out of England, and that even his worst songs (Zip Gun Boogie, for instance) are still quite marvellous, magical & completely timeless. The carping of critics, endlessly recounted, throughout his later years becomes tiresome, and cannot help us to understand what is by now quite obvious: that Bolan was a one-off, a true genius. The value of Marc's work is beyond any reference to his life, for although he was surely terribly flawed as a person, he produced the most extraordinary, futuristic sounds, his lyrics always filled with the most exorbitant word-play. It is hardly edifying to hear him denounced by journalists and critics as a narcissist, as that particular personality trait is a feature of a never-ending list of previous blues, rock and pop songwriters!
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