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Tyrannosaurus Rex

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(This page covers both Tyrannosaurus Rex and T. Rex.)

"Tyrannosaurus Rex rose out of the sad and scattered leaves of an older summer. During the dark, grey winter they were tended and strengthened by those who love them...”
(John Peel: Sleevenotes of 'My People Were Fair...', 1968) [1]

Tyrannosaurus Rex - Sara Crazy Child03:33

Tyrannosaurus Rex - Sara Crazy Child

Peel introduces Dutch TV viewers to Tyrannosaurus Rex at Middle Earth, 1967

T. Rex were a British rock band, formed in 1967 by singer/songwriter and guitarist Marc Bolan. The band formed as Tyrannosaurus Rex, releasing four albums as an acoustic duo under that name and winning a following among the British "underground" audience. Tony Visconti (their producer for several albums) claimed in a documentary on the band that he had taken to using the abbreviated term "T.Rex" as a shorthand, something that initially irritated Bolan, who gradually came around to the idea and officially shortened the band's name to "T.Rex" at roughly the same time they started having big hits (shortly after going electric). In the 1970s, the band had reached success with glam rock hits like "Jeepster", "Get It On", "Ride a White Swan", "20th Century Boy", "Children of the Revolution", "Hot Love", "Telegram Sam", and "Metal Guru". After earning success in the early and mid-1970s, the band broke up after Bolan was killed in a 1977 car accident ... (read more at Wikipedia)

Links To Peel Edit

When will someone record Tyrannosaurus Rex and stop recording rehashes of revised monuments to tedium by cynical glooms? (John Peel, International Times, 27 October 1967)

Few artists were so closely associated with Peel as Tyrannosaurus Rex and Marc Bolan. Peel first became aware of Bolan as a member of the group John's Children, who created interest in 1967 with singles for Track Records, notably the Bolan song "Desdemona", which was banned by some radio stations because of its "obscene" lyrics ("lift up your skirt and fly"). Bolan became aware of Peel's Perfumed Garden programme on Radio London and, inspired perhaps by the DJ's interest in his work with John's Children, sent Peel copies of his earlier, unsuccessful solo singles, "The Wizard" and "Hippy Gumbo", which Peel played on his late-night show, enthusing about Bolan's "amazing" voice. Bolan followed this up by sending Peel acetates of his new group Tyrannosaurus Rex, an acoustic duo with percussionist Steve Peregrine Took, and Peel played them on the final Perfumed Garden.

At the start of their career Tyrannosaurus Rex had no recording contract but Peel promoted them energetically, mentioning them frequently on air and in his columns for International Times and taking them with him to his gigs in 1967 and 1968. Top Gear's first producer Bernie Andrews disliked them, but they were booked for a first session on the programme on Peel's insistence. Eventually they signed with Regal Zonophone and Peel contributed sleevenotes to their first LP, My People Were Fair and Had Stars in their Hair, But Now They're Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows, also reading a fairy story by Bolan at the end of its final track. Bolan became a close friend of Peel and Sheila, but this relationship ended after Bolan became a chart-topping teen idol in 1970-71.

While some resented T. Rex's abandonment of the underground scene that had supported them, Peel did not begrudge T. Rex their commercial success. He remarked that he cried when he heard that "Ride A White Swan" had made the Top 20, but was disappointed with some of Bolan's later material, notably "Get It On", released in July 1971. Bolan was said to have been offended by this and broke off all contact with Peel, who even complained on air that he was being snubbed by his former friend. Others too were disturbed by the singer's behaviour, for example Peel's manager Clive Selwood, who had never shared the DJ's high opinion of Bolan's talent and personality, and former Tyrannosaurus Rex manager Peter Jenner (quoted in Jonathon Green's Days In The Life, London 1988, p.268):

Bolan himself was a complete arsehole, the way he turned over Peel, and everything else. Quite clearly he was just a very ambitious little kid who wanted to become a pop star. He was feeding all the rest of us this bullshit which we bought. He'd sussed that the way through for him was by being a little hippie. He used me and he used John Peel. Peel's investment was far deeper, a personal commitment. He waved the flag for Bolan all the way through, until Bolan became huge and then Bolan gave him the old heave-ho in such a cynical fashion.

After T. Rex's chart heyday had passed, Peel met Bolan again on one occasion, but they did not resume their friendship and Bolan died in a car crash in 1977. Later in his life, Peel spoke on several occasions about Tyrannosaurus Rex, T. Rex and Marc Bolan. For further details, please see:

Festive Fifty Entries Edit

  • None

Peelenium Edit

Sessions Edit

Eight sessions. Available material collected on Bolan At The Beeb. Bolan was also part of the Carol Concert session, broadcast 26 December 1970.

1. Recorded: 1967-10-30. First broadcast: 05 November 1967. Repeated: 04 February 1968 (For Peel's first solo-presented Top Gear, Bolan was with JP in the studio. He chats with Peel about each of his songs before they are played.)

  • Scenscof / Child Star / Highways / Hot And Mama / Dwarvish Trumpet Blues

2. Recorded: 1968-02-28. First broadcast: 13 March 1968 (Night Ride). Repeated:

  • Beginning Of Doves / The Welder Of Words / The Wizard / Afghan Woman / Hippy Gumbo / Frowning Atahualpa

3. Recorded: 1968-03-11. First broadcast: 24 March 1968. Repeated: 03 May 1968

  • Knight / Debora / Afghan Woman / Frowning Atahualpa (& Mustang / Strange Orchestra on repeat broadcast).

4. Recorded: 1968-06-11. First broadcast: 14 July 1968. Repeated: 25 September 1968.

  • Stacey Grove / One Inch Rock / Salamanda Palaganda / Eastern Spell (& West Quartets)

5. Recorded: 1968-10-14. First broadcast: 10 November 1968. Repeated 22 December 1968

  • The Friends / Conensuela / The Evenings Of Damask / The Seal Of Seasons (& Travelling Tragition / Trelawney Lawn)

6. Recorded 1969-05-05. First broadcast: 11 May 1969. Repeated: 15 June 1969.

  • Once Upon the Seas of Abyssinia / Nijinsky Hind / The Misty Coast of Albany / Chariots of Silk (& Iscariot)

7. Recorded: 1969-11-17. First broadcast: 22 November 1969. Repeat 14 March 1970.

  • First Heart Mighty Dawn Dart / Pavillions Of The Sun / A Day Laye / By The Light Of The Magical Moon

8. Recorded: 1970-10-26. First broadcast: 07 November 1970. Repeated: 26 December 1970 (Ride A White Swan), 26 September 1972 (Top Gear 5th anniversary), 25 September 1975 (final Top Gear)

  • Ride A White Swan / Jewel / Elemental Child / Sun-Eye

(Please correct mistakes and add any missing info)

Concerts Edit

  • 04 January 1970 (Recorded 1970-01-01. A late addition to the bill for the show after Family singer Roger Chapman was hit by flu and the band were forced to reduce the length of their set. Released officially under various titles including BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert with Peel links edited out. Peel links were broadcast in the section of the show featured in the BBC documentary 'Bolan At The Beeb'.)
  1. Hot Rod Mama
  2. Debora
  3. Pavillions Of The Sun
  4. Dove
  5. By The Light Of A Magical Moon
  6. Elemental Child
  7. The Wizard

Other Shows Played Edit

1960s
  • 14 August 1967: (JP: “Here’s Marc Bolan and Tyrannosaurus Rex, which he sent out specially, which was very kind of him.”) Rings Of Fortune (acetate)
  • 14 August 1967 (Marc Bolan): Hippy Gumbo (single) Parlophone
  • 14 August 1967: Misty Mist (Highways) (acetate) (JP: “That’s called Highways, from Tyrannosaurus Rex and Marc Bolan, who I am going to go and see as soon as the opportunity presents itself and find out, you know, where that strange voice comes from.”)
  • 09 June 1968: Graceful Fat Sheba (LP: My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair...But Now They're Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows) Regal Zonophone
  • 22 September 1968: Wind Quartets (LP: Prophets, Seers and Sages, The Angels of the Ages) Regal Zonophone
  • 11 August 1968: Salamanda Palaganda (LP - Prophets, Seers and Sages, The Angels of the Ages) Regal Zonophone
  • 27 October 1968: (Peel jingle by Tyrannosaurus Rex)
  • 03 November 1968: Eastern Spell (LP- Prophets…) Regal Zonophone
  • 02 February 1969: Warlord Of The Royal Crocodiles (b-side of single Pewter Suitor) Regal Zonophone
  • 16 February 1969: Pewter Suitor (single) Regal Zonophone (JP mentions a concert on the previous evening with Tyrannosaurus Rex at Birmingham Town Hall, at which he had read poetry.)
  • 27 December 1969: A Day Laye (session)
1970s
1980s
1990s
2000s
  • 04 June 2002: Light Of Love (single, 1974) EMI (Peel previews the upcoming Sex Clark Five session (broadcast 11 June 2002), which will feature all T-Rex tunes [“for some reason or other”], by playing one of the original tracks.)
  • 05 June 2002: Fist Heart Mighty Dawn Dart (LP - Beard Of Stars) A&M
  • 22 September 2004: Frowning Atahualpa (My Inca Love) (LP - My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair) Regal Zonophone
  • 20 October 2004: Mambo Sun (LP - Electric Warrior) Reprise (show hosted Siouxsie Sioux)
  • 16 December 2004: Hot Love (R1 tribute show)
Other
  • Radio Luxembourg Tracklistings 2: Wind Quartets (2xLP - Prophets, Seers & Sages / My People Were Fair) Fly 1972 re-release
  • Peel 1980 Mix: Satisfaction Pony (LP-The Unobtainable T Rex)
  • Peel 1981: Metal Guru
  • 05 May 1983 (TOTP): Get It On (clip from 27 December 1971)
  • Peeling Back The Years (3): Salamanda Palagnda (LP – Prophets, Seers & Sages: The Angels Of The Ages) Regal Zonophone
  • Peeling Back The Years (3): Get It On (single) Fly
  • Radio Radio: Ride A White Swan (JP: "It’s one of those things where you become aware of the destructive nature of notoriety and fame, and it is one of those areas that occasionally bother me about what I do. You know, when you are taking quite innocent, enthusiastic people out of their natural milieu, and you can easily be creating monsters. And in fact there have been people in bands that I have enthusiastically endorsed from the start who have subsequently died as a result of, you know, the rock and roll lifestyle, and there are times when you feel quite guilty about that. But I mean, I think if you stop and examine what you do in that much detail, that way lies madness frankly, because you are asking yourself questions that only you can answer, you know.")
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty: Spaceball Ricochet (LP-The Slider) EMI
  • Keeping It Peel: 'Untitled Poem'

See Also Edit

  • Peeling Back The Years 3 (Transcript)
  • Bolan At The Beeb: Peel On Bolan (Transcript)
  • Top Of The Pops: In 1968 JP opened an edition by protesting about its lack of Captain Beefheart and Tyrannosaurus Rex material, and then forgetting the name of the band Amen Corner.
  • Peel On Record: Frowning Atahualpa (My Inca Love) (LP-My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair...But Now They're Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows (Fly, originally released on Regal Zonophone) (Peel reads a children's story at the conclusion of this track. He appeared to find this increasingly embarrassing, and on one show from the 90s did not play his contribution.)
  • Peel On Record: The Misty Coast Of Albany (LP-Unicorn) (Regal Zonophone) (Another children's story reading.)
  • Peel On Record Cover Sleevenotes: My People Were Fair And Had Sky in Their Hair... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars On Their Brows ("Tyrannosaurus Rex rose out of the sad and scattered leaves of an older summer. During the dark, grey winter they were tended and strengthened by those who love them...”)
  • John Peel's Scottish Sessions: Ken Garner tells the story of the first Scottish session artist being surprisingly Lulu. Bernie Andrews was thinking he may be threatened with dismissal for booking Tyrannosaurus Rex so booked a few MOR bands at the beginning of Peel’s career.
  • Peel Sessions: The Best 125: 17/11/1969
  • John Peel's Record Box: Marc Bolan talking to Stevie Dixon, 1973 / Jennifer Sharp & Steve Harley & John Peel talking to Stevie Dixon, 1977 (Pye Records) 1978 [2]
  • John's Children

External Links Edit

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