How I discovered . . . . . T-Rex

Finn And Bolan

The Wonderful T-Rex

In 2001 I was 14 at I left my home and went to boarding school in Okinawa. I was the youngest of my year because of when my birthday is and was very naïve.

I loved school  ! ! !  It is quite  a famous school for girls and the same school as my grandmother went to during the Pacific War.  So I was very proud but also very nervous about starting school and leaving home.

We lived 12 girls together in a dorm house and were looked after by a dorm mother who was like a house keeper, and who was responsible for the dorm house and cooking for us, and a dorm captain who was senior girl responsible for discipline of the girls in the dorm house and was the representative of the school authority in the dorm and she  had to make sure we did our chores and home work and lived together in the spirit of love and community that was the school ethos.

We all loved them both and we always felt so bad for dorm captain when she had to scold us as we could see how upset she was to have to do it.

The other girls welcomed me and  made made me feel loved and each girl was assigned a senpai – an older girl whose job it was be a sort of counselor and look after us.  I was super happy, but of course, I missed my home life very much.zap_bolan

After school we had club activities, and I joined the Softball Club and the Light Music Club and the Drama Club so I was very busy ! ! !

We were only allowed out in the evenings if our parents visited, but on Saturday afternoons and evenings we were allowed out in pairs until curfew at nine O’clock.

I have always had problems with my eyes and I can not see things clearly from a distance and also my left eye is not straight. I wear contact lenses mostly now but in those days I wore glasses. Of course I would take them off when I went out and this explained why I would always be holding hands with my best friend Sayaka in photos taken from that time

Marc-Bolan-marc-bolan-31467916-500-620It was quickly discovered that some how I had a sexy gaze, and the girls from school called this “Sakura Eyes” I was often asked to look at a group of boys and use my “Sakura Eyes” to get them interested in us. Most of the time it worked.

Of course it is a dangerous weapon when you can not really see who you are gazing at, and with my eyes looking in slightly different directions many confusing situation resulted when two boys would think I was looking at them at the same time ! ! !

In my first two years at boarding school we would only go to cafes and eat ice cream or cakes and drink sodas and talk about the mysterious thing that was boys and we wondered what it was like to be in love and what sex would be like and how gross it sounded,.

However, of course as we got older and in our third year, we discovered that we could get into one or two more adult places and the group of girls I was friends with started to go to small snack bar which sold alcohol and food and had an old style duke box and whose owner was not too concerned that we were obviously under age (although we never tired to order alcohol there ) and some local boys would also go there early in the evening who we flirted with.

TRextasyThe duke box was mainly filled with American rock tracks as an incentive to the US Servicemen that abound in Okinawa and who would go there later in the evening, but it did have a T-Rex track.

I was looking at the tracks on the duke box one day and just picked the T-rex track as I had never heard of them before. The track was Get It On.

I had no idea what the lyrics were about but I was instantly hooked on the guitar riffs and Mac Bolan’s voice. I investigated when I got back to school and became a firm fan ! ! !

I have the Greatest Hits Album and listen to it quite often still. Actually Get It On is a track in my Jogging playlist and I find it motivating and just the right rhythm and pace for the flat section of my Jogging route along the Meguru river just before I get back home.

T-Rex – Get It On

21 thoughts on “How I discovered . . . . . T-Rex

  1. Hi there, what a brilliant, interesting article, we shall have to call you “Sakura Eyes” from now on 😉

    Love a bit of T-Rex and such a tragedy he died so relatively young.

    I too only have T-Rex’s greatest hits and as well as Get It On my other favourite is Children of the Revolution but there are so many great tracks, perhaps I should explore their back catalogue some more as it’s quite extensive.

    Trust all is well with you and best wishes.

    • Hi Leaveitallbehind ! ! !

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. I really love that Greatest Hits Album and play it quite often, and I would love to know more, but there is just not enough time to explore every good band’s back numbers ! ! !

      When I was doing promotion work I used my “Sakura Eyes”to sell a lot cameras and electronic things to guys . . . .they did not work so well with women . . . .

  2. I think that the first time I really took any notice of Marc Bolan was when Ride A White Swan was released. I was kind of aware that he existed but I didn’t know any of his music before that. I liked Get It On and Jeepster, but after that he went down a far too poppy route for me.

    He’s one of those people who came out of the underground into the charts, which made him better than most of the rubbish that passed as chart stuff back then, but I preferred the underground.

    • Hi Carol ! ! !

      I think the early and mid 1970 decade was a bit of a lost time, the 1960 decade was over and the music seemed to be stuck in a rut as far as pop music is concerned, ( apart from Motown and soul. ) I think T-Rex were definitely one of best of that era.

      Thank you for listening and taking the time to comment ! ! !

      • I wouldn’t say that the first half of the 70s was a lost time, to be fair. It was more the case that the most interesting music was being made by people who didn’t care about the singles charts.

      • Hi Carol

        The problem that I have is that appart form the really famous bands like Genesis or Pink Floyd the only music from that ear that I know is the pop music and mototown and soul ( from my dad who is big fan )

        I would like to find out some more bands from that time, but of course there are so many things I want to explore and learn about so little time ! ! !

  3. I remember liking Ride a White Swan and Hot Love in 1971 but for some reason I preferred Mungo Jerry. It wasn’t until Get It On and Jeepster that I started to think that maybe something special was happening here.

    I was about 14 at the time but, unlike most teenagers, I didn’t buy records I just listened to them on the radio. The first single I ever bought was Children of the Revolution which cost a whole 50 pence and seemed like I had crossed some kind of border or barrier. Electric Warrior was my first ever album soon afterwards.

    The same year a friend bought the re-released double album of Unicorn and Beard of Stars by Tyrannosaurus Rex and pronounced it rubbish. I bought from off him and thought it was the most astonishing music I had ever heard.

    I still have the copy of London’s Evening Standard from 1977 which reported his death. I hadn’t been particularly upset by Elvis dying earlier the same year but this was a terrible shock and, like Leavitallbehind said, far too young. He was just beginning to make something of a comeback too.

    I must admit I was taken aback when Marc’s music (and a poster of him!) featured quite prominently in the film Dallas Buyers Club, a couple of years ago. I’m never quite sure how famous he is/was in America so hearing “Life Is Strange over the closing credits was a great surprise as well as an exercise in nostalgia.

    Here’s my favourite and, I think, Beth’s too.

      • Hi Severin

        Jewel is a great track and I really love it ! ! ! I had not heard it before actually so thank you for sharing ! ! !

        English is such and idiomatic and irregular language and if even you have difficulty sometimes imagine what it could be like for a foreigner ! ! ! Of course Mr P helps me a lot with expressions like “Haway Mate” and so on but even then it is hard ! ! !

    • Hi Chris ! ! !

      I knew that Marc Bolan was in Tyrannosaurus Rex and that it was the predecessor of T-Rex but I had not actually heard anything from them, so thank you for sharing. It is a really great track, it is such a shame he died so young ! ! !

  4. I still haven’t really discovered T Rex. Of course i knew Get it On from back in the day, and i’ve grabbed a few other tunes along the way – Children of the Revolution and Ride a White Swan and Ballrooms of Mars and probably a few others. But over here for the glammers it was all Bowie and Mott the Hoople and Roxy Music, which was plenty good enough for me. Also Rod solo might count in there, and Elton John, and Queen. Someday i might get around to properly checking T Rex out.

    Hope you’re well!

    • I do find it kinda hilarious that at the big American football and hockey games, the big tunes are both glam rock anthems – We Will Rock You and Rock and Roll Pt 2. Gotta wonder if these folks have any clue what the bands looked like who did them, or their personal lives. Or if any one has any clue that they’re feeding and funding Gary Glitter.

      • Hi Amylee ! ! !

        I am very well thank you. I have been working a lot – i have two part time jobs now, one as a research assistant to a professor at the university where I studied and the other teaching English to science students at the university. Between the two jobs I can live OK, but of course I make in one week what I used to make in a day as a promotion girl, but money is defintely not everything ! !!

        I have new boyfriend now . . .we started very slowly but recently somehow it has become important and this is also taking a lot of time, but i am happy with him and he is much more honorable than the last two idiots ! ! !

        I am happy tou read the post and took the time to comment, I am not sure I really know T_rex also, but I know I like them ! ! !

        I hope you are well


        Sakura x x x

  5. Great photos and a lovely story, Sakura 🙂 I am a big fan of T Rex. I came to them in a strange way. I already knew Bowie and loved him from the age of 10 or so, I used to haunt second hand record shops and junk stores for records, interviews, clothes and things from the past. Amongst the rubbish I found a book of interviews with stars of the time from the early 1970s. I read an interview with Marc Bolan and thought he was wonderful, but had no idea about his music.

    I was delighted when I found he had been a friend of Bowie and dressed so beautifully. I adore the Tyrannosaurus Rex albums, and have at times owned everything I could get my hands on, vinyl mostly, but now my essential CDs are the eponymous T Rex album, Electric Warrior and Unicorn by Ty Rex. Marc was in a band called John’s Children before even the hippy trippy stuff, but I only had a really wowy recording of them on tape.

    His poetry is a beautiful thing, doesn’t make sense, but it’s so pretty, if you see the book The Warlock of Love from 1969, have a read, it’s an artefact I wish I’d held on to. I am happy to hear that he is still loved, thanks for sharing your story 🙂

    • Ubu here —- Got a message that Spillblog is “unsafe” and that therefore I shouldn’t log in , so I didn’t !
      Anyway, even before John’s Children ( who were “interesting” and produced one of the most valuable singles in English pop history) Marc had a “solo” career under the name of “Toby Tyler”. A kind of “Donovan-y” time in his life.

      I think there’s a very interesting thing going on with T.Rex which illustrates a point in time where “pop” became “rock”.
      Up to about 1966 artists were very much singles orientated, come 66-67 and albums such as Sgt Pepper appeared which were “whole” packages that didn’t rely on hit singles to sell themselves. Prior to that the average album was a couple of “hits” and a load of “filler”.
      Tyrannosaurus Rex were very much an “album” band. There was a bit of snobbishness at the time, I think. Singles were a bit “childish” ( ironic considering Tyran Rex’s lyrics about dwarves and stuff !).
      Come the turn of the 70s and things went full circle.
      T.Rex were, I think, far more of a “singles” band than an album band ( unlike, say, Genesis or Yes). Hence whilst they gained a lot of new fans among a younger audience ( the “teenyboppers” of the “Glam” scene) they lost a lot of their old “Hippy” followers who weren’t interested in buying singles so much.

      Of course there were exceptions, Bowie kind of straddled the two genres but on the whole “rock” was about albums and “pop” about singles.

      Personally I prefer the Tyrannosaurus Rex stuff on the whole, even if a lot of it is kind of ridiculous ( maybe because it’s kind of ridiculous !). The reissues on CD of a few years back were great, stuffed with extra gnome appeal.

      • Hi Ubu! I hadn’t heard that Toby Tyler song before, very peculiar, but interesting, thank you! In a strange backwards way, it reminds me of Devendra Banhart (who I liked initially due to the Bolan comparisons).

      • Hi Mr P ! ! !

        Sorry for late reply to you ! ! ! Thank you for reading and writing a reply ! ! ! It is interesting to think about LPs as they were called, and Singles. My dad has told me about million times about this . . . . .so this is what he tihinks – LPs were originally designed for Classical Music as of course the time needed for a sympnony is much longer than a short pop song. In Japan – classical music was first recorded on sets of 12 inch diameter 78 rpm disks and arranged so you could stack the disks one on top of the other and they would play sequentially. Pop and Jazz music was recorded on 10 inch diameter disks also at 78 rpm with an A and B side and the B was of course the filler. With the change to 45 rpm disk and 7 inch diameter for singles and 12 inch 33 rpm micro grove HI FI for long players mainly for classical music. Album was first used to describe a collection of distinct songs ( like photos in and album) and was how pop was first collected on to LPs. The increased time gave bands more time to express themselves musically and even ( god forbid )to make “concept albuims”

        I love both singles and albums . . . .punk for me will always be a singles genre for example . . .

        Love you

        Sakura x x x

  6. Hi Sakura,

    I enjoyed your tribute to T.Rex very much. They were the band that really made me conscious of music as something more than a record that had a fleeting impact on your life. Yes, Ride A White Swan was a perfect pop single and yet it was much, much more as well: integral to the music of ‘Top of the Pops’, Ready Steady Go and Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman’s Pick of the Pop – T.V. and radio shows dedicated to the top 30 singles – but inspiring imaginative possibilities I hadn’t previously known. ‘Ride A White Swan’ changed everything for me. I think there were great singles galore at that time and the chart was truly eclectic: Motown soul, Glam Rock, reggae, novelty records and serious rock. Yes there were those who derided singles, who thought their ‘art’ more becoming of serious consideration on the album format only but I think the single defined many great bands and solo artists of their time. T.Rex and RAWS were the prime example of this. I can still remember, like you, being stopped in my tracks the first time I heard them: Marc Bolan’s voice, the seductive groove of the rhythm and, most of all for me, the surrealistic and imaginative lyrics that just transported you to somewhere else entirely – somewhere more interesting and exciting.

    Like severin, Electric Warrior was the first album I bought, the feeling of pride was so incredible, the care with which I took it out of the sleeve and put it on the turntable. And what an album! Plus you had one of the most iconic album covers of all time. T.Rex and Slade were like Oasis and Blur in many ways – I remember the diehard Slade fans at school not caring much for T.Rex. Bolan was the man of the moment even though his glittering reign was sadly shortlived. Why he fell away who knows? Prog Rock was gaining ascendency and what chance, really, did Tanx stand against Dark Side Of The Moon? Maybe he became too shackled to his own success and just didn’t have the freedom or inclination to experiment and change tack? The pity for me is that his cosmic sensibility was looked down upon at the time – his mesmerising way with words and the way his music, in many ways, provided a real bridgehead, to the psychedelic optimism of the 60s.

    Marc Bolan’s great singles still hit the mark and take you on that magic carpet ride that was so uniquely his.

  7. Hi Murmuration ! ! !

    Thank you for reading and taking the time comment. It is great to get to know you as I do not think we have exchanged comments before ! ! !

    I actually wrote a “How I discovered about Slade some time ago also, as I love that band and actually “Gud Bye To Jane” is the track that is on myJogging playlist just before a few songs before “Get It On”

    I personally have never had a singles vs album thing as I like J-pop which is basically a singles medium and then for Jazz or rock I like albums, so I like both ! ! !

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