Mendelsohn: Up next we have a glam rock star who cut his teeth in the underground folk scene. If that sounds familiar, and it should, one might assume we are talking about David Bowie again. They would be wrong, Klinger, dead wrong. On the docket this week is T. Rex’s Electric Warrior. Marc Bolan’s vehicle to explore to world of glam as seen through the eyes of an ex-folkie.
In the grand scheme of things, Bowie and Bolan are not all that different. Both of them got their start in the folk scene, where they met and became friends. They recorded in the same studios and shared the same producer—Tony Visconti—on many of their projects. They even played a show or two together. Bowie, though, looms large—an iconic figure with the discography to match. And even though Bolan and T. Rex came first, they seem to be viewed as glam rock also-rans. Why is that, Klinger? Bolan’s story is the quintessential rock and roll tragedy; T. Rex, despite never having the big hit, sold incredibly well—albeit mostly in the UK; and the group as a whole has been fairly influential throughout the following decades. What gives?