The idea for this came about after the success of the Tony Newman Q&A. Contact with Dino was
achieved via Caron at T.Rextasy who kindly passed on a list questions from the T.Rex and Till Dawn Lists lists.
Dino was in the process of writing a book about his time with T.Rex – we all were looking forward to reading it!
**SADLY** Dino Passed awaye in 2004 & this is his last printed interview** Many thanks to all who submitted questions. John Wass.
1. Where and when were you born?
Hertford, December 17th 1944
2. How did you get into the music biz?
I always wanted to be in a band – local bands, then professional, lots of knocking on doors, lots of gigs, hard work.
3. At what age did you start to play keyboards, and are you classically trained?
I started on keyboards at about 18. I first played guitar at 13 but had a banjo at 4. Mainly self-taught, a minor amount of formal classical training.
4. What did you do before T.Rex?
Many bands, the most famous being the Keef Hartly Band, P.P.Arnold, The Hollies, too many to mention.
5. How did you get involved in T.Rex?
Recommendation by Mick O’Halloren, Marc’s roadie. He was once a roadie for P.P.Arnold.
6. Where did you get the name Dino?
Given the name at about 8 years old by a school friend.
7. Can you remember your first session with the band?
Paris sometime in 1974. I did two tracks on clavinet, I can’t remember the track titles.
8. Initially was Marc after a full time keyboard player?
As far as I know Marc was looking for a full time keyboard player.
9. Which were happier times: Bolan’s Zip Gun/Futuristic Dragon or the Dandy recording sessions, and which album do you prefer?
I enjoyed all of my time with T.Rex but the happier times, without a doubt, were the Dandy sessions.
10. Did you have any input on sessions or did Marc have everything worked out beforehand?
Most of what I did was my own idea, tunes were never totally worked out. Marc would come into the studio with a basic idea for a song, more like a sketchbook to be finished in the studio. Sometimes I would go to Marc’s house and we would work on tunes together.
11. Of all your recordings, how many of Marc’s songs would make your fave Top 10?
This is difficult, as I never listen to anything I have recorded. I will have to pass on this question.
12. Who’s it to be, Herbie or Steve Currie?
Without a doubt Herbie. Steve was a good solid player but Herbie was far more creative and inventive, also Herbie was good fun.
13. What are your recollections of Gloria?
Great singer, good fun, typical L.A. lady.
14. What is your fave T.Rex line-up?
Rainbow gig line-up. Marc, Miller Anderson, Herbie Flowers, Tony Newman, and of course me, Dino Dines. What a great rock and roll band that was, a privilege to have played in that band.
15. Which is your fave track that you played on?
You damaged the soul of my suit.
16. What shape was marc in health wise and did you witness any of Marc’s drink/drugs binge tantrums?
When I first joined the band Marc was in poor health, I did witness many of his drink/drug binge tantrums and sometimes joined in minus the tantrums. That’s rock and roll.
17. How did you rate Marc as a musician and a boss?
Great rhythm player, one of the best, not so good at solos. He always treated me as an equal, I never saw him as a boss so I suppose that makes him a good boss.
18. Do you think Gloria was a good influence on Marc?
I don’t know. I don’t think she was a bad influence.
19. What did you think of Steve Currie?
Good solid bass player I never socialised with Steve, we got on enough.
20. How did Marc get himself back into shape in 1977? Was he a vegetarian?
He spent some time in a health clinic, never a vegetarian.
21. A memorable gig that sticks in your mind?
The rainbow – a great gig. All the press came to see the band fail. The band did not fail, quite the reverse in fact.
22. What did you think of ‘The Marc Shows’?
I thought they were fine, on the wrong time of day. They gave many bands exposure and that’s good.
23. Who did you get on with best in T.Rex?
In the original band, Mickey Finn and Marc. I loved Mickey, a funny man. I will always have a soft spot for Mickey, he couldn’t play to save his life but it did not matter. In the later band everyone was easy to get on with.
24. Any funny stories of what you got up to?
Far too many, my whole life is funny stories. You will have to wait for the book.
25. Did you ever get together socially with Marc or any of the band?
With the original band mainly Marc or Mickey, very occasionally with Steve or Davey Lutton. With the later band, yes, all of them but mostly when on the road touring.
26. A fave T.Rex moment?
Far too many, again wait for the book.
27. A fave T.Rex tour?
The French tour was great fun.
28. An all-time fave Marc song?
All the obvious ones like ‘Get it on’ but my favourite is ‘You damaged the soul of my suit’.
29. Do you remember what marc had planned after the Dandy tour and ‘The Marc Shows’?
Business as usual, I know there was another TV show planned.
30. Why did Marc say that you had something to do with ‘The Beach Boys’?
As you are aware I have mainly worn a beard. One night at a gig I dressed in my white clothes (a favourite of mine) and said to marc ‘tonight I will be Mike Love’. We both liked The Beach Boys so it came from that.
31. Was there any unrest in the band, i.e., Herbie wanting to leave?
With the original band there was always some kind of unrest, but I can never remember any in the later band.
32. Can you remember the last time you saw Marc?
I think it was the day before the accident.
33. How did you hear of Marc’s death?
I got a phone call from Jeff Dexter in the early hours of the morning.
34. Did any of the band go to Marc’s funeral?
Most of them as far as I can remember.
35. What happened to the band after Marc had died and did you ever meet up with any of them?
We went our separate ways, doing various projects. All of us are still making music.
36. What do you think was your finest hour with the band?
Not for me to say.
37. Have you any regrets about your time in T.Rex?
None I can think of. I wish I had got a bit more involved in the business so I could have kept a check on things after his death.
38. Do you still see anyone from the T.Rex days?
Yes, mainly Miller, sometimes Herbie. I am in touch with Tony via e-mail.
39. Have you any mementos from your time with Marc?
Loads – clothes, photos. Marc was always giving you his clothes, various bits and pieces.
40. Would you be interested in the possibility of a T.Rex reunion (Tony, Herbie, etc) i.e., like the Cambridge anniversary event?
Yes but I cant see how that would happen.
41. What’s your lasting impression of Marc?
I liked Marc a lot, he became a good friend. He was very talented, a true star. He could be a so and so at times but so can we all.
42. What did you do between T.Rex and T.Rextasy?
Always kept playing, gigs sessions etc.
43. How did you get involved with T.Rextasy?
I did an anniversary gig at ‘The Standard’, Walthamstow a couple of years ago. That seemed to go well, it has progressed from there.
44. How does it compare: gigging with T.Rextasy after touring with Marc?
Very similar in some respects, I always enjoy gigging.
45. How much is Danielz like Marc, or not at all?
Sometimes it’s very scary because Danielz does such a good job and at times it’s like working with Marc again. But Danielz is his own man and I like the way he performs Marc’s material with such respect.
46. A fave live song with T.Rextasy?
I don’t really have a fave song, as I mentioned before I love ‘You Damaged The Soul of my Suit’, and ‘I Love to Boogie’ is always good fun.
47. You seem a quiet sort of person, so how do you feel when the audience chant your name at T.Rextasy gigs?
At first I found it quite hard because I was so surprised that anyone remembered who I was. Now I find it very flattering and good fun because it has become a thing for the audience to do. I love it. It gives me contact with the fans.
48. Any thoughts on the current Bolan scene?
Marc’s music will always continue because it is good.
49. How do you feel that Marc has been remembered, is there still an interest?
Not always in the best light but that is the price if fame. Yes there will always be an interest, Marc was a major talent of the 70’s.
50. How long do you think that the Marc phenomena will last?
I don’t know, I think to some degree he will always be around.
51. What is the most common question that you are asked, and if it’s not been asked here, what is it and what’s the answer?
What was Marc like? A nice man, sometimes difficult but basically a nice man. I loved him.
52. What advice would you give to a band starting out in the music biz now?
Do it right, don’t get caught up in the celebrity bit. Get out and learn your craft, play live, play with other musicians, have fun, above all have fun.
53. Are you married and do you have any children?
I am separated, have two wonderful boys, both musicians, thank goodness.
54. What part of the country do you live in now?
I am back in Hertford.