**Marc Bolan is alive and well and living in LA. He isn't a spaced-out junkie nor a dipso addicted to boot polish; the man's busy working on important showbiz projects that could prove to be the most exciting thing he's done since the forming of T. Rex. I spoke to the king of mystical elfins (and all that jazz) about his past, present and future**
Can I ask about... well not sex exactly...
"Go on, ask me about sex.
You don't have any hang-ups about it, do you?
"Well no, I know I'm pretty good."
Oh, so now we know. You never talk about your private life to the press, why?
"Well nobody asks me that's why."
Were you ever shy of girls?
"Well no, I was nine when I started getting it together I couldn't have been shy just discreet."
Are you heterosexual?
"No, bisexual, but I believe I'm more heterosexual 'cos I definitely like boobs. I always wished that I was 100 per cent gay, it's much easier...
Yeah, but not much fun, eh?
"That's true 'cos you have the best of both worlds. But I think if you're gay or whatever, you have just so much fun. Anyway, as I say I've checked It all out, and I prefer chicks.
You recently spilt with your wife didn't you? "Yeah, that's right." It must have been a very harassing experience?
"It wasn't very harassing (laughs) Now come on, do I look heartbroken?
May I ask what happened between you?
"Yeah, you can ask what you want. We just grew apart, we couldn't relate to each otter any more. Plus I was away most of the time. I guess it's very hard being the wife of 'a rock' star 'cos you' have to live In the shadow of someone else and well, I'm a lunatic anyway, all artistic people are. It must be difficult living with a Marc Bolan or a David Bowie all the time where you have to live your life thru' someone else. But we're still good friends, I mean I never really considered myself married In the first place."
A lot of pop stars marriages seem doomed from the start.
"Yes, I think so. It's the kind of life they're forced to lead, I mean I'm not the same person 24 hours a day, I'm always changing. It's like when you're a kid and you go the pictures to see a cowboy film then when you come out you're pretending to shoot everyone 'cos you're a cowboy... It all boils down to you being married to your career, period!"
What kind of things are you working on at the moment?
"Well, I'm living In LA at the moment because I've found a recording studio that I really like which has its own computer desk and I've been working on my albums in this studio for many months. One is called Zip Gun Boogie - named after the disastrous single - which should be released in the next month or so, and then there's another album which Is half done and yet untitled; plus I've been working on Gloria's (Jones) album which I'm just finishing off.
What's Zip Gun like?
"Well I've got Mickey (Finn) on it and Steve Curry plus Gloria Jones on clarinet and keyboards. Harry Nilsson's on a coupla tracks, oh he's a lovely guy, we're really good friends. He's like my big brother - my big mother!
"Back to the album, It's very simplistic there's some pretty little songs on It and I play Marimba's on one of the tracks, which is a big kinda xylophone, plus all the guitars, keyboards, melotron and a few other things. My favourite tracks are er, let me have a look at the sleeve 'cos I haven't seen the album for ages; if I had a record player here I'd play the album to you - um, what do I like? Solid Baby, Girl In A Thunderbolt Suit, a few others. It's definitely the nearest thing I've done to Electric Warrior, it's very commercial, a kinda rock 'n' roller whereas the other one, which should be released two or three months otter Zip Gun, has a much er, bigger kinda sound and I'll be arranging all the strings on it."
Does T. Rex still exist?
"T. Rex as such doesn't really exist any more, although I do still play with all the guys - well what I mean Is It's just the guys In the band. At the beginning there was Tyrannosaurus Rex and then T. Rex and now everybody's just saying Marc Bolan. Well I don't really mind if people think of me as a group! "
Rumour had it that you're starring In a film with Hollywood superstar David Niven?
"Yeah, I start filming in March which Is why I'll' be living in Monte Carlo for a while. I got this phone call one day asking if I'd like to do it, so I said sure great. It's a very dramatic script, I play a psychotic who has sexual problems and sells dope. I kill three people and end up in a nuthouse so altogether it's quite a lovely role which is certainly gonna screw a lot of heads up. Here's the script (throws it into my lap). I'm trying to learn it but it's very difficult 'cos there's such a lot of dialogue."
Have you always been eager to try your hand at acting?
"Not really, but I have been waiting for a straight part for a long time - about four years - and this is too good to turn up, I mean the part's a gem - I'm the star and it all revolves around me, which is really nice.
"It won't be easy playing a killer, but I can do it, I guess, you know, I'll have a try. I mean I've given it a lot of thought, I've got a video machine at home which I've been working with for two months. The killer I play is someone who's hyper-sensitive and who just goes over the edge, he kinda cracks up, oh it's a real emotional part. See what happens is he sees Rendel (Niven) with his mother - they're married and everything - but this does his head in. Then she dies a little while after and it's very odd 'cos he gets a thing about sex and can't touch anyone."
Why did they choose you for the part?
"They chose me 'cos they thought I was the only one who could do it, plus David Niven's the last of the great Hollywood heavies and I'm a rock star, so it's a nice combination, espe-cially since we're so violent towards each other In the film. As I say it's a real legit film, It's not a musical, it's yer Robert Redford touch."
Do you think you're capable of killing somebody in reality?
"No, I don't think I could live with myself, y'know, if I did I'd most probably crack up afterwards. I mean I couldn't cold bloodedly kill some-one like the guy in the film, because I'm emotional whereas he's unemotional, he has a blind spot. Anyway, I've got a fear of nuth-ouses Talking of nuthouses, someone the other day was talking about going over the edge and I said most rock stars who have gone over the edge are on the hill on the other side. I'm quite serious when I say I don't think I ever remember being sane. It's like contemplating suicide, I've thought about It, y'know everyone has to if they're under a lot of pressures, but it would be so easy to kill yourself, it's a cop out. Like you can just jump out of that window over there and that's it, you're a gonner. But whatever way you go, you'll be reincarnated.
So you believe in life after death, do you?
"Yes I do. I've been back about three times, that l know of. I mean l get these flashes and things. I was a minstrel and that would most probably explain why I'm inter-ested In literature, poems and music and... CRASH!.. Our conversation is interrupted when the stopper from the champers bottle ricochets within a hair's breadth from my nut! "What a way to go, at least you would've died with class... Now where was I?.. Yeah, I can remember being a cavalier as well. You know I remember this place in France that I visited; it was a 16th century house which I'd never been to before and yet I remembered having been there before if you see what I mean?
Let's return to the present. Do you think you've neglected your British fans?
"No, because I wanted to spend some time thinking about what I was gonna do with my music and the way I was gonna do it, so consequently the fans have gained in not seeing me because I'm improving my music, for them. I'm doing a world tour straight after the film and I'll be doing as many dates in England as I can."
Do you still consider yourself as the teenage dream?
"Well, I don't think I ever did in the first place, I just know that... Well, take for instance the other night when I went to the Who's studio in Battersea, of all places. There was a big gang of kids standing outside some flats and I was in a little Ford Escort actually, which wasn't mine. It was a friend's - I didn't even like in getting it either (snob!), but anyway, I caused a total riot at Battersea (already - so soon), which means there's still something going whatever it is."
Why do you think toe Zip Gun Boogie single was a monumental flop?
"There's a lot of reasons. One of them was mistiming - I mean John Lennon's one flopped and Stevie Wonder's; it was mainly due to the combination of not being around for a year and a half, you can't put records out with no promotion, and the wrong time of year. Still at least I flopped in good company."
You've been working closely with Bowie, does this mean you'll be performing together in the not too distant future?
"Yeah, we've been writing some songs but we figured on doing something live with just him and I acoustically maybe for a charity or something, and possibly later on in the year do something on film. We worked together years ago and he's a great friend of mine."
So you're confident that '75 will be a much more fruitful year for you?
"Oh yeah! 1974 career wise was not a good year for me or a lot of people, but then it wasn't a good year for the world - end of story. This is gonna be a good year, I can feel it. Last year I was so apathetic because everything was wrong; the timing, the crazy vibes, everything. I'm sure this year will be a gas, it's gotta be ...!"