Tillers & Other Guests- CELEBRATION at BOLANFEST 2000Page 2 linkfor more pictures & Article in MOJO Mag.
OK, give me sometime in getting this sorted for now I thought the main goal was to get some of the fanatstic pictures up that the Tillers posted on the list & their stories. More than seeing all the gang having the blast we knew they would are some very interesting pixs of the Programme and other rare articles that were part of the "Fest'...as with the "London Pop" I will include memories of the weekend from some of the gang A Huge thanks to ZPaul for his in depth review -The Intro-(as I said we stil have a few Tillers still in the UK that will want to add to the page upon there return).Please give a few seconds for all the pictures to Download. Most of the pictures speak for themselves , (I.e. Clothing, Programme, Marc photos, original "Town" mag issue) the rest are various Tiller pixs including Chadders, ZPaul, Irving, Ivan, Wolfgang, Zac, David-Do, Pierre & George of course! -So Read about the Joy than check out the pictures below- we now have 3 pages (just follow the links)..
**(ZPAUL PART 1)
Woooh - sharp intake/exhale of breath - where do I begin to try to describe what the Bolanfest was like? Well - I guess the first thing that was so special was meeting up with everyone in the hotel. I arrived about 11.15am and as I was walking into the lobby the first person I saw was Caron Willans smiling over at me. Caron and Danielz were sitting with other members of the Thunderwing crew so it was great to meet them and have a chat to Marc Arscott and Paul Thomas about Bump 'n' Grind etc.
After a short while I was thrilled when a certain young man whose face I recognised instantly walked in wearing a Till Dawn T-shirt - Mr David Do - the very man who introduced me to Till Dawn. It was great to meet you, David - thanks for being such wonderful company (later on we sat together watching the videos and listening to the unreleased music in stunned awe !!!!).
Soon enough the place was buzzing with T.Rex fans and it was amazing to meet up with people from all over the civilised world - Ivan, Chris, Wolfgang, Irving (and his lovely family - hope the boys enjoyed their first T.Rextasy concert *G), Think Zinc Bob, Pierre and Bernard and even Zac , from the not so civilised wasteland known as "Ilford" - only joking, bonny lad !! (and so many others - Ros and Martin two founder members of the MBLF - Uwe Klee who played us some brilliant studio outtakes, Terry Hughes and Anne - Mainman - Barry Smith - Electric Boogie - and of course the current keepers of Marc's recorded legacy the ladies and gents of Thunderwing). I must admit I felt so privileged (and so very lucky) to be able to be part of such a wonderful event - so many thanks George for thinking of me - you'll never know how much I appreciated being there and seeing such incredible Bolan artefacts and being so close to such great moments of history.
After a very long and tiring coach journey to the secret venue (*G) we disembarked and we were ushered in to the exhibition area. One of the first things that I saw on display were the "Christmas Bop" T.Rex Wax Co. labels - THEY REALLY DO EXIST !!!
There was also a copy of OCTO 1 single of Ride A White Swan (very very brief - almost none existant forerunner of "Fly" Records). AND the same display cabinet had a copy of the "special preview" purple label version of the Jeepster/Life's A Gas promo.
There were 3 large Slider Promo posters on display on the back wall and numerous pictures and other rare and precious records. Born To Boogie was playing on a small TV screen as we entered the hallway. George made sure that everyone who had brought rare items was "checked - in" and we all got our Bolanfest programmes with details of the itinerary for the next 2 days.
When we went into the main seating area the walls were covered with loads of unseen (by me, at least) and unpublished photographs of Marc and T.Rex - some of Marc and T.Rex with Elton John - looked like shots taken at the TOTP studios - Get It On (Christmas show ???). There were some great shots of the band with Marc looking particularly decadent and beautiful with black eyeliner circa end of 1972 -ish - absolutely wonderful - and this was not even the start of the "show" proper - but more of that later. . .Paul continued below
**(ZPAUL PART 2)
Right where was I . . . .oh yes. . . .as Pierre, Zac and David have told you there were so many wonderful things to see - it was just impossible to take everything in. Before the "show" started everyone was just soaking up the atmosphere - looking at the photographs and reading the scrap books. There were several scrap books with articles and pictures going right back to Tyrannosaurus Rex days - reviews of album releases and advertisements etc. There were some brilliant interviews with Marc and some fantastic full page ads for record releases and tours etc. There was even a full copy of the Melody Maker with the "Born To Boogie" front cover (droooool).
There were also photograph albums with some brilliant pictures of Marc. Some wonderful backstage pics from the Marc shows - Marc reading the script, Marc sipping champagne, Marc getting his hair washed - sitting back in the chair with the make up lady doing the honours (. . .it should have been me. . .woah oh . . . .it should have been me. . . . ooops sorry, I digress *GG.
There was a display of an original series of drawings from "Jackie" magazine depicting Marc's life story and his rise to fayme. And there was a beautiful giant purple coloured display with a great photo of Marc's face and the immortal words " Dave Do . . . King of Glam" (or something like that) emblazoned across the side. I believe that Michael Green who organises the Birmingham Bops had this specially made (very impressive) - hope anyone who is lucky enough to be going to Marc's birthday Bop this year has a great time (Zac, Jacqui, Karen, David. . . ?????.
Anyway, as you've heard we were ushered into the viewing/listening hall and George welcomed us to Bolanfest and gave us the run down on the plans for the weekend. We were then treated to the first half of the most amazing video show. Anyone who has the Lost and Found Vols 1-3 will know the wonderful quality of some of the filmed treasures that have been unearthed - and Vol 4 is no exception.
The video kicks off (literally) with Marc high-stepping on a French/German (?) TV show to the "Celebrate Summer" soundtrack - a very clever piece of editing - and all done in the best possible taste - very funny (but nice with it). I know that George has posted the track list of the video so I won't give you a blow by blow account (now now, Rick - stop it - control yourself *G). However, I can't not mention the film of Cadilac - actual "live" concert footage of T.Rex (with some cut away editing) - absolutely FANTASTIC and then the French TV performances of 20th Century Boy (Marc wearing the blue Metal Guru dungarees (?) and yellow feather jacket) and Children of the Revolution (Marc wearing the pink "TANX" tailcoat with the black T-shirt with "T.Rex" lettering in silver) - ooooooooooooooooohhhhhh !!!! (and that was just the first half of the video).
We also were given a wonderful treat by Uwe Klee who played us some unreleased studio out-takes. Highlights for me were a beautiful version of "Chateau In Virginia Waters" (lovely atmospheric reverb-heavy production - plus a bass guitar (?) - a much fuller sound. There was also a brilliant version of "Jeepster" with a different "lead" guitar line - very prominent throughout the whole track - superb !!
Uwe did a grand job telling us where he believed the tracks were from and giving us hints about what to look out for etc.
Anyway that's all for now - hopefully I can tell you soon about what we found when we went into the "Exhibitions Room".
*And there's more. . . .
There was a break half way through the video show so that we could view the first part of the "exhibition". As you can imagine - the excitement level was almost unbearable. Unlike some lucky people I have never been able to see or be close to many items which belonged to Marc Bolan so I was really looking forward to seeing what George had managed to bring together to display. I did attend the Hackney 20th century Boy Exhibition in 1993 and that was great - to be able to see Marc's Born to Boogie/Slider Top Hat was a dream come true (sadly the picture my wife took of me crouching underneath it - as if I was wearing it - did not come out - aaaaaaargggggghhhhhh !!!! - never mind....).
Back to Bolanfest. . . .in the exhibition room there were a number of wall displays with extracts of handwritten lyrics - including "Metal Guru", "Get It On" and Sara Crazy Child" !!!! There some promo photos from Born to Boogie and a couple of beautiful Born To Boogie promo posters ( Marc astride the tiger as on "T.Rex Great Hits" album cover). Looking around the room was like stepping into an Aladdin's cave of rare and precious treasures. To the left was Marc's jacket from the Marc shows, further to the right was the red cherry jacket that I think he wore on the US (?) Bang A Gong promo film (???). There was a poster advertising the film "Stamping Ground" and other rare posters and framed pictures, lyrics, poems and a Futuristic Dragon tour "set list" in Marc's own handwriting.
Oh and there was some stuff on some tables as well. . . . .an Australian tour programme signed by the 4 members of the glorious T.Rex line-up (Marc, Mickey, Bill and Steve) and a magazine. . . . .a magazine called "Town" . . . . .from September 1962 (3 months before I was born). David has already said how he was affected by seeing the wonderful "live" video performances from the Midnight Special USA TV show. There were 2 moments during Bolanfest when I had to "control" myself. Seeing the "Town" magazine was one of them. From my very first memories of being a T.Rex fan this magazine has held a mythic/legendary status. . .the first time that Marc Bolan (Mark Feld) was spotted as a potential "star" (at the age of 14 ?). In my mind the story of his time as a boy "model" was evidence that Marc was not "ordinary". He was special - even at such a young age - he was supercool. SuperStardom and Fame - it was all "meant to be". It was his destiny.
And there it was THAT magazine . . .on the table . . .in front of me. I honestly could not believe it. I was shocked that a copy had survived for all those years and I must admit I had to turn away for a moment so that I did not embarrass myself in front of all my fellow Festers. Thankfully, being the mature, sophisticated strong-silent-type I was able to stifle the sob that was forming in my chest (but only just).
Anyway, behold "Town" magazine - sorry the pics are not of the highest quality..Paul Johnstone (pix below)
There really was too much to remember to write down. First of all this
event might be a contender for the largest number of Tillers gathered in on
place. We had Zac, Do Do, Pierre, Zincy Bob, Irving, Wolfy, Zombie Paul,
Ivan, Chadders and Rabbit. Plus a few partners. I'm not sure if Pierre's
friend Bernard is a full Tiller, but he is certainly an honoury Tiller now.
First speaker on the rostrum was Eric 'the frog' Hall, who was thoroughly entertaining in that Eric Hall manner and gave insights that only a longstanding personal friend and business associate could do. Right on boobala.
Pierre gave us a two part presentation, with oodles of panaché and a soucon of élan. And unusually for the French hardly any sauce. Apart from the sheer courage of speaking matters Bolan to such a rarified audience it was a fascinating account of a meeting with Boley.
Mickey Finn was probably the most poignant of all. This man no longer plays with a full set of Congas. Despite coming across as very confused he was sincere in his love of Marc and still mourns the death of his friend to this day. He didn't really add much to proceedings by way of new stories, sticking to the tried and tested tales heard (and sometimes discredited) before. It was good to see him though and sometimes a little of his old magic flickered long enough to shine through.
Easily the best speaker to my mind was Micky Marmalade, one of Rock's survivors. And how did he survive? By turning his back on the 'excess all areas' rock lifestyle and enjoying the other opportunities it gave. Still coherent and full of memories I believed him when he flatly contradicted some of the stories that have circulated for years, or were even brought up at Bolan Fest. Yes, there was mention of Marc working with Mickey Finn again but no plans or commitments were ever made. Micky Marmalade confirmed what I've suspected for sometime, "Marc would have been very confused by all this ... celebrate the living". He is the only 'confidant' I have heard voice that opinion.
It wasn't just the personalities though. There were videos too. I'm not an enthusiast of videos me, I think they show barely a scratch of what's going on. These though, were good. Tremendous. The Midnight Special clips especially. We were treated to Marc appearing on a French show in February 77 courtesy of Bernard's 8mm camera filming directly from the TV. The music was mimed but the French and English interview was a joy. A very relaxed Marc enjoying himself and ready to go.
We had some rare music too. The Thunderwing crowd played us a couple of gems, including an excellent version of Baby Boomerang slated for the next CD. They have some great recordings and intend to release it at the rate of about one CD a year. Distribution through UK shops is still an issue but they're working on it. A man called 'Hoover' (Uwe actually) gave us some belting tunes too, unlikely he says, ever to see release. The revelation was Richard Jones, what a great voice.
Saturday night was T.Rexstasy. A good set in a good little bar. Plastic glasses notwithstanding.
Probably the highlight for me was the Tony Visconti interview. It was all the better for being 'unedited', not because it was controversial (not a bit of it) but the raw feel made it seem much more intimate. I hope this tape gets a public release, I'm sure all Bolan fans everywhere would love to see and or hear it. TV had many good stories, one of which was his arrangement for 'Teenage Dream' - listen out for strains of 'Diana' near the beginning and 'Catch a Falling Star' later on. Oh, and that 'Bolan and Bowie' acoustic tape? Genuine; apparently the other Mr B gave our Mr B a pep talk about his failing career somewhere in NYC in 1976, all night long. Boley took it to heart and began to pick up his act.
And there was loads of exhibition material, too much to take in really. Posters, stage cossies, an OCT01 and other assorted discs, photos, press cuttings. Just terrific.
In fact "just terrific" sums up the whole event. I started off feeling something of an imposter amongst all those heavyweight Bolan fans but by the end I felt a part of it all. That's how welcome everyone was made to feel.
George worked his heart out making it all happen for us and made a truly splendid event become reality beyond the wildest of dreams. Congratulations to George and his team of willing helpers on a magnificent achievement. (PS And his new ears are splendid too).....Chris Chadders
Well, have recovered a little but still need a full night of sleeping to be 100% back on top form !
This has been an exhausting week-end, of course far less for us than for George and his marvellous wife, but exhausting anyway.
I, in particular, had to Run Run Run and Rush, Rush, Rush from the very start to the very end !
I made my best to mix with all the Tillers and I enjoyed every of them ! What a great bunch of friendly chaps !
Some I had more difficulties to understand due to strong accent and my poor English, Irving, Chadders... and among the speakers Eric Hall and Micky Marmalade. I have to pay attention to understand what is said so when it's too difficult it happens that I sort of unplug my brain and take a rest. Sorry...I really made my best.
Anyway the week end started for me a few days and even a few weeks before it actually started : I had decided to donate 5 cds for the raffle and lovingly did a special edition of the Nantes concert with full booklet and every logo, picture, every little bit that I thought would be needed.
To tell the full truth, I also made a special edition of a tape I hold from Bernard Pavelek : the 77 Paris gig. This one had only 3 copies : Bernard's, mine, and one for George , this because Bernard was not willing to share it more. George has been asked not to copy it and I'm sure he will not.
This alone took me 2 weeks to sort as I wanted every little bit to be readable ( well.. good sight needed but finally everything is readable ).
I had also 2 speachs to prepare. I didn't really but it stressed me a lot and the last 3 nights were short as I hardly found sleep.
Finally on Friday's evening I rushed into the train to Paris and was at Bernard's home around 11.30 pm. Can you imagine his tapes for the next day weren't made ! We spent 2 hours on the computer and it gave me an insight into digital video edition. The footages were freat on Bernard's monitor but came out poor on his TV. It was too late to do any better and we were quite afraid of the quality of the stuff we were bringing at the fest.
It was now 2am on saturday. The alarm was set on 5am and I tried to sleep folded on a small sofa.6.30 am we're in 'la gare du Nord' boarding the Eurostar. Bernard and I are quite excited and already into the week end. 8.40 am we're at Waterloo station. I ring Zac who answer the first ringing. A date is given near his home.We rush into the tube, then an other train and finally meet Zac around 10 am. What a great guy and friend you are Zac !
We start driving northbound and Bernard starts filming. Bernard's job is freelance soundtaking for the French 2nd TV channel. George had enquired him for officialy filming the Bolanfest. So he'd brought a small digital camera ( I'd imagined a betacam ) and a DAT tape recorder. I was due to help recording the sound with the DAT while he was filming.
We interviewed Zac while he was driving and played a lot of T.Rex tracks on his car player. We arrived in Birmingham only very short before the dead end of 1 pm. I rushed under the shower.Everyone has now boarded the coach. Ready for the BOLANFEST 2000.......Pierrre
a bit like Paul I really don,t know where to start
(get on with it then)
well the day started when I picked Pierre and Bernard at Seven Kings station (10am) and began the Drive up to Birmingham
Loads of chat and then Horror of Horrors Pierre starts to ask me questions while Bernard Filmed -it,s worth pointing out that we were hurtling along at about 95 miles an hour on the M42 at the time due to the ever approaching deadline of 1pm.
I haven,t seen it yet but at a guess the tape will not show me in a great light (G)
Well we made it to the Hotel with about 10 mins to spare so I just had time to offload my bag.then down to reception to await the coach journey and a first introduction to David and Chris and a northerner that I can,t remember for the life of me ...Tall bloke he was but he doesn,t speak English very well
Ok sorry if I,m rambling but After an exceptionally long coach Journey we arrived at the event site and the awful truth dawned on me "No Smoking " (tis understandable though)
before the signing in table there was a cabinet with not 1 but 3 Octopus Ride a white swans next to each other. 3 of the buggers just smiling at me,That is a great start for me as I hadn,t seen one before.Also in the same cabinet (I,m bound to forget everything that was there cause believe me I spent the entire weekend in a state of awe--so sorry and the photos will be about a week yet)
was an Electric Warrior preview single , a coaster from same album, A Midsummer nights Scene single and loads of white label singles Inc SGEA oh heck was there a hard on love white label album as well ? Yeah I,m sure there was and I got the story of the only cover around which is a proof which has a picture of Marc on a Moped or bike and the picture is taken from a Johns children session
Oh and some white label Albums as well which I took photo,s of and will gladly share later with Ya
By the Table was the Picture of Marc at the pressing plant (large) also there were some Awards for record sales I remember one for Telegram Sam achieving 250,00 sales and there was an album one as well which I can't recall at the MO but the camera never lies.
More to Follow in the fullness of time
But I must say that the weekend was one I shall never ever forget It was to me a magical experience and don,t think this doesn,t include meeting My fellow Tillers (that feels great to be able to say (G) because it does David , Chris and the Northern chap were fantastic But more of that in a later mail But Thanks , you made it a special occasion for me as well
George I personally don't think I can ever thank you enough for giving me one of the most memorable weekends I have ever had. And on the second day even though very pressed and stressed you still found time to allow me to backtrack and take some extra photos. Thanks, it won't be forgotten......Zac
Keep on Rocking Tillers and as always thanks for sharing your pix and memories of this once in a lifetime event!
Rickster & the Gang
Standing: Wolfgang, Chadders, Bob, Pierre, George, Irving, Dave, ZPaul
Crouching: Ivan, Zac
Ivan, Chadders, Dave, Pierre, Bob
Marc's Jacket worn in "Born to Boogie"
Eric Hall (Marc's friend since childhood), Dave, Mickey
Marc's Red Jacket
Terry Huges (MainMan Fanzine Ed.), Ivan, Wolfgang & Irving
very rare origial acetate of "Sleepy Maurice"
Zombie Punk Paul with Marc's jacket
Programme from Marc's only tour of Australia
The very rare "Town" magazine
Inside of "Town" with Marc's first brush with fame (age 14)
The "Bolanfest" events schedual
Back cover of programme (Marc at Acadamey)
Page 2 linkfor more pictures & Article in MOJO Mag.