September 26, 2011
“To take Marc Bolan too seriously,” Henry James once said, “would be an error nearly as grave as that of not taking him seriously enough.” The Master was of course a diehard Rush fan, but he did know his T Rex. At the still point between matter and anti-matter, daftness and depth, there sits — or hovers, cross-legged — the compact and dialectical figure of Marc Bolan. His disposables are imperishable, his feather brain weighs a ton. A true magus of Pop, Marc wielded its power heavy-metallically, in monster riffs and immense descending guitar lines. His greatest lyrics privileged euphony over sense, sometimes over language — and yet contrived to be luminously profound. Or luminously empty. At any rate, luminous.
How did Marc happen? Might he have been the Last Great English Nonsense Poet? And shouldn’t we be listening to him more? This week we trace his development, musical and philosophical: the emergence of the metal guru from the sticky hippie chrysalis, the inner voyage from Narnian to sex god. In honour of the 64th anniversary of Marc’s birth, on Friday, Hilobrow presents: BOLANOMICS.