Musically, T. Rex relies upon simple, catchy, familiar rhythmic and harmonic frameworks to
convey their ideas as starkly and directly as possible. Yet Bolan points out
that some of his chord structures may be deceptively simple: "I found out the
other day something I didn't know: the chord structure of "Ballrooms of
Mars" is actually identical to a Bach fugue. But people can make too much
out of things like that. There
was this cat on television in London and he did this amazing review of the T.
Rex phenomenon. He dissected the music, and what he found in the musical
structures of my songs was fantastic, talking about tonal stanzas and whatnot;
he was just into so much shit, I had to turn it off. I didn't know what he was
Bolan feels that he's been getting better and better at expressing himself
with words and is glad he's been able to communicate so effectively as a result.
"I hack my lyrics down now", he says, "compared to the way I used to. I hack
them to death. Before they even get out, I just chop them away until I've got
three words and then I just start again; whereas in the old days, I used to just
go on and on."
Though specific issues are never dealt with and no consistent political
viewpoint is ever expounded, politics are implicit to Bolan's work. We are
dealing here with the political aspects of love, or really with the apolitical
aspects of love, which ultimately describes a world in which Love and The State
are mutually exclusive:
Shady politician in my bed Tying bolts of lightning to his head
Call me Rabbit Fighter You know it's true Babe I'll Rabbit Fight
All over you
"I don't give much thought to politics", Bolan
says, "I don't really know what's going on. I saw Nixon on TV and he just didn't
look like a nice man to me. But I don't believe there can be peace for all time.
That's just a dream. That's not the way people are. And I know for myself, if
someone broke into my house and raped and murdered my wife, I'd chop him up into
little pieces." Can a campaigner like this not take America by storm?
These are some of the bizarre contradictions that form the curious paradox
that is Marc Bolan. If his voice is just a giggle, it's still coming from the
Cosmos: "I no longer know if I'm sane or not", he laughs. "I mean, one can run
around jokingly saying, 'hey
man, I'm mad', but it frightens me sometimes. I have moments of not being sane,
and it depends on how long these periods last. It's just the feeling of
hollowness sometimes. That's what creates insanity; the feeling that there's
nothing in life. You just hate yourself, and that's frightening."
Stardom has given Marc Bolan something to believe in - something in the world
and something in himself. His music is his faith, and it has already become the
faith of millions. "It's like what Jim Morrison did", Marc said after taking a
swallow of French champagne, "I just couldn't fucking believe some of those
lines. Like in 'The Wasp (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)'":
It comes up out of the Virginia swamps cool and slow with plenty
of precision and a back beat narrow and hard to
"You can go out there and sing that and if anyone says
anything, they're cunts. I mean,
they can just fucking drop down a well. They just don't understand. And you
can't fight that. That's the commitment that an artist has. That's why no one
can ever get at me in any way. They can attack me, destroy me, cut me up, but I
know I can always pick up a guitar and forget all that shit."