Stage in memory Marc Bolan will inspire rising music stars
- Credit: Anwar Hussein
Friends and family of rock legend Marc Bolan need to raise £10,000 to build a stage and memorial garden in the playground of the school he attended as a child.
The hope is that children at Northwold School will be stimulated to express themselves musically, vocally, visually and spiritually in Marc’s name.
The Children of the Revolution star – real name Mark Feld – was just four-years-old when he walked through the gates of the primary school in Upper Clapton for his first lesson on September 19 1952.
Accompanied by his elder brother Harry, Marc embarked on a journey that would see him some 15 years later, begin his rise as Marc Bolan, to become the biggest rock star to emerge since The Beatles.
With his bands Tyrannosaurus Rex and T Rex, Marc took the music world by storm and rode his white swan the world over.
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Now 38 years after his untimely tragic death in a car crash on September 16 1977, plans are afoot to build the permanent stage and memorial garden in the grounds of the school in Upper Clapton.
Music stars Robbie Williams, Noel Gallagher, and Billy Idol have all sent messages of support for The Marc Bolan London Music Project, which it is hoped will be finished for the 40th anniversary of his death in 2017.
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Caroline, Marc’s cousin visited the school last Monday along with other keen Bolan fans including Michael Torry, who is leading the project, to choose the best site to place the stage.
They presently have a rough design of the stage, and they will need to apply for planning permission before it can be built.
A fundraising event, The Bolantine Bop, has been set for Saturday February 6 to be held in the school’s main hall, and will be attended by fans, members of Marc’s family, close friends as well as pupils, parents and teachers.
It will feature DJ Dizzy, live music from Beltane along with a performance from the school pupils to one of Marc’s songs.
Terianne Scoble – who was a choreographer for Marc’s TV show – has auditioned youngsters to perform.
The group then needs to apply for planning permission.
Marc Bolan wanted to make a name for himself right from the get go, remembers his cousin cousin Caroline.
He would visit the flats where she lived in Stamford Hill and she has memories of all the children singing and dancing on the stone steps outside with a young Marc, aged about seven.
He was only nine when performed Susie and the Hula Hoops with fellow Northwold pupil, Helen Shapiro, with him playing guitar as they took to youth club stages.
Caroline became even closer to Marc in her teenage years, and her friends were green with envy about her cousin.
“My friends went to this gig, they said ‘There’s this fella there, oh he’s so handsome you must come.’ They dragged me there and I’m lining up to put my coat away and then Marc came over and put his hands across my eyes, I heard all the girls go: ‘ooohhh’.
“I thought: ‘what are they oohing about’, I took his hands off and we cuddled and kissed each other and from then we got to know each other better. They said: ‘who’s this’, I said: ‘it’s my cousin Marc’. What was nice for me was I got friendly with all his friends, we used to go out together all the time.
“He was very warm-hearted, he was a very nice boy. I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of him, he had a bit of a temper, but he was a charming boy and he grew up into a charming fella.
“I get very upset, with all these lovely people supporting him, he would love it, he always wanted to be somebody of something all his life, he would play the guitar around Stamford Hill around the coffee shops – not for money, but just to get a name. When I see all this I know he’s with me.”
It is not entirely clear how the singer came up with the stage name, Marc Bolan – but it’s thought that his record company may have made the decision.
It could either have been to sound similar to Bob Dylan’s last name, or could possibly have been inspired by his roommate, Likely Lads actor James Boland.
Phil Bourne, a fan involved in the project said: “Strangely, it was one of the times in Marc’s career when he was told to do something and went along with it, rather than taking control himself.
“Marc led, he didn’t follow, he was an innovator and what he wanted to do was achieved.
“He knew how to promote himself and put himself forward as being different to everyone else, which is how his voice came about.
“His early records don’t sound anything like his later records, he sounded a bit like Cliff Richard but he changed his voice to make himself sound completely different to everyone else. He paved the way for Bowie and the punk bands, – he was very forward thinking.
He wrote all his own material and dressed in a self styled way.
“Nowadays, they go on X Factor and all of a sudden they are a big star – Marc didn’t, he started from a young age and pushed himself and pushed himself, he was determined and totally self made.”
For more information see bolanlondon.com.