Speed read: 10 juiciest bits from Lesley-Ann Jones’ biography of Marc Bolan
Journalist and author Lesley-Ann Jones has just released her book Ride A White Swan: The Lives And Death Of Marc Bolan. We’ve sifted through this excellent biography to provide you with a set of bite-size T.Rex-style highlights.
1. Marc was in a band with Helen Shapiro
As plain ol’ Mark Feld, the boy who would become Bolan played guitar in a school group with 10-year-old Helen Shapiro. Marc would recall that the band they were in together was called Susie & The Hula Hoops, but Shapiro has said she doesn’t remember the name. Shapiro was a local Jewish council estate girl destined for stardom in her early teens thanks to her precociously adult and beautifully mellow voice. She became the youngest-ever female chart-topper in the UK, her most celebrated No.1 being Walking Back To Happiness. When The Beatles first toured the UK in 1962-63, they were Helen’s support act.
2. Marc never had sex with another man
Addressing rumours that Bolan entertained a steady stream of both male and female friends, publicist Keith Altham comments: “If he did, then it would have been done in the spirit of the age… I don’t believe that he had any biologically gay tendencies, nor that he was ever into full-blown gay sex.” Family friend, promoter Eric Hall, is more forthright: “I’m sure Marc never had sex with another man. He had more girls than you can ever wish to meet. The men who’ve said they did it with him, that was wishful thinking.”