Speed read: 10 juiciest bits from Lesley-Ann Jones’ biography of Marc Bolan
9. Marc played the guitar solo on Ike & Tina Turner’s Nutbush City Limits
While living on the US West Coast with his squeeze, soul singer Gloria Jones, Marc got to know a couple of Gloria’s friends: Ike and Tina Turner. Jones recalls: “They booked me for a session. Marc came with me. Imagine him getting out of the limo with his little Orange amplifier – he took his Les Paul and his amp everywhere.” In the studio, Bolan and Ike immediately hit it off: “Ike plays Marc the riff he has come up with. Marc goes: ‘All right, Ike, I’m ready.’ He pops his knuckles, stretches his fingers and starts playing.”
10. Marc’s blood-stained clothes were (almost) put up for auction to help raise funds for Bournemouth hospital
Following Bolan’s death in a car crash in September 1977 (this year being the 35th anniversary of his passing), the undertaker who directed his funeral – one Larry Mitchell – inexplicably retained the star’s blood-stained clothes. A couple of months later, Mitchell offered them as items to auction, to raise money for a Bournemouth hospital appeal. A newspaper report said: ‘Retired undertaker Mr Larry Mitchell hopes the ghoulish gear will attract national interest and net thousands of pounds.’ Bolan’s brother, Harry Feld, managed to wrest the clothes from Mitchell’s possession and had them burned.
* Ride A White Swan: The Lives And Death Of Marc Bolan is published by Hodder. Available in hardback a eBook, it’s priced at £19.99