Last night I watched part of the T Rex "Born to Boogie" dvd my mom picked me up for Christmas. The concerts in London were filmed a short while before the band played Dope City when I was still 13 and too young to be exposed to a smoking rock show. Some of the kids in my junior high were already using heroin and rocking like the Stooges but my parents were from the "if they jumped off a bridge, would you?" generation. I remember reading about the show, which did not quite sell out, at the hockey rink in the newspaper. The picture of Marc Bolan above the story allowed for no doubts about the long haired young metal god's wastedness.
He looks a lot healthier playing the show back home. And his playing is something. T Rex records are all a reigned in version of the much more spontaneous performance captured here. My respect for Bolan's guitar playing shot up after watching just the first song. And the addition of bongos to the percussion gives this hard rock band a unique look and sound.
What is even better than T Rex's performance is the performance of the crowd. They are nearly all standing, dancing, waving Bolan and T Rex scarves, screaming, ooooing, singing along. What a joy to watch they are, looking more like a crowd at a football match from the same era - if only football terraces were predominantly teenage girls. I bet that London hall smelled real pretty with all those teenage girls swooning at every prompt. I guess a lot of the boys were swooning too. But this is no N Sync or Bay City Rollers show. There is an evilness in the songs and the performance that would leave no one who would one day become a Motorhead fan or Hells Angel embarrassed about their youthful enthusiasm.
I do hope the young rockers out there today drive more carefully than Marc Bolan's wife did once they have some money in their jeans. Go looking for danger some place else besides the unforgiving forces of a speeding automobile.