If David Bowie was the biggest and brightest ‘glam rock’ star of the early 1970s, Marc Bolan wasn’t far behind.
And 45 years ago, hundreds of teenage fans descended on Newcastle City Hall to queue for tickets to see his band T Rex in concert a month later.
Kicking off in the late 1960s as the folky, acoustic Tyrannosaurus Rex, the group had turned electric and shortened their name to gain huge success.
The early 1970s had seen 24-year-old Bolan – real name Mark Feld – enjoy a run of landmark number one hit singles such as Hot Love, Get It On and Telegram Sam.
And it was a golden era for pop and rock music with the likes of Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, The Who, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Elton John and other stellar names all performing in our region.
The hundreds of fans queuing here on May 20, 1972, were desperate to get their hands on tickets for T Rex’s upcoming City Hall gig on the Electric Warrior tour.
These great images show teenage pop fans dressed in the groovy fashions of the era.
Duffle coats, velvet jackets, platform boots, cheesecloth shirts, and velvet loons were the must-wear items for the youth of the day. And everybody had long hair – men and women.
Bolan and T Rex would roll into Toon a month later on Saturday June 24, during a nationwide jaunt that would also take in Manchester Belle Vue ballroom and Birmingham Odeon as well as the cavernous Wembley Empire Pool (later Wembley Arena) which had just started hosting giant rock shows.
T Rex would play two short performances at the City Hall – one at 6pm, the other at 8.30pm
Tickets were 75p – just £9.75 in today’s money.
At both shows, pandemonium reportedly ensued as the scarf-waving, mainly female audiences screamed throughout, while at the later show, there were repeated attempts by fans to storm the stage and get closer to their idol.
Bolan and the band blasted out their hits, finishing with a rollicking cover version of Eddie Cochran’s Summertime Blues.
In 1972, T Rex were at the peak of their powers.
They enjoyed their final number one, Metal Guru, in May and their last top ten hit, The Groover, came in June of the following year.
In September 1977, Bolan was a passenger in a Mini being driven by his girlfriend, Gloria Jones, after a night out at a London restaurant when their car crashed and the star was killed instantly. The accident came two weeks before his 30th birthday.
As for that 1972 Newcastle City Hall show – to think these one-time pop fans will all be in their early 60s now!
Source : Chroniclelive