From Waz From Oz Master Cassette
1973 Australian Tour
Sydney, New South Wales
3rd November 1973
02. 20th Century Boy
03. Chariot Choogle
04. Telegram Sam
05. Buick McKane > Bill Legend Drum Solo >
06. Jeepster >
07. Get It On
08. Marc Bolan Interview with Robbo
2SM Radio Sydney - Late October 1973
Marc Bolan – Vocals, Lead guitar & Tambourine
Mickey Finn – Percussion, Backing Vocals & Whistle
Steve Currie - Bass Guitar
Bill Legend - Drums
Jack Green – Guitar
Australian 1973 Tour Dates
Sydney, NSW – Hordern Pavilion 3rd November - Taped
Sydney, NSW – Hordern Pavilion 4th November
Adelaide, SA – Apollo Stadium 5th November - Taped
Melbourne, VIC – Festival Hall 7th November
Brisbane, QLD – Festival Hall 10th November – Taped
I first heard a T. Rex song in late 1970 when my older cousin in London (who I’ve mentioned before) sent me a single by a group called T Rex, it was called 'Ride A White Swan'.
Accompanied by a note saying that this band could be England’s next big thing.
And it was, this song was the first top 10 single hit of many for T Rex in England.
Before this I wasn’t aware of Marc Bolan nor his previous group Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Playing RAW Swan, I became hooked on his voice, the beat & the weird but appealing lyrics.
Hard to believe but this song started what became T.Rextasy the 1970’s equivalent of Beatlemania.
People outside of the UK have no idea just how popular Marc Bolan/ T. Rex were in that period.
Between 1970 – 1974 they had 4 No 1’s, 4 No 2’s (you can smirk if you want!) a 3 & 4.
whereas Bowie who was taking over Marc’s crown only had the lone No 1 hit in the UK in the 1970’s & that was a re- release of Space Oddity in 1975.
IMHO T.Rex in the early 70’s had one of the most consistent run of excellent singles.
They might not have been huge sellers here in Australia but between May 1971 – December 1973 they achieved 3 Top 10 hits & 4 Top 20 hits.
By the time they toured here in November 1973 Marc’s crown was beginning to slip.
They has toured the US / Canada from July to September 1973 adding to the four-man original line up with guitarist Jack Greene plus Gloria Jones (his then girlfriend) & Sister Pat Hall on back up vocals.
For the following Japanese/Australian tours Jack Greene remained but not the back-up vocalists.
By the time of the T. Rex tour Ruby & myself had met up with fellow groovy rock fans they same age as us, they being Doris Death, Recy & Roger at earlier 1973 Sydney concerts.
Doris Death was also an occasional taper, he was plain Peter at this stage, for the life of me I can’t remember when or why this 6ft 2in heterosexual lad became known as Doris Death.
But he was known by Doris by the time of the Lou Reed August 1974 shows.
On the Friday night before the show I stayed at Doris at his parent’s place at Cronulla, a popular surfing beach in Sydney’s south.
I can still recall my outfit for this show, light blue velvet flared jeans topped with an ice blue t-shirt with Marc Bolan’s face on it, topped off with cherry red platform shoes.
Doris' ensemble was something similar but in green. His older sister a professional hairdresser said she knew just what we needed to top off our outfits.
After much badgering on her part, she put ice blue streaks from hair spray in a can for me & a greenish ones for her brother, telling us it would wash out easy peasy.
Oh, the dead set lies older sisters tell, more on the sprayed hair later.
His parents drove us to the Hordern, before the show we caught up with the other three, Roger being lucky as he had scored the bands autographs.
Recy missed out on getting the autographs, however she got luckier with Marc after the show, I mean that in the cleanest way possible as she was only 13 years at the time. More about that later as well.
All of us were in the front sections, Roger & Recy near the front of the stage, later they were right against the lip of it.
Ruby, Doris & myself in Section C, 14 rows back, Section C was the 3rd section in front of the stage but to the right side.
The place was jam packed. T. Rex’s self-designed backdrop was already hanging up before the show started.
To be honest it was nothing startling, it had countless stars, some things that looked like planets accompanied by long coloured wavy lines, all festooned with glitter.
To me it looked like the seamstress who’d designed it was dead set tripping at the time……………….man!
A small part of this backdrop can be seen in the attached photo, a shame that this was the only one that Recy took that turned out half-way decent.
2SM DJ Robbo (he’s also the interviewer for the 2SM Marc Bolan Interview) introduces the band & away we go.
My Nana in London would send me the current UK music magazines, so I was somewhat up to date with the fact articles in them were becoming more anti-Marc describing him as a pompous arrogant, self-centred little c!
He proved this by the first words he said to us when he came out on stage which were “Thank you for coming, and you’re gonna believe me man!”
This was followed up by him playing some rock star riffs along with rock star posing before the first song.
The moment he strutted onstage the audience rushed forward & stayed put, all of us behind them had to stand on our seats for the remainder of the show.
Shouts / chants for the ones in front of the stage and those standing on their chairs in front of us to sit down plus calls for asking Marc to tell them to sit down (ignored of course) can be heard throughout the show.
We were all squashed tightly together, constantly being buffered by those around us in the same boat, it’s a wonder the recording turned out as good as it did.
He looked somewhat different now to the photos / videos we’d seen, his once long corkscrew hair was now cut short, he’d put on a bit of beef plus his once campy stage outfits were toned down.
The sheilas were definitely upset his long hair had been shorn.
I was struck by how small in actual life he was.
The first song of the show was my fav T.Rex single 20th Century Boy, which went longer than the single did with an extended jam.
Little did we know that this was to be the shortest song of the night!
Each successive song became a stretched-out epic, with Marc playing endless solos while acting out every rock star pose known to man.
We’d already seen Gary Glitter earlier in the year, he didn’t really have to encourage the audience to sing or clap along, the beat made us want to do that & join in, he definitely was the better showman of the two.
Marc's performance of elongated songs (& solos) lost us somewhat, it was as if we were subdued into submission, it came across as if he was doing it for him-self & not for the audience.
We just bopped standing on our chairs, after a while we stopped doing that.
I also thought that there’d be lots of females screaming but not really.
There was more reaction from audience members with blocked views of the stage to the audience members doing so, than interaction with the band on stage.
There was one moment when the audience & the band did come together, before Telegram Sam the audience whose view was obstructed start another sit down chant to which Marc & Micky Finn accompany on tambourine & on bongos.
During Telegram Sam which starts while the sit down thing is continuing Doris can be heard yelling in a hoarse voice “Sit down you stupid idiots”, he was 6ft 2 plus standing on his chair.
If his view was compromised then you can imagine what it was like for others (like me) who were short.
Telegram Sam was thankfully the only song that wasn’t endlessly dragged out.
Also during the song Marc changed the line “Me, Me I funk but I don't care, I ain't no square with my corkscrew hair” to “Me, I fuck but I don't care, I ain't no square because I’ve cut my hair”.
What a dead set legend ha ha ha. During the drum solo in Buick McKane Marc made his way off stage, handed his guitar to a roadie, while backstage he changed out of his pink satin trousers into jeans.
On his way back the roadie gave him another guitar, a much cheaper one & we’ll find out why later.
The final song was a just over 14 minute version of Get It On that was accompanied with dry ice and flash pods during which Marc repeatedly abused his guitar by playing / banging his tambourine against it.
He then smashed it on the stage a-la Pete Townsend, flinging it about here & there, whipping it, then finally placing it against the amps to feed back.
After being on stage for just under an hour to our surprise he & the band departed.
By this time being packed like veritable sardines throughout the show we were wet with sweat, in fact at 15.14 in Get It On I can be heard moaning that I’m sweating.
All were surprised at the short show but still the audience chanted “We want more”.
To no avail but 2SM DJ Robbo came back on stage to tell us that the band was stuffed (worn out) but that there would be a second concert the very next day with tickets being available at the Hordern box office.
His comment received many boos.
A 2nd concert the very next day was a rarity usually a 2nd concert would be for later in the week and being a Sunday the Hordern box office would be the only place to get tickets so that was a hassle for ticket buyers.
My long-term memory is rather good but my memories regarding the 2nd concert are somewhat limited.
I do remember that it was a mad rush to go in to buy tickets.
Ruby, Recy & myself went this time we were up in the stands.
I also recall that the 2nd show was more of the same, one difference being Hot Love was between Jeepster & Get It On.
Can’t remember why we didn’t tape it.
Years later I met a feller who did tape the 2nd show, he’d lent it to a friend but told me it wasn’t a boomerang, this is Australian slang meaning it didn’t return.
Anyway, back to the first show.
After the show Recy went around to the back of the Hordern to wait for Marc to depart the building.
When he did he must have remembered her from his airport arrival (she is to the right of him in the photo in the inside front cover CD artwork) because he started talking to her from the sun roof in his limo.
He & Micky Finn signed Marc’s tambourine that she had caught during the show when Marc threw it her way.
He asked her how old she was, on hearing she was 13 he was concerned for her welfare & arranged for her to be driven home.
Seems Marc was the opposite when it came to young female fans than his fellow glam artist Mr Glitter.
Many a time when I was over at her place I’ve bang out a tuneless racket on Marc’s tambourine.
Sadly, she passed away aged 59 in January of this year.
After the show Peter & myself had to hoof it to Sydney’s Central station to catch a train back to Cronulla.
As I mentioned earlier Cronulla is one of Sydney’s major beaches with a healthy surfing community, a good many of these gentlemen were on our train heading home to Cronulla after their Saturday night out boozing.
So a good many were drunk. Our blue & green hairdos got their attention pretty much from the start of the nearly ¾ of an hour train journey.
At Cronulla the major hair colour was sun bleached blonde so we must have stuck out like veritable sore thumbs.
We were subjected to numerous smartarse taunts throughout the journey but thankfully nothing physical, we’d laugh with them which sort took the edge off of things.
Two taunts I remember distinctly were “Who’s a pretty boy then?”
You know the line that one says to budgies, parrots etc, etc.
The other was “Can I touch it?” to which I replied “ I hope you’re referring to my hair” which received much laughter from all.
We had purposely sat in the carriage that on arrival at Cronulla station we’d line up at the station entry / exit.
In case trouble might have arisen from these pissed surfies once the train arrived we bolted from the carriage & ran so fast our heels were kicking our arses.
Peter's family lived in the street that led to or away from the station, so we didn’t have far to run.
Our biggest problem was getting the spray-on colour out of our hair, so much for it washing out easily as his sister told us, it took ages for it to wash out & fade.
I had to front up at work on the following Monday with it still noticeably blue & which brought me more ridicule from my workmates.
I was surprised that the Sydney set list consisted of 4 hit singles plus 2 album tracks from The Slider his 1972 July album, nothing from the Tanx LP that was released earlier in March 1973.
Not even a sneak peek of a song from his next LP Zinc Alloy to be released in just over two month’s time.
I guess after hearing the finely crafted T. Rex singles on our radios & stereos we expected more or less live renditions of them.
With only 4 members in the band they couldn’t possibly reproduce those, so we got like glam rock versions of Status Quo like boogies ha ha ha.
He should have brought the two backup singers from the US tour to flesh it out.
Track 8 is a radio interview just before the tour with Marc on Sydney Radio station 2SM conducted by 2SM DJ Robbo.
He’s the guy who can be heard introducing T. Rex plus at the end telling us about a concert being held the next day.
It's rather revealing as Robbo is under the impression that Marc can drive until Marc informs he can’t drive but is the owner of 5 cars, he reels off names of flash cars.
Marc is also asked where he’ll be in 10 years, he replies hopefully alive.
Sadly, he had just under four years to live at the time of this interview.
He was killed on the 16th September 1977 in a car crash being driven by his girlfriend.
There was talk that if he had been in one of his flashier, sturdier built upmarket cars & not in a Mini he might have survived the car crash.
At this time of writing only one member of the original line up is still with us, the drummer Bill Legend.
Attached is a Sydney newspaper review of the 1st T. Rex Sydney show which IMHO is somewhat over the top, especially saying it was one of Sydney’s best concerts of 1973, it wasn’t.
In another attachment is an article from the Australian music paper Go Set dated 24th November 1973, the front cover of which states T.Rex is a hoax.
Inside was a long-winded article by well-known Australian rock writer Ian “Molly” Meldrum In which he savages the T. Rex Melbourne 7th November performance.
He also compares this show against better shows by local artists he’d seen in the same time period.
Once again IMHO his review is more truthful of the T. Rex November Australian shows than Ross Jenkins' Sydney review.
I was 17 when I attended this gig, now I’m 64 nor can I believe that in just under a month this recoding will be 47 years old.
I wish I could go back to those simpler times, when my only problems were trying to get to my first job on time each day & finding new excuses to tell my parents to explain why I didn’t come home the night before!
One last thing for precious sensitive souls please be aware before downloading that audience interaction can be heard on this recording.
As always thanks to audiowhore.
Sydney Sun Herald
28th October 1973
Glitter SCENE with Grant Thompson
BOLAN, T. REX SPECTACULAR
Marc Bolan and T. Rex – with fog machines, way-out lighting, and even oxygen welders for their Australian tour – could be the most exciting act to hit these shores since Yes.
“They have requested things like 500 lb of dry ice for each performance” said EMI tour organizer Kevin Ritchie.
“They’re bringing out their own special curtain backdrop, and of course a lot of Marc Bolan’s act will be his angle don his spectacular wardrobe.” With all that who needs music?
But as an additional bonus, Bolan and T.Rex will slam their latest and greatest hits through the PA, when they appear at the Hordern Pavilion next Saturday night.
Melbourne’s Lobby Lloyd and his Coloured Balls will also do an early bracket. Marc and Rex are currently finishing up a tour of Japan. They are due to arrive on Friday.
Saturday 3rd November
SCREAMING FANS MOB ENGLISH POP STAR
English pop star Marc Bolan and his group, T. Rex, were greeted by screaming fans when they arrived at Sydney Airport yesterday.
The colourfully dressed group also were greeted by Customs men, who spent more than 90 minutes searching through their 40 pieces of luggage.
Bolan, wearing high – heeled boots, pants displaying the colours of the American flag, triangular sunglasses and a beetle shaped watch, said the customs officials also searched his clothing.
“They’re were really concerned about the clothes I brought with me,” he said.
He denied the officials were looking for drugs.
T.Rex described by promoters as “The silver-studded sabre tooth dream machine” were surrounded by fans when they arrived.
But the fans were brushed aside by Bolan and his group, who hurried to waiting limousines.
Most of the fans said they had to wag school to see T.Rex.
The group is in Australia for a series of concerts starting at the Hordern Pavilion.
Images for all shows as well as full size images for this show.
Images for this show: