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1977: 'May the silliness live forever'

Marc Bolan: the architect of glam rock, godfather of punk and author of possibly the longest album title in music history.

As frontman of Tyrannosaurus-Rex - later T-Rex - his distinctive voice and eccentric lyrics took him from the late sixties underground scene to rock superstardom in the early seventies.

His first album, My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair But Now They're Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows, may not have been the band's biggest selling LP, but it established the singer as a unique and quirky talent.

The 29-year-old's career was cut tragically short on 16 September 1977 when he was killed in a car crash in south-west London.

Your memories of Marc Bolan:

I had been a Bolan fan since 1973 and had just finished delivering the morning papers in 1977 - unaware of the front cover story, typical of a 15 year old I guess.

On my return home my mother was there almost scared to give me the news which she had heard earlier on the morning news.

I was devastated but most surprised to find the number of "closet" Bolan fans that came out when I arrived at school later that day.

Metal Guru was the most exciting song I had ever heard on its release and I still feel the same at 43 whenever I hear it played.
Neil Linden-Smith, England

I was a big fan in 1977. I was 16 and at school. I woke that morning to the news - and remember being totally horrified when I heard it on Radio One before I left for school.

The following week I found out that the funeral was at Golders Green and bunked off school sports so that I could attend.

All the stars were there - Rod Stewart, Bowie etc. but I have vivid memories of the blonde singer with Brotherhood of Man (Sandra) being so upset in the service that she had to leave the chapel.

I used to visit Golders Green every year on the 16th September - but unfortunately will not be there this year.

Hundreds of fans still gather there on this day - to remember Marc.
Dave Kemp, UK

I guess I remember this as vividly as those older than me remember the assassination of President Kennedy. A big Bolan fan, my mum awake me with the news that "Marc Bolan has been killed - what do you want for breakfast?"

I was stunned - couldn't move. Just thinking about it now brings a tear to my eye.

I went to work, but it was all a haze, and it took me years to come to terms with it. Sounds rather stupid, doesn't it - but it isn't. If you are a middle-aged Bolan fan, you'll know exactly what I mean.

There are a lot of us out there, to whom Marc was more than a musician; he was an idol, part of our lives, our childhood and our dreams. RIP Marc Bolan.
Kev Cooper, UK

T Rex were the first band I got really excited about - I'll never forget seeing Hot Love performed on TOTP back in 1971.

I bought every single before I'd even heard it until Truck On Tyke which I thought was awful!

But, I still have all those singles and often play them along with all their albums - Electric Warrior is a total classic.

Marc was a real, quirky, individual musician with such a distinctive voice and it's very rare to find such a performer appearing these days. Bless you Marc.
Stephen Watson, UK

I was only 5 or 6 at the time but I liked him and remember being v shocked.

Subsequently, over the years, I have learned to really love his music and performance. It was a tragic end to a rock legend, but probably better than a sad decent into drugs - like Mickey Finn. Marc is still missed. God bless.
Carole Young, Scotland

My son was born two days before Marc died, so there was no question what he would be called. I had to settle for Mark with a "K" - my wife did'nt care for the spelling.

My seven-year-old grandson will find out soon why he is called "MARC".

Once a fan always a fan.
Tom, UK

The first single I ever bought was Ride a White Swan with a ten-shilling note given to me for Christmas 1970. The first album I ever bought was Electric Warrior post decimilisation in 1971 for 2.15. That says it all - Rock on Marc forever!
Richard Hearn, England

Marc was the greatest ever British pop star. He re-affirmed that pop music was about fun. His music still sounds fresh and exciting and his influence was huge.

I'll be playing his underrated masterpiece Unicorn (1969) and Electric Warrior in his memory.
Mike Clarke, England

Quite simply one of the most important and influential rock stars this country has produced. Thank God, at last this seems to be recognised. Forget the Glam Rock King label, he was much more than that.
Stephen Frier, Edinburgh, Scotland

I remember that day with regret. I was at work and my father telephoned me saying that Marc Bolan had been killed in a car crash and had I heard? I hadn't, I was numb and couldn't believe it. Keep a little Marc in your heart.
Philip Lynes, England

I would've been about six when he died. I got into Marc Bolan as a teenager and am still fascinated by him today. He was a true icon and such a star. I hope everyone keeps a little Marc in their heart!
Lesley, UK

No one influenced my music more than Marc, and he will always look down and praise us listening to his music. Peace Out Marc Bolan!
Oliver Mawson, England

I used to live in Tooting and regularly cycled past the spot where he crashed. Even this year there are still many marks of respect placed by fans. I was quite touched. That said I can see why that spot is so dangerous. A sad loss.
Sean Hogan, UK

Marc Bolan's death had a deep impact on me, as I was a great fan and a teenager at the time. I remember the day well, as we were like zombies at school, unable to come to terms with such a loss.

Even today (in my 40s) when I hear his songs, I remember him with fondness but a great sense of loss.
MR, UK

I was two months and two days old when Marc Bolan died! I have always listened to and enjoyed his music. It really makes you want to sing at the top of you voice and dance about. I think T-Rex will always be as popular (if not more) as it was when Marc was alive.

He will always be alive and kicking to me, as long as the music still gets played.
Linzi, UK

Marc was an inspiration. There are only a few that can have the kind of influence that Marc had, particularly in such a short time.
Craig, UK

Even today, when I want a kick of wacky, Tolkienesque post-modern paganism, there's only one place to turn: T-Rex's album Unicorn. May the silliness live forever.
Barry King, Canada

Bang A Gong: I played this one with the garage band this weekend. It's one of our favourites.
Jerry Hicks, United States

I grew up loving both him and his music - I cried for days when he died.
Sandy, England

I still listen to Electric Warrior and it still sounds fresh and wonderful.
Ronnie May, UK

Great star, I could not take it in when he was killed. I played Ride A White Swan that day - I love that song. It should be played on BBC Radio 2 on 16 September.
Andy Morris, UK

Like most here, I remember waking up to hear this on the news.

Like most here, a little bit of me died that day.

I've gone on to have a lengthy career in the music business, and I probably owe this to Marc - he was the beginning of it all!
Geoff Gillespie, Tokyo, Japan

Marc Bolan was a phenomenon, his music was unique and he was a very special person.

I was too young when he was around. I was 11 when he died but got into his music about 10 years ago.

I love his music and his charasmatic personality. His death was THE most tragic loss in the british music buiness. Ride on Marc. Janet McEwan, Scotland

Having been only seven at the time of the crash, I obviously don't have any memories of the actual event.

But my parents live close by to where the crash occurred on the little hump bridge in Barnes and I drive through there quite regularly when in the UK.

To this day, there are always flowers and handwritten notes of tribute to Marc Bolan at the exact spot where he died. Quite amazing if you think that this happened 28 years ago. "Get it on!"
Ruth, Israel

I was only 17 in my first job when I heard the news. I felt so stunned. To lose such young talent. Even now it sounds so trivial to crash into a tree and be gone.

Now older I apppreciate how sad it was and how lucky we were to have him for such a short time. The main thing is to appreciate him and to remember.
J Sviland, Norway

Marc was a brilliant pop genius and poet, and his live performances were literally electric.

I was stunned when I heard of his death and cried for days.

Once I was lucky enough to reach out and touch his leg while he was on stage and he looked down and smiled. He had a gorgeous smile.

I've been past the tree many times and it always saddens me. However, his spirit lives on. Bless you, Bolan. Boogie on, everybody.
Jill, Dorset

Im still in shock and can't accept Marc's death.

I loved him from 13 when I heard Hot Love on TOTP. I play his music every day on the way to and from work never a day missed. I'm 47 now and am sitting with my Electric Worrie black t-shirt on in memory of Marc. I'll visit the tree tonight on the way home. I meet Marc once in a resturant what a bit of luck for me, I will never forget it. To all Boley fans lotts of love, rock on.
Clive, London

I was a 21-year-old art student when he died, and the whole department was in shock.

I saw him on stage in the Cardiff Capitol in 1972, and he had all the boys grooving, all the girls crying.

What people forget now is how big a star he was: he was the only act to do two performances the same night in the old, now long demolished capitol.

I saw the first show, and when we came out the queue for the second house went right around the building and the police were there to keep them all in line.

On the bus stop a pair of girls were so hysterical from having seen him that an ambulance had to be called. Silly thing - I idolized him because he was the only pop star who had my tastes in books and music, plus he had hair like mine. No more hot tongs and straighteners for this curly lad after Marc came on the scene!

I've still got the programme from that night, and I am looking at it now while playing Electric Warrior. Truck on Marc, you are sorely missed.
John Sinclair, Wales

I was really into T-Rex my last two years of high school and played parties in a rock band. I'd learn all the songs off the records and play along with them.

My friends were not into Bolan like I was. People appreciate him more now than ever. Nobody was like him.

I remember seeing the small article in the paper. It was only a couple of lines. I was so upset. I play bass now and he still inspires this California boy.
Eddie, USA

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Marc Bolan
Marc Bolan was the biggest selling musician in the UK since the Beatles


T-Rex
T-Rex created one of the most distinctive sounds of the 1970s
Even today, when I want a kick of wacky, Tolkienesque post-modern paganism, there's only one place to turn: T-Rex's album Unicorn
Barry King, Canada

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