Born Mark Feld in 1949
in Hackey, London, England, the boy who would become a glam rock
star always wanted to be famous. He grew up as an image-consious music
fan for whom it was just as important to look good as to sound good. His brother said Marc couldn't pass a mirror
without stopping to make sure he looked perfect. A "Mod
" in his young teens, by 1965
he had adopted a look based on Romantic poets, particularly Arthur Rimbaud
. A brief stint in modeling earned him money for a guitar
, and in 1965
he recorded some demos under the name "Toby Tyler." Later that year he did two singles for Decca Records
, but was dropped after their failure. However, his songs were enough to attract the attention of Yardbirds
manager Simon Napier-Bell
, who got Parlophone Records
to release an album for him. However, by June 1967 Marc was labelless again.
An ad in Melody Maker magazine connected him with Steve "Peregrine" Took and the two formed a group which they named Tyrannosaurus Rex to take the edge off their hippie folkiness. This group were played by DJ John Peel and became well-known enough to do the album My People Were Fair and Had Sky In Their Hair But Now They're Content To Wear Stars on Their Brows and two more albums. At first the band did well, but by the third album were not doing as well. Took had become only Marc's sideman and left the group in 1969, after which Marc went back to the 1950s records he had grown up on.
Marc's new ideas included changing the band's name to T. Rex and doing poppy, commercial music which made it necessary to add a bass player to the group. They became a huge British success, and Marc's appearance with the group on the TV show Top of the Pops with glitter on his face gave the movement a name: "glitter rock." T. Rex were the first of the movement that would include Slade, Gary Glitter, and David Bowie.
In the early 1970s, T. Rex were huge with songs like "Get It On (Bang A Gong)" but by 1974 their American label dropped them and even in England their sales went down. In 1975, Marc took a job on a teen-oriented TV show, Supersonic and also interviewed musicians for Today. In 1977, he also started writing a monthly column for magazine Record Mirror. It wasn't rock-star adulation, but it kept him in the public eye a little.
On 16 September 1977, Marc has been at dinner with girlfriend Gloria Jones and both had drunk a lot. Gloria started to drive the two home about 4 a.m., but their car crashed into a tree. Marc was thrown from the passenger seat into the back seat and died, although Gloria survived. The tree they hit has become sort of a fan memorial, covered with ribbons and flowers.
Source: Pamela Des Barres' Rock Bottom