Celebrate Summer with T Rex

Celebrate Summer with Mark Bolan

It’s a funny coincidence that I was listening to the Trilobites I Can’t Wait For The Summer To End when I got the email tip about this song. “Summer’s not a bummer. It’s a stunner, and it’s now.” Sure, Marc Bolan was not known for the depth of his lyrics, but rather for being the the supreme effeminate glam rock guitarist and vocalist whose half shirts, onstage mincing, high heels and general rocking cool stage presence and persona were not even approached again until the likes of Prince.

Marc must have had a fascination with skateboarding too. This is Skateboard Music features a demo of his titled “Skateboard,” and this video clip performance of “Celebrate Summer” from his UK variety show simply titled “Marc” features skateboarders performing in front of a blue screen. Unfortunately, the song and performance are pretty flat. Not exactly a good introduction to T Rex for the uninitiated. Apparently, Marc was also an advocate for skateparks. You can watch the video and read an excerpt from an interview with Mr Bolan talking about the exciting new sport of skateboarding and what government officials should be doing to promote “skateboard tracks.” – Thanks to Eric Shea for the tip

Marc Bolan on Skateboarding

This is allegedly from Marc Bolan’s column in the August 6th, 1977 edition of the Record Mirror. I only say allegedly because the paper is defunct and I’ve only seen the interview in html on the web.

…It came about because Grenada’s big chief Johnny Hamp wanted someone to host a rock show which would bridge the gap between today and tomorrow and generate a genuine feeling for young people. Someone who would be accepted by the new wave, the old wave, super-novas, black holes in space and skateboarders (more about that little explosion later)…

…My new T. Rex single ‘Celebrate Summers has a very definite new wave feel about it. If anyone thinks it is deliberate they am quite right. I know a good thing when I hear it, and am young enough to enjoy adrenaline-rush rock.

On TV I intend to do it against the background of a genuine skateboard team called ‘The Benji Boarders’. I hope you’ll feel I’m moving with the times cos I gave up doing re-make of Sun record oldies with ‘I Love To Boogie’. If you like the one – wait till you hear the one I’ve got in mind for the TV theme tune.

Let’s rap a little about skateboarding which, not too many of our older administrators seem to have realised, is going to be the new recreation for the young. I doubt if one local council in 10 is thinking about tracks for skateboarders, even though you can hardly walk along the pavements for them.

Skateboarding is already a monster sport in America. Over here the only contribution I’ve heard of local officials making was to spread gravel over a park to stop kids doing it.

What we want are proper skating areas. All you need is a banked rink, you can rent the protective gear for this healthy sport that’ll keep you trim, outdoors or in. Given some rock and roll music to move to, you’ve got the best combination since surfing and the Beach Boys.

Some oldies were drumming up publicity to prevent the punk and ted war, which never existed until they publicised it. They’d have done better to donate funds to this new sport.

And… Marc Bolan on a skateboard

Marc Bolan on a skateboard

Celebrate Summer by Marc Bolan and T Rex The original video for this disappeared and I couldn’t find the right version on Youtube. There are three different montages for this song that were shot for the show! Here’s a crappy one from Daily Motion, if a better one becomes available, let us know.


Celebrate Summer 2 – Marc Bolan with T.Rex by newcanadian

Although his popularity was in in decline and he was seemingly out of touch with the new trends in music, Marc was a fan of punk rock and the associated sounds of the era. He featured the Jam and Generation X on his show and went on a tour with the Damned as the support act! Bolan died in a car crash in 1977. Here’s a good 1992 retrospective of Marc Bolan and T Rex from an unnamed UK TV show. It looks like it’s from a VHS dub, complete with warbling soundtrack. Perfect.

23 Comments

  1. sea cliff vert ramp on August 19, 2008 - Reply

    His wife, Gloria Jones, sang the original and supremely superior version of “Tainted Love”.

  2. I love TRex. “Spaceball Ricochet” has awesome lyrics by the way! Great timing, I was listening to Suzie Quatro when I saw this post…

  3. Seconding the Spaceball Ricochet, really nice, albeit quiet song.

    I love T Rex/Bolan, this is my avatar at another skate BBS:

    I’d read his views on skating before, but didn’t realize there was video of him performing with skaters onstage, thanks!

  4. oops, I did something wrong there…

  5. soreknee on August 19, 2008 - Reply

    Glam rock, Tainted Love.
    Well I guess someone’s got to say it.
    Gary Glitter was released for a Vietnamese Prison today.

  6. houseofneil on August 19, 2008 - Reply

    Marc Bolan was also one of the “old guard” who was unabashed in his support of punk rock and the new wave. Both The Jam and Generation X were featured live on his short-lived show. Excellent stuff.

  7. i love soft cell. sex dwarf, isn’t it nice…

  8. Caroll13 – Thanks for that link, I posted it inline. Where did you find that? Looks like he’s wearing the same shirt from the video.

  9. Someone posted it on a Glam Rock BBS, and I’d just recently started skating again(late March/early April), and got some “Glam Rock” looking *Vans… so I grabbed it.
    I don’t know where it comes from originally.

    *here’s the “Glam Rock” Vans, on a 1987 Gonz deck..
    ..really more “Ace Frehley” looking pattern than “Bolan”, but still…
    http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b392/carroll13b/IMAG0026b.jpg

  10. houseofneil on August 20, 2008 - Reply

    Brad–Suzie Quatro? You were raised in the wrong country. You’d have loved England in the 70s.

  11. isnt suzie quatro aka leather tuscadero?

  12. Speaking of Ace Frehley, has anyone seen the Sk8-Hi vans with his face painted on the side? WAY cooler than those Maiden Vans…I’m surprised most KISS fans still think he wrote this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scfB8Sm2Hog

  13. the circle jerks vans were the coolest.

  14. sea cliff vert ramp on August 20, 2008 - Reply

    Suzy Quatro= Leather Tuscadero. It’s true. She only had one hit in the US but several in the UK. She was in an awesome all-girl garage group in the 60’s called The Pleasure Seekers.

  15. houseofneil on August 20, 2008 - Reply

    all of the vans “band” shoes have been freaking terrible. They look they were designed by 10 year olds.

  16. i reiterate neil that the circle jerks vans are awesome. i guess its cuz i have a special place in my heart for group sex, the first “punk” album i ever had. the slayer vans are sick too. the rest i could do without.

  17. houseofneil on August 20, 2008 - Reply

    I particularly like this line:
    “Some oldies were drumming up publicity to prevent the punk and ted war, which never existed until they publicised it. They’d have done better to donate funds to this new sport.”

    Aah yes, punks vs teds. Running battles down the Kings Road. Up in Liverpool it was the sweats (heavy metal kids of which there were millions) vs the punks. Fun memories. Marc Bolan was a cool cat. My brother saw him live I guess.

  18. houseofneil on August 20, 2008 - Reply

    and Gloria Jones was driving the car when he died.

  19. PIGCITY on August 21, 2008 - Reply

    Yeah it was round the back of Putney somewhere where he crashed me and my mates drove past this tree and it had all these face of him hang ing from it, pretty freaky, almost made us spin out of control…

    PIGCITY

  20. sea cliff vert ramp on August 21, 2008 - Reply

    The ironic thing is that he always feared dying in a car crash, that’s why he never learned to drive. Also, not wearing a seatbelt in a Mini is not too smart either.

    Nobody ever talks about his pre-fame stint in John’s Children. “Desdemona” was great.

  21. Fucking LOVE John’s Children, though he didn’t last too long in that one. But mining that got me into mid ’60s mod freakbeat like Birds Birds, Creation and Wimple Winch

  22. sea cliff vert ramp on August 21, 2008 - Reply

    pacific hessian knows his music! best stuff ever!

  23. houseofneil on February 10, 2015 - Reply

    All of the Marc shows are available on youtube if you are interested. Well all but episode 2 which is the one with the skateboarders on it. Something to do with the bay city rollers and royalties or something. Anyway, it’s a real interesting snippet of time. Some amazing new wave/punk bands along with some complete dinosaurs and some disco too.

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