T. Rex singer/guitarist Marc Bolan (born Mark Feld) was a model before finding rock n' roll stardom. After he dropped out of school at age 14 to pursue acting, his striking looks and style sense earned him an appearance in a 1962 photo story for Town magazine covering the new Mod scene.
On quite a few of T. Rex's classic recordings ("Hot Love," "Metal Guru," "Main Man," etc.), back-up vocals are provided by Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, who are best known as "Flo & Eddie," and were members of both the Turtles and the Mothers of Invention.
Along with the likes of Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, and Rod Stewart, Marc Bolan fled his homeland of England for a spell during the early 1970s, to avoid being hit hard with taxes. Bolan resided in Monaco during this time.
Ringo Starr is credited as the photographer for the front and back cover of T. Rex's Slider album. Starr also directed the T. Rex documentary film, Born to Boogie.
During the early '70s, T. Rex was so popular back home in England that Marc Bolan was awarded his own record label, T. Rex Wax Co., of which the first release was the hit single, "Telegram Sam," on January 21, 1972.
Marc Bolan and David Bowie were longtime pals, and in 1974, the T. Rex leader disclosed in an interview with Melody Maker that he was planning to make a film with the Thin White Duke - with Bolan directing and Bowie writing the script. This project (which was to be science fiction-based) never came to fruition.
The only surviving member of what is T. Rex's best-known line-up (from 1971-1974) is drummer Bill Legend. Marc Bolan died on September 16, 1977 in an auto accident, bassist Steve Currie also died in an auto accident on April 28, 1981, and percussionist Mickey Finn died from liver and kidney problems on January 11, 2003. Additionally, early percussionist Steve Peregrin Took died due to asphyxiation on October 27, 1980.
Marc Bolan died when a purple Mini driven by his girlfriend Gloria Jones crashed at Queens Ride, southwest London, less than a mile from his home.
Jones, who was badly injured in the crash, had joined T-Rex as a backup singer and keyboard player in 1974. She is best known for recording the original version of Soft Cell's "Tainted Love