Telegram Sam

Album: The Slider (1972)
Charted: 1 67

Songfacts®:

  • T-Rex leader Marc Bolan wrote this as an ode to his manager, Tony Secunda. "Telegram Sam" was Bolan's affectionate nickname for his Secunda. Other people who show up in the song: "Jungle-face Jake" was Sid Walker, Secunda's black assistant, and "Bobby" is Bob Dylan.
  • When Bolan referred to Secunda as his "Main Man," it brought the phrase into popular culture.
  • This was the first single released on Marc Bolan's own T Rex Wax Co label.
  • The goth-rock group Bauhaus covered this song In 1980. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Edna - Madrid, Spain, for all above
  • In 1977, on the "Dandy in the Underworld" tour, Marc Bolan sang "Third vision and the David Bowie blues" instead of "3D vision and the California blues" - hinting at David Bowie's depressive tendencies. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    David - Bath, United Kingdom

Comments: 6

  • Pedro from PortugalJust for the record, when Bauhaus appeared they were "Independent", meaning music that was not "commercial' and without traces to major record companies (and their rules)
    This is important to understand the Musicians and the music
    (and Bauhaus only began to have some fame, with the 3th record)
    Years later, the label "Gothic" appeared related to groups that imitate Bauhaus and try to make "a scene"
    They were british, remember, and appeared in the post-punk. These guys knowed the pistols, etc
  • Jaspah from Glasgow, United KingdomAs far as I'm aware The Slider album actually reached number 17 in the U.S. Billboard chart and not 67 as it says here.
  • Paul from Rothesay, Nb, CanadaJim...it's actually "Purple Pie Pete".
  • Jim from Johnsonburg, NyRumor has it that Bolan's publicist B. P. Fallon (Beep) and creator of the term "Trextasy," is the "Purple Browed Beep" mentioned in the song.
  • Paul from Rothesay, Nb, CanadaBolan name-dropped both "Telegram Sam" and "Metal Guru" on a 1974 track titled "Sound Pit" from the album "Zinc Alloy & the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow/A Creamed Cage in August"
  • Tim from Wakefield, --I heard an interview where Bolan said Jungle Face Jake was a boxer dog in a record he used to visit.
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