Posted: Jul 16, 2007 5:43 am
n the early Seventies, Marc Bolan and his band T Rex became the biggest pop phenomena in Britain since the Beatles. They sold millions of records, notching 10 top five UK singles, including Hot Love, Get It On and Telegram Sam, all of which made number one.
But by the end of 1977, Bolan's success had ended in tragedy. On the morning of 16th September, just two weeks short of his 30th birthday, Bolan's purple Mini crashed into a tree on Putney Common, South London, killing him and badly injuring his partner, Gloria Jones, who had been driving.
Within hours of Bolan's death, his flat had been broken into and his papers, letters and receipts stolen. Rumours abounded of lost wills and missing fortunes but Bolan's two year old son, Rolan, and Gloria Jones saw nothing of Bolan's supposed riches. Despite T Rex having sold 39 million records, Bolan's estate was worth just £10,000.
Two of the original T. Rex line-up are alive, impoverished and wondering who's getting the money from record sales. Drummer Bill Legend, now 53, unemployed and living in Essex, southeast England, says: "Money would be a great help to me. It's unfair. I'd love to do something for my kids. The T.Rex phenomenon has expanded. It's a megabucks industry now. Marc's made more money since his death than when alive."
Percussionist Mickey Finn, 50, was left pounds $16,300 in the will, but the money took years to come through. A chronic asthmatic and, like Legend, unemployed, Finn says: "I never got any performing royalties. It's a mystery. A bloody mystery."
8 part documentary