The Austin Chronicle

Phases & Stages


Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, June 10, 2005, Music

Marc Bolan & T. Rex

Born to Boogie (Sanctuary)

With even Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr declaring him bigger than the Beatles, it's little wonder Marc Bolan plays Born to Boogie's central concert in a T-shirt bearing his image while dwarfed by an enormous stage-prop of himself. 1972 needed all the glamour it could muster. Decades date Bolan's stargazing superfolk, yet they haven't diminished the glare off his hubcap diamond-star halo, instantly iconicized upon the rocker's death in a car crash five years after his peak in this hourlong film. Financed, directed, partially shot by, and featuring Starr, Born to Boogie found wide release only in the video era 20 years after its debut, which may be just as well. A heartfelt documentary by only son Rolan Bolan on the set's second DVD admits the co-Starrs were under the influence of Fellini, but fails to identify other obviously controlling substances. Painfully improvised vignettes take a bite out of T. Rex's triumphant UK close to the Electric Warrior tour, though not Bolan, Starr, and Elton John kicking out "Tutti Fruitti" live in the studio. Boogie's canniest moment is its first, cementing subject to Eddie Cochran, whose chugging riffs drive Bolan definers "Jeepster," "Telegram Sam," "Get It On (Bang a Gong)," and particularly show closer "Summertime Blues." The unedited concert gives better bang for its buck, particularly the acoustic set, not to mention the inclusion of that day's matinee show. The 2-CD soundtrack should've preserved both shows instead of digitizing the film's audio track, vignettes and all. Catch the "Spaceball Ricochet" anyway.

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