Born to Boogie

Born to Boogie — the Ringo Starr-directed, 1972 concert film of a newly electrified T. Rex — was meant to capture leader Marc Bolan’s Beatlemania-like grip on his young, impressionable audience. The film has been restored and expanded into a two-DVD, five-hour-plus collection. Among its features are two same-day shows at London’s Wembley arena, and a valuable 47-minute documentary, Cosmic Rock, that includes interviews with producer Tony Visconti and the only (!) surviving member of the 1972 lineup, drummer Bill Legend.

The concerts themselves are persuasive — even for the casual rock ’n’ roll fan — to a fault. Bolan’s egocentric mien (he wears a T-shirt bearing his own face) and guitar poses are Spinal Tap worthy, while a handful of tunes (“Baby Strange,” “Children of the Revolution” and “Bang a Gong”) are given tight, slam-bang run-throughs befitting their excesses. However, the Fellini-esque interludes are exactly what you’d expect when giving cameras to a stoned crew with no script and vague cinematic ambitions — and Bolan’s acoustic guitar is aggravatingly out-of-key as he sits cross-legged for a set of ballads. You had to be there? Now, you pretty much are.

Rob O'Connor writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].

Scroll to read more Arts Stories & Interviews articles
Join the Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.