Friday, February 13, 2009

The Wolfmen's Jukebox Presents....Rex Rated

Marc Bolan (born Mark Feld) 30 September 1947 – 16 September 1977

It's another wolf-pack pick as Chris Constantinou writes a white swan...

October 1970 - I was 13 years old and living in Plymouth. I think I'd grown out of my Skin-Suede-Smoothie Period (which was just a passing phase for me) and had been listening to Tyrannosaurus Rex - in fact my first girlfriend was called 'Debora' (check this out) :-)

Tyrannosaurus Rex became T.Rex , teamed up with Tony Visconti and released Ride A White Swan - which I still think sounds amazing ! We worked with Visconti in '85, at his Good Earth Studios, when he produced Adam's 'Vive Le Rock ' album. I remember asking him about 'Ride A White Swan' - I'm sure he said that he'd played bass on it, and even showed me the bass he'd used.

July 20th 1971 - My 14th birthday, and I went to see T.Rrex play at the ABC Theatre Plymouth. A real disappointment - I'd expected them to sound like the records, but it was really rough, and they were quite obviously out of their heads with guitars out of tune and strings breaking etc... If I saw that same performance now, I'd probably love it. I like bands doing things differently for gigs, and you can't really reproduce classic recordings live. why should you want to anyway? Look at Lou reed live for an example of that - especially on tracks like Walk On The Wild Side ....

I love the arrangement of Ride A White Swan, the sound of the recording, the fact there's no drums , the small string section, with a string arrangement (scored by Visconti) that works so well - and all recorded on an 8 track machine.

Ride A White Swan - A Side

Summertime Blues - B Side

A few Swan facts you may, or may not know ..

Ride a White Swan was recorded July 1st 1970, and entered the Top 40 on October 31.

11 weeks later, it reached a peak position of No.2

A novelty record 'Grandad' by Dad's Army's, Clive Dunn stopped it from reaching No. 1

Naomi Campbell covered it in 1995

Naomi Campbell - Ride A White Swan


  1. Great tune. Never knew that much about it. I like it a lot. It's really catchy. Have a wonderful weekend. Cheers!

  2. Campbell should be beaten severely for that travesty. Horrible.

  3. I haven't the balls to listen to Naomi Campbell even after several large vodkas.

    May try tomorrow morning when sober.

    If it's as bad as I fear I can always go back to bed

  4. Funnily enough Naomi used to hang out with me and Bob "Count" Wiczling's band 'Friends of Jack' and come to all our gigs - including one at The Cartoon in Croydon, Hhere a load of racist bikers turned up and threatened to
    kill us if we played ! Ha ha ha - Chris

  5. Did you play anyway?

  6. The manager of the club wouldn't let us play - more and more bikers arrived as the singer earl - backing singer Val and Naomi and co were giving the bikers some lip - situation got very sticky - think he was worried they might smash the club up as well - our big tough roadies seem to disappear :-)

  7. oh dear....back to bed for me.... ;-)

  8. What musicians recorded Naomi's version?

  9. Yep Her version is not that good is it ! Cc


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