Final gig for glam rockers

HMS Illustrious leaves Portsmouth for the last time
Picture: Shaun Roster

RETRO: Watch the last voyage of HMS Illustrious from Portsmouth

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On this day in 1977, at the Locarno in Arundel Street, Portsmouth, the glam rock band T Rex performed their final gig.

Formed in 1967 as a folk rock group, they achieved success in the early 1970s with hits such as Get It On, Ride A White Swan, Jeepster, Telegram Sam and Metal Guru.

But with the advent of punk the band’s success waned and in 1977 they went on tour supported by The Damned, the final date being at the Locarno.

Six months later lead singer Marc Bolan, whose real name was Mark Field, was killed in a car crash at the aged of 29.

Bolan had often said he expected to die young. On the death of Elvis, a month earlier, he said: ‘At least it meant he won’t end up like Bing Crosby.’

Marc’s elder brother, Harry Field, who worked in Portsmouth as a bus inspector, didn’t see his brother in concert until that last Locarno gig.

Interviewed in 2002, Harry said Mark was actually ‘very quiet, very introverted’. Becoming Marc Bolan was ‘like Clark Kent going into the telephone box and putting on his swimming trunks and cape’ – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.