Uk  T-REX Tribute Band

 

Solid Gold Steve Roberts'

'Teenage Dream'

1975 was the year, 'New York City' had just hit the charts and I heard that Marc was doing a one-off gig at the Palace Lido in The Isle of Man with his new band.  On hearing this news my great friend Kenny Amer and I were already there.  We left Liverpool on the Manx Ferry (The I.O.M. Steam Packet) in the early hours of Saturday morning believing the gig was that night, however on arrival at the venue we found out that it wasn’t until Sunday night!  We were 17, had very little money and nowhere to stay. The local cinema had a late night showing of “Shampoo” with Goldie Hawn and Warren Beatty which kept us warm until chucking out time at 2.30am.  Our next hotel was a single decker bus which we managed to get into and were sleeping soundly until rudely awoken by the driver at 6.00am!!  On being ejected from the bus we went to check the ferry times back to Liverpool for Kenny who had just started a new job and had to be in work Monday morning ( I had the week off!) but the next sailing after the gig meant that he wouldn’t get home until Monday night.  Kenny had to make the hardest decision of his life (a decision he regrets to this day) to leave before the show, we were both gutted to say the least....

With Kenny gone I was now on my own, I felt really bad but I just had to stay and Kenny wouldn’t have had it any other way.  I made my way to the venue and very quickly made friends with a great bunch of guys from Belfast, one in particular was Bryan Young who I have just touched base with after 31 years.  I also met Terry and Robbie from Liverpool, Robbie is the one holding Marc’s book, 'The Warlock of Love'.  We all thought that Marc would just fly in on the day for the gig but one of the Irish guys found out that he had stayed the night at the Palace Lido Hotel which was adjacent to the venue.  We also found out that Marc was doing an interview for Manx Radio that afternoon so me and the lads tuned in.  Marc was in a buoyant mood, full of enthusiasm about the future and speaking about the three albums he was working on.  He thankfully mentioned that at 4.00pm that afternoon they were doing a sound-check and we couldn’t believe our luck, we were all hoping that this could be a chance to fulfil our ‘teenage dream’, to one day meet our idol.  The Lido was such a huge place with so many entrances and we were so uncertain as to which one Marc would use.. we had to cover them all, everyone waited in anticipation… 

Everybody thought Marc would arrive by car and at best we would only catch a glimpse of him, but at approx 4.15pm we could not believe our eyes when Marc, Gloria Jones and Steve Currie emerged from the back doors of the hotel and strolled across to the venue, stopping to meet the fans, sign autographs and have pictures taken!  This is what I had always dreamt about but never did I truly believe it would ever happen, there was Marc Bolan standing right in front of me chatting to everyone, I was in total shock.  Once I had regained my composure I asked him about the three albums he mentioned he was working on at the radio interview, he told me that one was a ‘concept’ album which after his death became “Billy Super Duper”

At this point my thoughts turned to my mate Kenny and I thought “Oh my God! Kenny where are you now?” this was his dream too...

Because everyone was so focused on Marc, the rest of the band (Davey (Lutton) and Tyrone (Scott) had slipped in to the sound-check unnoticed.  We spent the next hour with our ears pinned against the wooden doors trying to hear the best from the sound check which was incredible.  Once it was over they all strolled back again to the hotel and my final shot of Marc was taken in the hotel lift just prior to the doors closing as he was heading back to his room  (last line, 1st photo)

Thinking our dream was at an end we suddenly noticed Steve and Davey sitting in the hotel bar! and, as we were underage we had to plead with the bar staff to let us in.  Thankfully they did and we spent over an hour chatting to these two fantastic guys, Davey even bought us all a Coke on the Rocks.

I caught the early morning ferry back to Liverpool with Rob and Terry and we got some well needed sleep.  On waking we were just entering the Mersey Estuary and we were all buzzing about the events of the previous day.  Whilst strolling round the ship I suddenly noticed some black flight cases marked “T-REX LONDON” and realised that all the bands equipment was on our ship!  Within minutes we all became self appointed ‘roadies’ and helped unload it from the ship to the waiting van.  My claim to fame is that I moved Marc’s famous flashing star, which, could also be called a shooting star as sometimes it used to eject Marc a little further than he would have liked…

This story and the photo’s that accompany it have been my own personal treasures for over 30 years and it gives me great pleasure to be able to share them with the rest of the Bolan Kingdom.

Newsflash!! I was recently asked by Sue of the OMBFC if I had kept in touch with Robbie but the last time I saw him was over 30 years ago, this got me thinking & I decided to see if I could come up with anything on the net, eventually I came across a Liverpool band called Cook Da Books who used to have a band member called Robbie Watts, this then lead me to other Liverpool bands called Deja Vu and finally Mumbo Jumbo then on the latter I found a piece on the band members and Robbie Watts said that he was influenced in the 70s by Marc Bolan and actually quoted that he knew him well, I was certain this had to be the Robbie Watts in my photo's.

I got a link to his e-mail address and sent him a message asking if he was the Robbie Watts that went to see T.Rex in the Isle of Man in 75, less than 5 mins later came the reply "YES I AM " and you are Steve from the Wirral, he also gave me his phone number and we spoke for the first time in 30 years - how cool is that.

Robbie has provided his own story and a few amazing photo's under " The Robbie Watts Collection"

 

My final words in this story are…

 

Question: "Whatever happened to the Teenage Dream?"

Answer:   It’s been ‘re-born’ by Too REX

 

Without them none of this would have happened - tanx a million guys!!

Solid Gold Steve xxx

(April 2006)


E-Mail Steve Roberts here!