John Peel Wiki

(This page covers both Tyrannosaurus Rex and T. Rex.)

"Tyrannosaurus Rex rose out of the sad and scattered leaves of an older summer. During the dark, grey winter they were tended and strengthened by those who love them...”
(John Peel: Sleevenotes of 'My People Were Fair...', 1968) [1]


'' tyrannosaurus rex '' - live middle earth london

Peel introduces Dutch TV viewers to Tyrannosaurus Rex at Middle Earth, 1967

T. Rex were a British rock band, formed in 1967 by singer/songwriter and guitarist Marc Bolan. The band formed as Tyrannosaurus Rex, releasing four albums as an acoustic duo under that name and winning a following among the British "underground" audience. Tony Visconti (their producer for several albums) claimed in a documentary on the band that he had taken to using the abbreviated term "T.Rex" as a shorthand, something that initially irritated Bolan, who gradually came around to the idea and officially shortened the band's name to "T.Rex" at roughly the same time they started having big hits (shortly after going electric). In the 1970s, the band had reached success with glam rock hits like "Jeepster", "Get It On", "Ride a White Swan", "20th Century Boy", "Children of the Revolution", "Hot Love", "Telegram Sam", and "Metal Guru". After earning success in the early and mid-1970s, the band broke up after Bolan was killed in a 1977 car accident. (read more at Wikipedia)

Links To Peel

When will someone record Tyrannosaurus Rex and stop recording rehashes of revised monuments to tedium by cynical glooms? (John Peel, International Times, 27 October 1967)


Marc Bolan - The Tube (pt 1 of 2)

Peel talking about Marc Bolan on The Tube

Few artists were so closely associated with Peel as Tyrannosaurus Rex and Marc Bolan. Peel first became aware of Bolan as a member of the group John's Children, who created interest in 1967 with singles for Track Records, notably the Bolan song "Desdemona", which was banned by some radio stations because of its "obscene" lyrics ("lift up your skirt and fly"). Bolan became aware of Peel's Perfumed Garden programme on Radio London and, inspired perhaps by the DJ's interest in his work with John's Children, sent Peel copies of his earlier, unsuccessful solo singles, "The Wizard" and "Hippy Gumbo", which Peel played on his late-night show, enthusing about Bolan's "amazing" voice. Bolan followed this up by sending Peel acetates of his new group Tyrannosaurus Rex, an acoustic duo with percussionist Steve Peregrine Took, and Peel played them on the final Perfumed Garden.

At the start of their career Tyrannosaurus Rex had no recording contract but Peel promoted them energetically, mentioning them frequently on air and in his columns for International Times ("Marc Bolan and Steve (Tyrannosaurus Rex) are at Peel Acres every other day and that is not often enough" [2]) and taking them with him to his gigs in 1967 and 1968. As the Gigography 1968 shows, he did so many gigs with them that in December of that year, Melody Maker's Bob Dawbarm jokingly predicted that in 1969 JP would be "awarded the MBE for his services to Tyrannosaurus Rex"..

Top Gear's first producer Bernie Andrews disliked them, but they were booked for a first session on the programme on Peel's insistence. In late 1967, Track Records rejected some early Tyrannosaurus Rex recordings as "too uncommercial", causing Peel to express his frustration in his International Times column, and to fantasise about issuing a 4 LP set by them on a label of his own which would be called Dandelion Records.[3] But eventually they signed with Regal Zonophone and Peel contributed sleevenotes to their first LP, My People Were Fair and Had Stars in their Hair, But Now They're Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows, also reading a fairy story by Bolan at the end of its final track. Bolan became a close friend of Peel and Sheila, but this relationship ended after Bolan became a chart-topping teen idol in 1970-71.

While some resented T. Rex's abandonment of the underground scene that had supported them, Peel did not begrudge T. Rex their commercial success. He remarked that he cried when he heard that "Ride A White Swan" had made the Top 20, but was disappointed with some of Bolan's later material, notably "Get It On", released in July 1971. Bolan was said to have been offended by this and broke off all contact with Peel, who even complained on air that he was being snubbed by his former friend. Others too were disturbed by the singer's behaviour, for example Peel's manager Clive Selwood, who had never shared the DJ's high opinion of Bolan's talent and personality, and former Tyrannosaurus Rex manager Peter Jenner (quoted in Jonathon Green's Days In The Life, London 1988, p.268):

Bolan himself was a complete arsehole, the way he turned over Peel, and everything else. Quite clearly he was just a very ambitious little kid who wanted to become a pop star. He was feeding all the rest of us this bullshit which we bought. He'd sussed that the way through for him was by being a little hippie. He used me and he used John Peel. Peel's investment was far deeper, a personal commitment. He waved the flag for Bolan all the way through, until Bolan became huge and then Bolan gave him the old heave-ho in such a cynical fashion.

After T. Rex's chart heyday had passed, Peel met Bolan again on one occasion, but they did not resume their friendship and Bolan died in a car crash in 1977. Later in his life, Peel spoke on several occasions about Tyrannosaurus Rex, T. Rex and Marc Bolan. For further details, please see:

Festive Fifty Entries

  • None



Eight sessions. Official releases:
- Sessions #1, #6, #7 and #8 available on "Bolan at the Beeb" and "Marc Bolan at the BBC"
- Sessions #3 and 4 on "Marc Bolan at the BBC"
- Session #5 on "Bolan at the Beeb" (without "Travelling Tragition" and "Trelawney Lawn") and "Marc Bolan at the BBC" (minus "Trelawney Lawn")

1. Recorded: 1967-10-30. First broadcast: 05 November 1967. Repeated: 04 February 1968 (For Peel's first solo-presented Top Gear, Bolan was with JP in the studio. He chats with Peel about each of his songs before they are played.)

  • Scenscof / Child Star / Highways / Hot And Mama / Dwarfish Trumpet Blues / Pictures of Purple People (first broadcast 04 February 1968)

2. Recorded: 1968-02-28. First broadcast: 13 March 1968 (Night Ride).

  • Beginning Of Doves / The Welder Of Words / The Wizard* / Afghan Woman / Hippy Gumbo / Frowning Atahuallpa *The Wizard (as the 1965 single not the later LP track)

3. Recorded: 1968-03-11. First broadcast: 24 March 1968. Repeated: 05 May 1968

  • Knight / Debora / Afghan Woman / Frowning Atahualpa / Mustang (first broadcast 05 May 1968) / Strange Orchestra (first broadcast 05 May 1968)

4. Recorded: 1968-06-11. First broadcast: 14 July 1968. Repeated: 25 September 1968.

  • Stacey Grove / One Inch Rock / Salamanda Palaganda / Eastern Spell / Wind Quartets (first broadcast 25 September 1968)

5. Recorded: 1968-10-14. First broadcast: 10 November 1968. Repeated 22 December 1968

  • The Friends / Conensuela / The Evenings Of Damask / The Seal Of Seasons / Travelling Tragition (first broadcast 22 December 1968) / Trelawney Lawn (first broadcast 22 December 1968)

6. Recorded 1969-05-05. First broadcast: 11 May 1969. Repeated: 15 June 1969.

  • Once Upon the Seas of Abyssinia / Nijinsky Hind / The Misty Coast Of Albany / Chariots of Silk / Iscariot (first broadcast 15 June 1969)

7. Recorded: 1969-11-17. First broadcast: 22 November 1969. Repeat 14 March 1970.

  • Fist Heart Mighty Dawn Dart / Pavillions Of The Sun / A Day Laye / By The Light Of The Magical Moon / Wind Cheetah

8. Recorded: 1970-10-26. First broadcast: 07 November 1970. Repeated: 26 December 1970 (Ride A White Swan), 26 September 1972 (Top Gear 5th anniversary), 25 September 1975 (final Top Gear), 09 June 1981 (John Walters)

  • Ride A White Swan / Jewel / Elemental Child / Sun-Eye


  • 04 January 1970 Recorded 1970-01-01. Released officially under various titles including "BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert" and on "Bolan at the Beeb" with Peel links edited out. Peel links were broadcast in the section of the show featured in the BBC documentary 'Bolan At The Beeb' and the full set with John's introductions was released on "Marc Bolan at the BBC"
  1. Hot Rod Mama
  2. Deborah
  3. Pavillions Of The Sun
  4. Dove
  5. By The Light Of A Magical Moon
  6. Elemental Child
  7. The Wizard

A late addition to the bill for the show after Family singer Roger Chapman was hit by flu and the band were forced to reduce the length of their set.

  1. Debora
  2. Elemental Child
  3. Woodland Bop (medley) - Woodland Bop / Conesuala / The King Of The Mountain Cometh / Woodland Bop
  4. Ride A White Swan
  5. Jewel

Other Shows Played

  • 01 August 2000: Dandy In The Underworld (LP - Dandy In The Underworld) EMI/T.Rex
  • 04 June 2002: Light Of Love (single, 1974) EMI (Peel previews the upcoming Sex Clark Five session (broadcast 11 June 2002), which will feature all T-Rex tunes [“for some reason or other”], by playing one of the original tracks.)
  • 05 June 2002: Fist Heart Mighty Dawn Dart (LP - Beard Of Stars) A&M
  • 22 September 2004: Frowning Atahualpa (My Inca Love) (LP - My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair) Regal Zonophone
  • 20 October 2004: Mambo Sun (LP - Electric Warrior) Reprise (show hosted Siouxsie Sioux)
  • 16 December 2004: Hot Love (R1 tribute show)
  • Radio Luxembourg Tracklistings 2: Wind Quartets (2xLP - Prophets, Seers & Sages / My People Were Fair) Fly 1972 re-release
  • Peel 1980 Mix: Satisfaction Pony (LP-The Unobtainable T Rex)
  • Peel 1981: Metal Guru
  • 05 May 1983 (TOTP): Get It On (clip from 27 December 1971)
  • Peeling Back The Years (3): Salamanda Palagnda (LP – Prophets, Seers & Sages: The Angels Of The Ages) Regal Zonophone
  • Peeling Back The Years (3): Get It On (single) Fly
  • Radio Radio: Ride A White Swan (JP: "It’s one of those things where you become aware of the destructive nature of notoriety and fame, and it is one of those areas that occasionally bother me about what I do. You know, when you are taking quite innocent, enthusiastic people out of their natural milieu, and you can easily be creating monsters. And in fact there have been people in bands that I have enthusiastically endorsed from the start who have subsequently died as a result of, you know, the rock and roll lifestyle, and there are times when you feel quite guilty about that. But I mean, I think if you stop and examine what you do in that much detail, that way lies madness frankly, because you are asking yourself questions that only you can answer, you know.")
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty: Spaceball Ricochet (LP-The Slider) EMI
  • Keeping It Peel: 'Untitled Poem'
  • MarcBolan1967-1969EarlyBroadcasts John's Children: 'Hippie Gumbo (Acetate)' unknown date, but not the show of 18th April 1992.


(The list below was compiled only from the Cover Versions page of this site. Please add more information if known.)

Artist | Track | First Known Play

See Also

External Links