On March 18, 1972, T. Rex played two concerts (a matinee and an evening show) at Empire Pool in Wembley, England. These were filmed for the 1972 concert film Born To Boogie, directed by Ringo Starr. (Yes, that Ringo Starr, as if there could be another!) Both shows featured acoustic and electric sets focusing on material from the band’s Electric Warrior and The Slider albums. While the film had a hit-and-miss theatrical release history, it was fully remastered for a long-awaited DVD reissue in 2005.
I’ve never understood why British glam rock didn’t take hold in the U.S., since it has everything as a genre: catchy songs, showmanship, and an all-too-rare sense of fun. As it is, I’ve loved the late Marc Bolan since I first saw archival footage of T. Rex doing “Get It On (Bang A Gong)” on MTV one day in 1985. (They showed videos then. Crazy, right?) Born To Boogie presents Bolan and his fantastic band at the height of their powers. When I first watched both concerts on the DVD set (where they’re presented in full), I was amazed that Bolan had no dip in stamina or enthusiasm from one show to the next. I especially love his tendency to engage in excessively polite and reserved stage banter before tearing into Hendrix-level guitar wizardry.
Here is the original film in its entirety:
If you’re pressed for time, you can watch the performance of “Hot Love” below (which begins after ten seconds). As T. Rex and Cheap Trick taught us, any song called “Hot Love” is bound to be good.