FOR GLAM rock fans, January 1974 at the Glasgow Apollo was the place to be.

Marc Bolan and T.Rex were in town, and from the moment the doors opened at the city’s famous music venue, to his spectacular entrance atop a star-shaped platform, his loyal followers were in ecstasy.

It had been a while since the star had toured in the UK – around 18 months in fact – so the comeback was long-awaited.

Hysterical scenes, in which thousands of Scottish fans flocked to the city centre venue to catch a glimpse of their hero, included the odd fainting, and much swooning.

It was reminiscent of the band’s previous appearance at the Apollo, in May 1971 (then, the venue was called Green’s Playhouse.)

Back then, fans laid siege to the venue. The band and DJ Bob Harris, who compered the gig, had to call for police protection to escape as crazed fans even tried to snip off some of Bolan’s trademark corkscrew hair with scissors.

Harris described the mania of that first nationwide tour in 1971 as ‘crazy, hysterical’.

“Marc was doing 40 dates with his band and as he didn’t have a support act, I would host the evening, which meant playing records on my double-deck unit before he came on stage,” he told the Daily Express in an interview in 2016. “I only had to say, ‘this is one of Marc’s favourite records’ and the fans loved it.”

He added: “We travelled everywhere together, but I hadn’t seen the kind of crazy, hysterical madness I saw on that tour since The Beatles. We had police escorts and massive security men to protect us from these huge screaming crowds.”

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In 1974, Bolan chose the Apollo for his showcase comeback gig because it was one of his favourite venues.

“We get a better reception in Scotland…down in London it’s too reserved!” he once told the Evening Citizen in Glasgow.

Appearing on that star-shaped platform, against a backdrop of giant, flashing neon lights spelling out the band’s name, as he played the iconic riff for 20th Century Boy, Bolan was met with cheers and screams.

Drama followed shortly after, as Bolan strutted straight into the hydraulic platform and was sent sprawling into the drum kit.

Bandmate Mickey Finn, aided by two roadies, dragged Marc off stage and after a brief delay, the star carried on with the gig. At a press conference later, on the tenth floor of the city's Albany Hotel, he brushed it off, but some of the critics were scathing.

Bolan also appeared in Scotland in May 1970, with his previous band Tyrannosaurus Rex, on a mini tour which included a Motherwell gig billed as the Lanarkshire town’s ‘first Underground concert.’

Glasgow Times:

Bolan reigned supreme as the king of British glam rock for an all-too-brief career which saw him create the biggest music sensation since The Beatles. At the height of his fame, the magazine Jackie was receiving 800 letters a week from Bolan fans.

Sadly, battling addiction, his success tailed off. In 1976, he played Glasgow again, staying at the Pond Hotel on Great Western Road, but just 150 fans turned up for a gig at Motherwell Concert Hall. Around 500 fans, however, gave him a great reception at Falkirk Town Hall – legend has it that Bolan and his wife Gloria Jones joined fans in the Roman Bar in Camelon before the gig, signing autographs and chatting to customers.

Bolan’s last appearance in Scotland was at the Apollo just a few months before his death in 1977.

He was supported by The Damned, looked healthy and happy, and was back on top form.  Sadly, another grand comeback was never achieved, as Bolan died in a car crash on September 16, 1977 at the age of 29.

Glasgow Times:

Almost 44 years later, his fans still adore him, and memories of those magnificent Glasgow gigs live on.

*Did you see Bolan in Glasgow? Are you a fan? Get in touch to share your photos and memories.