It's been a long time coming for T. Rex fans, but the group's Ringo Starr-directed 1972 film, 'Born To Boogie,' will make its DVD debut in May via Sanctuary.
It's been a long time coming for T. Rex fans, but the group's Ringo Starr-directed 1972 film, 'Born To Boogie,' will make its DVD debut in May via Sanctuary. Not only will it be issued as a double-disc set loaded with previously unseen extras, but a double CD will also be released, with audio recently remastered by T. Rex's longtime producer, Tony Visconti.
The entire project has been overseen by Rolan Bolan, the son of T. Rex's late leader Marc Bolan, who died in a 1977 car accident. "I always wanted to be involved in my dad's career," Bolan tells Billboard.com. "And this reissue gave me that chance. The film is the same as it was in 1972. Everyone agreed to keep it the same, but the 16mm film has been converted and enhanced digitally."
While T. Rex built a cult following in the U.S. thanks to the hit single "Bang A Gong (Get It On)," as well as the classic full-lengths "Electric Warrior" and "The Slider," the group -- and Bolan in particular -- became a phenomenon back home in England. T. Rex mania was so intense in the territory that it warranted comparisons to when the Beatles first hit a decade earlier. Sensing this, Starr signed on to direct a film about the group.
"Born To Boogie" faithfully reflected Marc Bolan's vision at the time. While a few bits are quite indulgent (including a tea sipping scene shot in a garden), T. Rex was a mean live act, as evidenced by various clips from a sold-out performance at the cavernous Wembley Empire Pool. Also included is a jam session with one of Bolan's biggest supporters, Elton John, which sees the augmented T. Rex rock through "Tutti Frutti," as well as a version of its teen anthem, "Children of the Revolution."
The new DVD is bolstered with matinee and evening performances shot on March 18, 1972, as well as a pair of documentaries: "Cosmic Rock -- When T. Rex Ruled the World" and "Re-Born To Boogie -- Restoration Doco." Also included are commentaries and deleted scenes. Rolan says the latter "were all found in different locations. Like finding a treasure, it took time but once unearthed, things just kept on coming -- some of the jams and different angles of the two concerts. You can see how the band really starts to jam and hit their high."
Starr even offered some advice to Bolan during the restoration process: "He made sure to help keep it moving, but he really felt to keep the film in its original state."
Although Rolan was too young to have witnessed T. Rex firsthand, the film offered him some insight into his dad's world. "You really get to see how rock'n'roll was king," he says. "T. Rex might have been called glam, but the truth is they had a large sound that never let down."