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Late T. Rex leader Marc Bolan would have been of a few minds about the band's just-announced Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, according to Gloria Jones, his girlfriend, bandmate and mother of their son, Rolan Feld Bolan.
On one hand, Jones tells Billboard from Sierra Leone -- where Rolan established the Marc Bolan School of Music and Film -- "He would have said, 'It's about time!'" before adding with a laugh that she's joking. "He was a very humble spirit, but he understood who he was. He understood his worth." Nevertheless, Jones adds, the glam rock pioneer "would have been very, very honored, and I'm sure he would have been brought to tears. I'm sure he's very happy, and he's very honored."
Jones -- who drove the car in which Bolan died in a Sept. 16, 1977, crash at the age of 29 (it was ruled an accidental death) -- was a theater performer and was with Motown Records before connecting with Jones during the early '70s. She played clavinet and sang backing vocals with T. Rex from 1973-77, and Bolan wrote several songs for her 1975 solo album Vixen. She now splits her time between Africa and California, where her son also resides.
Jones says she had a dream about Bolan on Sunday, three days before the induction announcement was made. "He was so worried," she recalls. "He was going back and forth, and I said, 'Well, Marc, please don't worry.' And the next day I sent an email to Rolan ... and he called me and said, 'No, Mom, Dad wasn't worried -- he was nervous,'" presumably about the pending Rock Hall announcement.
"I'll tell you something: This man was loved and is still loved, and we are talking about generations and generations," Jones says. "I'll never forget, I was in Pennsylvania in a store and a little girl had on a T-shirt with Marc's face. She looked at me and said, 'Do you know him?' and I said yes and she just went dancing down the aisle. That was the magic this man had and still has. It's timeless." Jones also hopes that T. Rex's induction will have a clarifying impact on the band's, and Bolan's, legacy.
"It's going to be an introduction to new fans, to new people," she says. "There's a brand-new world out there, and a lot of people get a little confused with Marc Bolan and T. Rex. So now I think this is going to complete that circle that they understand T. Rex is Marc Bolan."
Jones is planning to attend the May 2 induction ceremony in Cleveland, along with Rolan and Bill Legend, T. Rex's drummer during the group's 1970-74 heyday. "I'm sure this is going to be such a wonderful moment," she says. "This award is not just for our family, but it's for all of the loyal fans and friends and people who understand Marc's dream in creating. We're just going to be together and smile and cry and enjoy this wonderful moment."
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