Dandy in the Underworld
Marc Bolan & T Rex
LP Launch Party
The launch party for the 'Dandy In The Underworld' album was held at the small, 250 capacity, Roxy Club in Covent Garden, London. At the time the cub was renowned as one of the leading venue's for the emerging punk rock movement.
The party started at 7pm with guests such as Mike Mansfield (from 'Supersonic'), Harry Nilsson, Billy Idol (from Generation X), Eric Hall (long term friend and EMI promoter), members of Gonzalez, Lional Bart (who wrote the musical 'Oliver'), Donovan and members of both T Rex and The Damned attending with Marc and Gloria arriving later in the evening.
The Roxy Club was at the forefront of the punk movement, hosting gigs by the likes of The Damned, The Clash, The Stranglers, The Jam and Buzzcocks among many others.
Relatively few photos have emerged from the party, however it was featured in EMI's in-house magazine with a half page article showing photos of Marc with Captain Sensible, Donovan and Lionel Bart (see below). For some unknown reason, the magazine states that the party was held on the 2nd March, this is almost certainly wrong as the invite clearly states the 9th March.
The wonderful photo of Marc and Captain Sensible putting their tongues out was taken at the party and later used for a Sounds (dated 19th March 1977) article with the mischievous title 'THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE DAMNED'.
The Roxy, London WC2 - A Punk History
The following is an account of the launch party featured in the book 'The Roxy, London WC2 - A Punk History'. Click here for further details about the book The Roxy, London WC2 - A Punk History.
With the Roxy Club regularly being featured in the media it was no longer underground and on a good night was now a mixture of original Punk faces, weekend Punks and record company executives as well as tourists, rock stars, socailites and God knows who else packed out the club.
With the club in demand, everyone wanted a bit of the Roxy magic to rub off on them. That included hiring the club out for T Rex's 'Dandy in the Underworld' album launch party. Marc Bolan had been a visitor to the club and was much taken with Punk believing they had much in common. So much so, that for his album tour he had the Damned as support. Alan Edwards, who also managed the Stranglers, was handling the albums publicity.
Andy Czezowski (Roxy Club Partner): Marc Bolan had set himself up to be the godfather of Punk so it gave him credibility to hold his party in the Roxy. We said to Alan if you're going to launch the album you must do it at the Roxy which of course they did. They invited people down, played the album on big speakers and brought the food in which was of the quiche and prawns variety.
The press were invited and all the rest of it. Whether the Pistols or the Clash were officially invited I really don't know but, like with Generation X, if they had turned up I would have let them in. Sid was out of his box that night and he had it in for good looking Billy Idol. They got into a tussle round the food and Sid picked up a quiche and wiped it into Bily's face. I had to step in and say 'out you go Sid'.
A Marc Bolan fan, Syd, who travelled down with journalist Paul Morley, remembers the event on a T Rex fan website.
Syd: Come the day of the big party Paul Morley and I travelled to London on the train making sure we arrived at the Roxy club early, didn't want to miss anything. It was like a parade of stars arriving - Johnny Rotten with tar black hair, Harry Nilsson, Donovan Leitch, Linda Lewis, the Damned, all of the new T Rex and many more.
Time has dimmed the memory of the night somewhat but I can remember Dandy playing in the background constantly for hours. The last thing I can remember about the night is not many people, Marc and Gloria had left, Harry Nilsson at the bar and Captain Sensible stood in the middle of the stage with a girl, his hand down the girls blouse, with a spot light on him.
Also from the same original source as the article quoted in The Roxy book, Syd stated that:
Marc and Gloria arrived late. Why I don't know, but Gloria asked me to get her and Marc a drink. Gloria asked for a G & T and Marc will have a Perrier, I said to Gloria - 'doesn't he want a Bloody Mary' which I could remember he used to drink. 'No' she said quite firmly, he doesn't drink alcohol anymore...Marc then proceeded to say 'Hi' to everybody.