Tribute bench to Marc Bolan unveiled on the 35th anniversary of his death
18:03 17 September 2012
There was an outpouring of grief and sadness on Sunday (September 16) as hundreds of fans from the UK, US and Europe turned out for a memorial service marking the 35th anniversary of rock singer Marc Bolan’s death.
Golders Green Crematorium, in Hoop Lane, Golders Green, looked like the scene of a music festival as dozens of fans, who could not fit into the chapel, stood milling around outside or sitting on the grass, watching a live recording of the service.
Bearing flowers, many wore Bolan’s trademark glitter, feather boas and top hats. Some brushed away tears.
They came to commemorate the life of the singer, which was tragically cut short at the age of 29 in 1977, following a car accident.
He was cremated at the Hoop Lane Crematorium and every year fans hold a tribute service.
Die-hard fan of 44 years, Barry Smith, lead the service and recalled how his “world crumbled” when he learned of Bolan’s death.
Rabbi Henry Goldstein, who officiated at Bolan’s funeral, read a prayer of thanksgiving and a Jewish memorial prayer to the star.
Four fans spoke about what the T. Rex singer meant to them.
Keith Prince, 54, of Croydon, said: “I thought the service was moving and quite fitting.”
Lorraine Walker, 51, from Leeds, broke down after the service, and said: “I miss him every day. This makes me feel closer to him.
“I’ve been listening to Marc since I was six-years-old. I grew up with him. I love his music.”
She recalls seeing him at Pebble Mill Studios when she was 14.
“He looked straight at me,” she said. “I’ll never forget that.”
Mona Arendt, 51, who travelled from Dortmund, Germany, to attend the service, said: “I’ve been a fan since I was 12-years-old. He’s part of my childhood and has been a part of my life up to now.”
Following the service, organisers released around 500 balloons featuring an image of Bolan.
Kate Squires, 35, of Leicester, came with her partner and two-year-old son.
“I’ve been a fan since I was 16,” she said. “Like most people, I heard the music and the voice fascinated me.
“My son recognises Marc. I have taught him who he is and he has a dance to his songs.”
Bolan’s cousins - Simon Coggin and twins David and Mark Escane - unveiled a memorial bench featuring a swan and unicorns hand-carved into the arms.
Mr Coggin, 35, of Hadley Wood, said: “We come every year. It’s a massive thing for us with all the fans coming here.”
David Escane, 58, of East Barnet, said: “It was brilliant. The people are amazing. This is really like a family. We used to go with him to his gigs and it was so much fun.”
Twin brother Mark added: “He was naturally talented. He had an aura.”
The crematorium cafe was turned into a shrine to the singer and featured posters of the star.