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INTERVIEW WITH STEVE PEREGRIN TOOK - 1978/9

Listen to the Whole Interview (8.9 meg) 9 minutes 31 seconds (use with transcription below)

THIS INTERVIEW WAS FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES FOR A MARC BOLAN BOOK. IT WAS NOT INTENDED FOR PUBLICATION AS AN 'INTERVIEW'. IT IS TRANSCRIBED AS IT WAS SPOKEN. ANY INCONSISTANCES CAN BE PUT DOWN TO THIS & THE STONED, DISINTERESTED NATURE OF STEVE DURING THE INTERVIEW. DISINTERESTED? WELL THE INTERVIEWER DIDN'T ASK ONE "SO STEVE WHAT ARE YOU UP TO THESE DAYS?" TYPE QUESTION!

Q:- When did you first meet Marc?

A:- When I was 18.

Q:- Where was that?

A:- Outside a tube station, he'd put an advert in the paper, I thought he ran light shows or something, I just answered an advert in International Times. We smoked a bit, went back to my place, had a few joints, and made an arrangement to have a rehearsal, had the rehearsal and did a gig it was dire.

Q:- Where was that? Can you remember?

A:- The Electric Garden which is what Middle Earth was before

Q:- Was that just the two of you?

A:- Four of us, one geezer smoked a pipe, and the other one was nearly dead from stomach ulcers.

Q:- And was there a violinist?

A:- He wasn't there yet.

Q:- What were you called then?

A:- Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Q:- What was he playing? What numbers were in the set? Can you remember? John's Childrens stuff?

A:- Yeah we did a bit of John's Children's stuff and we copied off these 12 bar rock numbers, ya know.

Q:- What, sort of rock and roll standards?

A:- No, just like .. well I suppose they could've been, but with different words, but it didn't happen - it was the wrong people.

Q:- And then you got a violinist after that? Is that right?

A:- Yeah but he didn't last long either.

Q:- Did the other two guys did they answer the same advert? Or did he bring them along later?

A:- I don't know how he got involved with them, it was a mistake, mistake from the start, so I'll never know. No. Well we couldn't afford anyone else, cos we weren't making much money. So then I sold me drum kit, so that we could pay the rent, which was a weird thing to do, as the fetes would have it, a pair of bongos sufficed. I don't really understand. I can't relate to that especially not when I'm tripping. Haunts me more than anything.

Q:- How did you record some of the tracks around Beginning of Doves? Was that, cos he was still contracted to Track ...

A:- Wasn't on the beginning of Doves. Ah, that was the one Track wanted me .. they asked me to over dub on it, when he had done this "Electric Warrior" thing, but I wouldn't .. because I don't think it's ethical and they didn't offer me enough money (laughs) No you can't do things like that, man.

Q:- Was he still contracted to Track and then and as you were Tyrannosaurus Rex you'd have to do it to them?

A:- I'd do it now ya see. Wouldn't have done it then, but I'd do it now.* ... Losing all morals ...
* This is a reference to a line in one of Steve Took's Horns songs!

Q:- Simon Napier-Bell was producing Tyrannosaurus Rex then?

A:- He wanted trumpets, he wanted to have a trumpet section. He was weird! He played the trumpet you see, when he went home he got his trumpet out sat down on the grass, he was a bit weird. No we just used to go to peoples offices, sit down, and bang the bongos and then do it. You know root-te-toot-toot, you know, and either they would throw us out or we were thought about.

Q:- How did you meet John Peel?

A:- At Middle Earth, yeah, Middle Earth.

Q:- The first gig? That one?

A:- I dunno. I was just wandering about.

Q:- That guy Les Best told me you did a lot of the arrangements and put all the beats, all the rhythms to the Tyrannosaurus Rex stuff? Is that Right? And that Bolan just wrote the melodies and the lyrics?

A:- Well he wrote a song, and I did what I wanted round it, give it a treatment.

Q:- Were you staying together. I mean in a flat soyou could do it all the time or what? Or you'd turn up at the studio and he'd say "I've got new songs to do"?

A:- We just did it in our front rooms, you know. We used to do a lot of clowning.

Q:- How much say did Tony Visconti have in any of that? Or was it just you and Marc?

A:- Visconti, I don't know. I didn't like the whole scene over "Beard of Stars". That was a bummer.

Q:- Do you remember Tyrannosaurus Rex songs that were meant for John's Children?

A:- Do I remember any that were mean't. No he was writing for himself. Not for ...

Q:- During that period?

A:- I don't know, he wasn't that conscious of anything.

Q:- Would he write a new song everyday, or something like that? That fast?

A:- I don't know, I guess he wrote a lot we never actually used, but then you do.

Q:- Did he tape everything even though he didn't use it. Like he'd tape it at home if he didn't in the studio?

A:- Don't know. We were never very good with machines.

Q:- Did he ever try to experiment or did he keep to the same thing?

A:- No, he got it together with the electric guitar a bit.

Q:- Did he want to do from the beginning? I suppose he did really didn't he?

A:- No, That's what I split to do. (?But then I burnt out?)

Q:- Did he write the Children's story on those albums? Those things John Peel read.

A:- Probably, I never really understood that ..

Q:- That wasn't something John Peel got together?

A:- I was into sewing machines, I don't know. I don't like being stereotyped, you know, I mean like you know, musicians play with one another, you know, have a good time, you know, and you don't want to be told, you can't do that .. they're not the right sort of people to mix with, you know, might damage your credit rating, and your sales might not build up.

Q:- Did he play with other groups at that time? Was he guesting on other people's records at the time?

A:- He was learning to play the guitar.

Q:- So you reckon he wasn't that good at the start - on guitar? Is that right?

A:- Not as an actual, not as a virtuoso guitarist like Eric Clapton say or Larry Wallis someone whose a natural, its taken me a fuckin long time to play. My ideology's just different, you know.

Q:- How much say did either of you have on what the album covers looked like?

A:- (Laughs)

Q:- None at all?

A:- We just got what they got, I mean I'm not too fussy, I like the "Unicorn" album with the sewing machine on the back. It's great.

Q:- Was any of that stuff his or yours?

A:- No I picked it up, it was lying about the room.

Q:- Was that taken in your flat?

A:- No, it was taken in John Peel's house. But I found that picture "Love One Another". Sew one anothers mouths up SINGER.

Q:- Was there any, sort of, people who are now famous who played on Tyrannosaurus Rex stuff? I know Bowie played on Demon Queen - is that all?

A:- Did he???

Q:- Yeah.

A:- Yeah Bowie was alright I liked Bowie.

Q:- Did he come in a lot when you were recording?

A:- No, not, no.

Q:- Do you remember anyone else playing anything?

A:- On the tracks? Tony Visconti.

Q:- Dunno. I thought ... Nah, just the two of you?

A:- It was very fuckin workable, we got a lot of fuckin communication going when there are only two of you.

SOUND FILE ENDS HERE. SORRY.

Q:- Do you know where he got his ideas, were they mostly from books?

A:- No, from talking to me, (laughs).

Q:- Did you play acoustic guitar at all on any of the albums?

A:- Probably.

Q:- Did you play on "Elemental Child"?

A:- I don't think so.

Q:- Did you play organ on some things?

A:- Yeah, I played organ a bit.

Q:- Did you play the organ on "King of the Rumbling Spires"?

A:- I really can't remember what .. so long ago.

Q:- Was "Dragons Ear" part of the "Children of Rarn"?

A:- I don't know like I was sort I was involved on a street level of things then like as escapist.


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