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(An opening appraisal of Steve Took as a writer/performer in his own right)

Perhaps the most tragic aspect of the loss of Steve Took was that it finally condemned to obscurity a man who was just as much a unique and talented person in his own right as was Marc Bolan. It is a sobering thought that if Steve had not died in 1980, by now he might be something of a cult figure in his own right, not just among his old underground constituency, but perhaps even amongst Bolan fandom (in the same manner as John's Children and their frontman Andy Ellison). Then again, if the recording industry had cottoned on to Steve's full potential back in the early '70's he could have formed the third part of a troika with Bolan and David Bowie, a kind of cross between Iggy Pop and Jasper Carrot, turning his songwriting and entertaining skills loose on the mass market.

As things stand, Steve is best remembered as being the sideman in Marc's early work, whereas in truth his greatest endeavours artistically, if not commercially, were achieved under his own colours, working either as a solo artist or as the frontman of his own bands. Aside from Gloria Jones, he is the only T.Rex member to have become an independently creative artist in his own right, away from Bolan - in short, to have done his own music. Indeed, in this capacity, he managed for a time to carve out for himself a space within the early '70s underground scene.

But he was never able to graduate from this initial underground berth and with Steve himself conveniently out of the way, it seems as if his own autonomous musical projects have been quietly written out of history. On the rare occasions that Steve's story has been told in the past, the accounts have been top-heavy in information regarding Tyrannosaurus Rex, material with which most readers will already be familiar from biographies of Marc Bolan. Hopefully, this text will go some way to redressing the balance.

Steve may never have achieved the same kind of success that Marc was to score, but he certainly did enough in his career to deserve the writing of a proper résumé of his achievements. Even if Steve can only be elevated to the rank of eclectic cult artist (sadly, probably about the best that can be hoped for a deceased performer of whom no material was ever released in his lifetime, other than two tracks on someone else's LP) then at least that would be some improvement on the way music history has generally treated his music as, at best, an irrelevant footnote in T.Rex history, at worst as seemingly non-existent. It is time that 12 years of singing, songwriting, gigging and yes, even recording from 1968 to 1980 was told properly!