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Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2040-6134
  • E-ISSN: 2040-6142



This article explores the impact and influence of early glamrock artists T.Rex (Marc Bolan) and David Bowie on the early 1970s’ European youth culture. Focusing on their lyrical representation, vocal presentation and visual theatrical performance techniques in the songs ‘Baby Strange’ and ‘Life on Mars?’, I analyse the artists’ impact through their relation to the theory of the madman put forth by Michel Foucault. Despite both Bolan and Bowie’s taboo physical and lyrical presentation, their music and performances present the truth of the youth culture concerning two of the main themes in glam music: sexual exploration and exploration of self. It is the artists’ representations of these themes that allow members of the early 1970s’ European youth culture to recognize their own sense of identity and self-realization as something that is beyond the taboo. T.Rex (Bolan) and David Bowie present their messages in a way that allows the younger generation to recognize that they are not alone and perhaps they are not the ‘madmen’ after all.


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