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Did Marc Bolan play mountain dulcimer?

GUEST,Grahame Hood 19 Aug 18 - 05:39 AM
punkfolkrocker 20 Aug 18 - 02:42 AM
GUEST,Grahame Hood 20 Aug 18 - 04:48 AM
Stower 20 Aug 18 - 05:20 AM
punkfolkrocker 20 Aug 18 - 09:13 AM
GUEST,Mark Bluemel 20 Aug 18 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,Grahame Hood 21 Aug 18 - 08:29 AM
GUEST,Grahame Hood 22 Aug 18 - 05:44 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 22 Aug 18 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,Grahame Hood 22 Aug 18 - 08:30 PM
punkfolkrocker 22 Aug 18 - 08:36 PM
Thompson 23 Aug 18 - 05:02 PM
Allan Conn 23 Aug 18 - 05:43 PM
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Subject: Did Marc Bolan play mountain dulcimer?
From: GUEST,Grahame Hood
Date: 19 Aug 18 - 05:39 AM

I am always in search of a better dulcimer, and recently bought a new one on eBay. It was built by Nick Odell of Wisbech, Cambs. When it arrived I was surprised to find it was about 10% smaller than usual, with a scale length of 23" instead of the more usual 26" or 27". It is very well made, and plays in tune all the way up the neck which is not always the case with handmade of dulcimers. However it is a bit small for me. anyway, it turns out Nick Odell was Marc Bolan's guitar repair man in the early 1970s, in the glory days of T.Rex, a repair label by him signed July 1972 recently being used as provenence for an auctioned Gibson Les Paul which was supposed to have belonged to Marc.

So, the big question is, could my dulcimer have been built for, or used by Marc? No-one else seems have to seen another Odell dulcimer. Has anyone ever seen a picture of Marc playing a dulcimer or knows of any tracks that may feature it? Possibly early ones.

Any help welcome! Have found nothing online that I have not already mentioned apart from a reply from Nick to a guitar query site, 12 years ago.

Grahame


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Subject: RE: Did Marc Bolan play mountain dulcimer?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 20 Aug 18 - 02:42 AM

Unlikely/possible...???

The early 70s was Bolan's prime electric glam era.
His folkie dabblings were well over by then.
That's not so say it's entirely impossible he could have used it on tracks, or just for home amusement...

Maybe best to google contacts for the fan club, which is where you'll fnd the hardcore experts...


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Subject: RE: Did Marc Bolan play mountain dulcimer?
From: GUEST,Grahame Hood
Date: 20 Aug 18 - 04:48 AM

Already been in touch with the Bolan experts and no reply. Have also put out a thread on the US-based "Freinds Of The Mountain Dulcimer" site also to no avail. Mind you, Bolan never meant diddley squat in the USA so they maybe don't know who he is. We don't know how long he worked with Nick Odell so that connection may well date from his pre-electric days. Only thing is that my impression of Marc is that he was never shy of a little self-publicity and would have been be very keen to show how instrumentally eclelctic he was and would have been photographed with it or maybe even mentioned it in interviews. A dulcimer is pretty easy to play and good to noodle on and could have served as a useful songwriting tool.


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Subject: RE: Did Marc Bolan play mountain dulcimer?
From: Stower
Date: 20 Aug 18 - 05:20 AM

It seems extremely unlikely to me. I was and remain a fan and collector, and I've never heard a recording or seen a picture of Marc with a dulcimer.


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Subject: RE: Did Marc Bolan play mountain dulcimer?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 20 Aug 18 - 09:13 AM

I own an electric guitar manufactured circa 1973 - 1975, first owned by a 1970s folk rocker.
But I've forgotten who it was, and have no evidence to remind me or prove this.
Without valid provenance that's the end of the of the line,
apart from an interesting mention to buyers, if I later need to sell it...
But it adds nothing to the asking price.

Looks like you are in a similar boat with this tantelising dulcimer.
I could accept it as plausible Bolan owned or played it,
but any facts are too lost in time...

From vague memories of magazine articles a long time ago,
his house was ransacked after his untimely death,
many of his posessions disapeared, still missing - including THE Les Paul,
which had never been recovered...???

Would be cool if it it ever turned up somewhere...

This just prompted me to google, and I now see stories it may have ben rediscovered in 2015..
looks like I've got some reading for the afternoon...

cheers...


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Subject: RE: Did Marc Bolan play mountain dulcimer?
From: GUEST,Mark Bluemel
Date: 20 Aug 18 - 04:23 PM

Nick Odell posts on the uk.d-i-y newsgroup from time to time - you could find his email address from there and ask him.


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Subject: RE: Did Marc Bolan play mountain dulcimer?
From: GUEST,Grahame Hood
Date: 21 Aug 18 - 08:29 AM

Thanks for that, have done so and will keep you informed, assuming it's the same guy of course.


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Subject: RE: Did Marc Bolan play mountain dulcimer?
From: GUEST,Grahame Hood
Date: 22 Aug 18 - 05:44 AM

Thanks Mark! Have made contact with Nick. He made quite a few dulcimers; most in kit form, some he finished himself. Mine is one of the latter. So, no direct Marc Bolan connection. Will be getting more info and will add it to this thread in next few days.


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Subject: RE: Did Marc Bolan play mountain dulcimer?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 22 Aug 18 - 05:46 AM

Was he inspired by Joni?


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Subject: RE: Did Marc Bolan play mountain dulcimer?
From: GUEST,Grahame Hood
Date: 22 Aug 18 - 08:30 PM

I assume you mean Marc Bolan. We have established that the dulcimer in question, the one I own, was not Marc's, and we have not been able to find any proof he ever owned one, so he it is unlikely he could have been inspired by Joni Mitchell. Joni's stuff is so unlike Marc's basic rock and roll it would be unlikely anyway. Plus (due to ignorance of how a dulcimer "should be tuned", not meaning that in any kind of derogatory way) Joni used some very unconventional tunings. Marc may well have seen ducimers used in folk clubs in the UK, possibly by Peggy Seeger or John Pearse, anong others.

When I get further info from Nick Odell, I will add it to the thread


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Subject: RE: Did Marc Bolan play mountain dulcimer?
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 22 Aug 18 - 08:36 PM

"So, no direct Marc Bolan connection."

Maybe not direct..
but for a devout Bolan fan & collector, anything made by his ex guitar tech would be of interest...
fandom works like that...

Bolan wasn't a great musician, but he is still one of my favourite guitarists and musical influences...


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Subject: RE: Did Marc Bolan play mountain dulcimer?
From: Thompson
Date: 23 Aug 18 - 05:02 PM

I rather lost touch with Marc Bolan's later stuff, but in his early days he might indeed have been inspired by Joni Mitchel - he used to sing spacey hippie stuff like "My people were fair and had sky in their hair but now they're content to wear stars on their brows" (if I remember it rightly).


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Subject: RE: Did Marc Bolan play mountain dulcimer?
From: Allan Conn
Date: 23 Aug 18 - 05:43 PM

The first album "My People Were Fair etc" was released just a few weeks after Joni Mitchell's first album so recorded before Joni's was released.So probably both inspired by hippydom rather than he by her.


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