19/2/15 – Tyrannosaurus Rex – Cat Black (The Wizard’s Hat) – 1969

Tyrannosaurus Rex - 1969-sepia-chris-walterIn the spirit of more cats, Cat Black (The Wizard’s Hat) appeared on the third Tyrannosaurus Rex album, Unicorn, released in 1969 – it was the first album with a simple one word title after the debut, My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair… But Now They’re Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows in 1968 and the second album, Prophets, Seers & Sages: The Angels of the Ages in the same year. After Bolan’s tenure as lead guitarist in John’s Children in 1967, Bolan formed Tyrannosaurus Rex as a reaction to electric instruments and soon acquired beautifully named percussionist Steve Peregrin Took. The band recorded four albums with producer Tony Visconti – Bolan’s Hippie period had him abandoning electrics for acoustics and other organic sounds embarking on an adventure into Psychedelic Folk and warbling his way through pages of lyrical fantasy.

Unicorn reached No.12 in the UK chart but Bolan fired Took after this album due to disputes over the songwriting, hiring Mickey Finn for the band’s last release under the Tyrannosaurus Rex name, A Beard Of Stars in 1970. Finn stayed with Bolan through the crossover period from Hippie to Glam Rocker but Tony Visconti left the producer’s chair in 1974 after the release of the fifth T.Rex album, Zinc Alloy And The Hidden Riders Of Tomorrow.  Sadly all three members of Tyrannosaurus Rex met with tragic and untimely deaths – what happened with T.Rex is another story.

Mickey Finn died in 2003 aged 55 of liver and kidney problems.

Steve Pergerin Took died choking on a cherry stone aged 31 in 1980.

Marc Bolan died in a car crash in 1977 aged 29.

(Note; the photo from 1969 is taken by Chris Walter)

Cat black the wizard’s hat
Spun in lore from Dagamoor
The skull of jade was pearl inlaid
The silks, skin spun, repels the Sun
A tusk of boar with dwarfish awe
Sobs on the door where stood before
A mountain man with sky-blue teeth
Upon his head a python wreath
A deer he slew in the dawning’s dew
Her heart was a dagger for a murderer’s brew.

A toad of jet on a sill cast in brass
Portrayed for his sight mysteries of the past
A yellow orphan dancer rich in Nature’s costly gold
Wept for the jailer of time to bless her old
But his kiss he held and shadowed for the spell of nights are strong
And spiralled like a whirlwind in the childhood of a song

Cat black the wizard’s back
Daubed in doom in his tounge tombed room
We of the wind must rejoice and speak
And kiss all our star-browed brothers on the cheek.