It was a big thing for both bands. It offered The Damned the greatest exposure that they had received to date, playing in venues many times what they had experienced to date, playing to audiences unfamiliar and perhaps unreceptive to punk rock. Likewise for Marc Bolan and his T.Rex this was a test. Taking the band's new album 'Dandy In The Underworld' on tour, much had changed on the musical front line since Marc had toured the UK last in early 1976. Would the Bolan devotees still be there for him? A proportion of his young audience would have changed their taste in music, after all 12 months is a long time in the life of a teenager! And as some of the write ups in the music press were keen to point out, at 28 years of age, Marc Bolan was no spring chicken (!?).
However, Marc Bolan and his glittered and boa'd cohorts had allies in the new bands. They were contemptuous (at least in interviews*) of the progressive rock fraternity, those highly accomplished muso's who melded together classical music with rock instrumentation to produce single compositions that spanned the entire side of an LP! Throw into the mix a bit of Tolkien-esque sleeve artwork and Bob's yer Uncle, you have an captivated audience on every university campus in the land. It was the likes of Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, King Crimson and Genesis that the punks had in their cross-hairs and not the likes of Bolan.
New Musical Express 26th February 1977
Although mainstream, the stars of Glam Rock, whilst arguably old hat, did not attract the disdain of the punks. Despite peacock appearances (something that the early punks themselves reveled in) those bands tended to be much more accessible to young fans (much like the punks that followed) and they played rhythm and blues based raunchy rock and roll. They came from places like Hull and Wolverhampton as opposed to the dormitories of Charterhouse...... in short, they were not the enemy.
Read on in subsequent posts and it seems that the critics were in agreement that the marriage worked. Bands like The Damned were indeed worthy successors of the Glam bands that inspired them. Punk carried on that essence of teenage optimism, youthful self-confidence and bravado or cocky arrogance that was so much a part of Glam rock and an element that was so evidently absent in prog.
The Marc Bolan's and David Bowie's of this world appeared to understand what the punk revolution was all about, they did not see these new bands as a threat. Compare that with Rick Wakeman's alleged threats to leave the label if A&M Records did not drop the Pistols.
Marc Bolan and Siouxsie 1977
Marc Bolan and Billy Idol 1977
David Bowie and Jordan Cannes 1978