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John's Children


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Formed 1964, Leatherhead, Surrey, United Kingdom
Disbanded 1968

Andy Ellison (vocals), Geoff McLelland (guitar, 1964-67), Chris Townson (drums, guitar), John Hewlett (bass), Marc Bolan (guitar, 1967), Chris Colville (drums)

John’s Children, formerly “The Silence”, were a Leatherhead, England-based 1960s proto-punk band featuring future T. Rex frontman Marc Bolan, whose 1967 single “Desdemona” was banned by the BBC for the ‘controversial’ lyric, “Lift up your skirt and fly”. Bolan was with the band for about four months. His main roles were to be the band’s composer and play electric guitar (until then, he only played acoustic guitar). His singing voice is sometimes lead in “unofficial” recordings only (demos, BBC radio sessions).

Their manager was Simon Napier-Bell, who devised white stage outfits and an outrageous stage act which included fighting each other and Bolan whipping the stage with a chain.

After Bolan left, Townson switched to guitar and former roadie Chris Colville took over on drums. John’s Children recorded another single, “Go Go Girl”, a Bolan composition he later recorded with Tyrannosaurus Rex as “Mustang Ford”. John’s Children also performed Bolan’s “Mustang Ford” version of the song. The band released one more single, “It’s Been a Long Time” (issued as an Andy Ellison solo single) and then embarked on a “disastrous” tour of Germany. Their last performance was at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany (substituting for the Bee Gees), after which they split up in 1968.Ellison went on to make several solo singles.


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