Pande-Mix Playlist: T. Rex's 'Ballrooms of Mars'

Jun 3, 2020 at 6:17 am
Marc Bolan's "T. Rex" from The Slider album.
Marc Bolan's "T. Rex" from The Slider album. ALBUM ART

Each week, former KDHX DJ Chris Ward examines a song from his quarantine-based playlist dealing with isolation, loneliness, hope and germs. This song and more can be found on the Spotify playlist, "Pande-Mix: An End of the World Playlist":

You talk about day. I'm talking 'bout night time."

To talk T. Rex is to talk in obsessions. And here are a few of my obsessions with this song. First, and it bears re-iterating, Marc Bolan is sex. And this song sneaks down a dark alley in such a sexy fucking way I want to grab my hair and scream like a teenager. When Bolan barks "ROCK!" — the way he screams it, the clipped way it hits after a hushed verse, the way it's so on the nose it's beautiful, so hot, so charged, so perfect, the way it's both an order and just a general exclamation point — it might be one of the single coolest moment in all of rock & roll to me. Jeff Hess played this song on his final episode of one of the greatest radio shows of all time, Afternoon Delight on KDHX, and I melted in my seat. What a walk-off homerun this is as a swan song. Roll credits.

I also want to talk about my favorite line: "You talk about day. I'm talking 'bout night time. When monsters call out the names of men." A line that gently touches your chin, looks you in the eye, and says, "My sweet girl ... my innocent boy ... you think you know, but you have no idea." It's under moonlight. It's erotic menace. It's the line you want to cross but have to beg. "There are things in night that are better not to behold," he says, grinning. Goddamn, Marc Bolan. Show me the way. This is one of the many songs on this playlist without a very literal connection to the pandemic. It's just a vibe, man. Pride Month has begun, and it doesn't feel like a party right now. We're still gripped in the arms of the changeless madman: Be primed for dancing. Rock.

This song and many more can be found on Chris Ward's Pande-Mix playlist on Spotify.