IN 1973 a record was released which would bridge the generation gap and become a rock anthem to young and old...

20th Century Boy was written by Marc Bolan, who with his band T. Rex, was one of the most flamboyant and charismatic stars of the glam rock era.

With Bolan’s special ingredient of Rock-a-Boogie songs of the 1970s including Telegram Sam and Jeepster he was able to obtain what would be another Top 20 record later in 1976 that has since become one of the most memorable and everlasting signature tunes, I Love to Boogie.

At the age of just 29 Marc’s life was cut tragically short in 1977 in a car crash.

Tribute band T. Rextasy have now been performing around the world for over 20 years, a time that ironically outlives Marc’s very own T. Rex.

The world’s only official live tribute band dedicated to Marc Bolan & T. Rex, T. Rextasy are the only band endorsed and approved by Marc Bolan’s family, estate, original ex-members of T. Rex, and Bolan’s catalogue management. They are described as ‘beyond the boundaries of tribute’.

I caught up with Marc Bolan look-alike/sound-alike Danielz ahead of their show at Bournemouth Pavilion Ballroom tonight, who revealed that keeping Marc’s legacy alive has become his way of life.

“I’ve been doing this for 23 years. It’s not a show. We are a rock n roll band. I make that distinction. There are no backing tracks. We perform as T-Rex used to, like a band.

"From an early age I was not someone who jumped on the bandwagon – just like Marc Bolan. He was self-taught on the guitar so played in a distinct way.

"I was 13 when I saw T. Rex live. It was 1972. I was living in Germany as my parents were in the army. A ‘little known’ band called Status Quo were supporting him. I was the only English person there and it was a very surreal experience. I remember feeling ill with excitement.

“I’d heard Jeepster on the radio there and it really hit me. It stopped me in my tracks. There was something about it.

"And then when I saw him on stage in these amazing clothes – wow – satin jackets, velvet trousers and glitter make up – a man in makeup was not really the done thing.”

Danielz never actually met Marc Bolan. “ I wish I could say yes I had. My wife met him dozens of times," he said.

The pair met at a Marc Bolan convention in the 80s and got married in 1996. He became a tribute artist after they married.

“They use to have look-alike competitions at the conventions and I would win things like albums without even trying. I always had the same look. When I became a fan I grew my hair down to my shoulders.

"I remember my maths teacher coming over to me and putting a hair grip in it as it was over my eyes and annoying her!

"I have never consciously tried to look like Marc. I’m fortunate that I am exactly the same height as Marc, which is quite small for a man, standing at 5’ 7” and that I have developed similar shaped features as I’ve grown older.

"It’s funny that when I first met Marc’s producer, Tony Visconti, the first thing he said to me was: “My God, you’re even the same height as Marc!”

Danielz says one of the reasons he formed a band in 1992 was to be able to front a band that could play Marc’s music.

“People only had the odd video and Top of the Pops to watch him on. So I thought it would be good to go on stage and see how far I could take it and three generations of fans came to watch.

“There is a legacy that has to be kept alive. I own some of his original clothes and writing. I also own most of his multi-track recordings so I do feel obliged to carry on doing this.

"I am a historian and a curator. Marc’s house was ram-sacked when he died by supposed fans and that’s why his stuff has become scattered.

"The tapes I have were owned by EMI. A conglomerate of us got loans to buy them and they are in safe storage. They must be stored at the right temperature as they break easily as they are old.

" I could have bought a house with the money we spent on them. I was invited by The Antiques Roadshow to take something on TV for valuing a few years ago so I took the recording of Twentieth Century Boy. They couldn’t put a price on it – it was priceless.”

He still enjoys the shows greatly.

“Every show feels like my first. I love performing. I was a musician before I did this. It’s all I can do.

"My life is based round Marc Bolan now. If I didn’t enjoy it I would quit. I’m 55 and in a few years I will be double his age.

"When I can’t do it any more I will stop. He gave his soul when he performed – and I do. I give it everything I’ve got.”