Marc Bolan, David Bowie, and the Counter-Hegemonic Persona: ‘Authenticity’, Ephemeral Identities, and the ‘Fantastical Other’


  • Alison May Blair University of Otago



In the 1970s, Marc Bolan and David Bowie, as the first glam rock stars, were among the first pop music artists to challenge conventional norms of identity, authenticity, gender and sexuality. They presented audiences with a range of counter-hegemonic personae that enacted a departure from the everyday – the alien, the warlock, the ‘bopping elf’, occult magician, hybrid being. These ‘fantastical Others’ represented a carnivalesque escape from the increasingly unpalatable social and economic conditions of everyday life in 1970s Britain – and, furthermore, they challenged the very ideas of identity and authenticity, by presenting personae that were deliberately artificial, ephemeral, and of a fantastical, alternative reality .

Author Biography

Alison May Blair, University of Otago

Alison Blair is a Masters thesis candidate in the Department of Media, Film and Communication, University of Otago.


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