~June Ellen Child~
~The Cosmic Lady~

Early Years

June Ellen Child was born on 23 August 1943 in London and lived in Fulham with her sister Fiona and parents. Her father worked for W.H.Smith.
She attended Holland Park Comprehensive. She worked for Veroniques, a firm of fabric importers before leaving to work for a photographer, whose studio was in the same building in Hanover Street. It was at this time she started helping out with unknown bands, such as the Yardbirds.

By the summer of 1966 Blackhill Enterpries employees found June Child who was living at Edbrooke Road with her boyfriend, a jewelery maker called Mick Milligan and a dozen of black cats called - most of them - Squeaky. In that flat also lived Peter Jenner, who wa Pink Floyd manager, and Sumi Jenner and John Marsh.

They lived the full, all together and trying to save. Having no money, they provide the food to eat from fruit and vegetables they found in Portobello Road market after the shops closed.
She remembers having no work at that time and the boys told her to pick up the phone and make and answer calls. At the begining she did it for free, but one day she asked for being payed for doing this.

As time went by, she started to be the secretary and receptionist of Pink Floyd, first she drove their van to the gigs, then she made the payments for the gigs and she had to care about the money the group was earning.


By 1967 she began dating Pink floyd's singer, Syd Barrett, she remembered: "Syd was very special in an extraordinary way, he wrote wonderful songs, the lyrics were incredible. He was very, very much the creator of the group in those days," says June Bolan. "When he would sit at home and write a song, he'd think of what the drummer ought to play, how the bass line should be He played very good rhythm as well as lead, and he'd know what he wanted to hear. He'd go into rehearsals and say to Nick, This is what I want you to play'...and that's how it would come out"

According June, Syd Barrett was a kind of window-shopping showing always his clothing. "He was like a model, everything he wore, fitted him perfectly. He was a genius lokking as Adonis".

“Syd Barrett had this quality like a candle that was about to be snuffed out at any minute. Really all illumination. An extraordinary, wonderful man. He took lots of LSD. Lots of people can take some LSD and cope with it in their lives, but if you take three or four trips every

day....”

And yet, June stresses, there was no overnight change. "He'd be all right for a couple of weeks, and then he'd be funny for a couple of days-and it would transpire that he was taking a lot of acid. He knew the volume of the acid he was taking. But then 'friends,' when he had a cup of tea, would drop one in and not tell him, so that halfway through a trip he'd be on another trip. And perhaps they'd do that a couple of times a day for two or three weeks. And that's when his hold on reality became very tenuous."
“I went through all Syd's acid breakdowns. He used to come round to my house at five in the morning covered in mud from Holland Park when he'd freaked out and the police chased him. He used to go to the youth hostel in Holland Park, get wrecked and spaced and walk to Shepherd's Bush where I was living.”
Contributing to the pressure-cooker ambience was the relentless touring to which the Floyd were committed throughout the rest of 1967: over 80 shows from May to September alone. Some were what June Bolan calls "double-headers"--two gigs in one night.
June Bolan attributes some of the friction to Barrett-the charismatic singer and songwriter-having naturally been singled out for special attention. "It always happens: The singer in the band gets more pictures. He was also the most photogenic. Syd was the motivating force in the band, and that's basically, initially, who people wanted to see."
"I think it's indicative of 'fame'-it could be just one record, something like 'See Emily Play,' and your first 'Top of the Pops'-and then things change,
"
she says. "Before, they were four people who'd grown up together, or gone to college together. It became separate camps of people: your smokers and dopers, and your drinkers."
June Bolan affirms that "once Syd lost his grip, they were really wicked to him. With Syd behaving like a complete cretin, they would send him up on long car journeys where you're all stuck in one vehicle, and there's nowhere to go because you've got to end up at the gig."
"Perhaps had they been kinder, in those early days of his breakdown or cracking up or whatever you want to call it, he may not have been hit so hard by it all. But that is speculation. It may have happened anyway, in exactly the same way, or it may not have happened so badly-but I do feel that they were horrider to him than they need to have been."


“One of the last British gigs Syd played with Floyd was the Christmas On Earth Continued, December 22 1967 at Olympia.. First of all we couldn't find Syd, then I found him in the dressing room and he was so gone, sitting rigid like a stone. I kept saying, Syd, It's June! Look at me! His blank stare registered not a flicker of recognition. As the milling audience grew restless, the stage manager kept knocking on the door with his increasingly urgent summons: Time to go! Time to go! And we're trying to get Syd up," June recalls, "and get him together to go and play. He couldn't speak. He was absolutely catatonic. Roger Waters and I got him on his feet, got him out to the stage. We put the white Stratocaster round his neck and he walked on stage and of course the audience went spare because they loved him. The band started to play and Syd stood there, he just stood there, tripping out of his mind. They did three; maybe four numbers and we got him off. He couldn't stand up for a set, let alone do anything else. That's when you have to give Roger credit for what he did. He actually got the other two together and made a sort of half-arsed version of a set. Peter and Andrew [the two managers] were frantic-they were pulling out their hair”.


Due to Syd Barrett problems mental stability, the group, found in January 1968, David Gilmour, who would play an additional guitar if in some gigs Syd coudln't do it. Finally, in April 1968 Syd Barrett left the group, and so did the producers Andrew King and Peter Jenner. This meant the end as well of The Black Hill Enterprises, but in those days, June have met another rock child: Marc Bolan.

 

Source: Sauceful of Secrets, the Pink Floyd Odyssey, by Nicholas Schaffner. Harmony 1991.

Life with Marc Bolan

June was working in the office of Black Hill Enterprises. There it should be when she met another "Rock Child" Marc Bolan of Tyrannosaurus Rex. A faithful meeting that turned spontaneous into a romance.
"Bolan used to hang around in our office and sit on the floor, strumming his guitar, flirting with our secretary, June, who, of course, he later married. He was a great Syd fan. I was quite fond of him. He was a big pain in the arse, of course, very full of himself. I always liked that thing where he called himself the Bolan child, this magical, mythical name. It was really from his doorbell in Ladbroke Grove. It had his name, and our secretary's surname, Child, so it read Bolan Child and fans used to think, wow, he is the Bolan Child!" recalls Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour.

The meeting of June and Marc will always remain in the rock’n’roll history as one of its most romantic episodes. Says Marc: “We’d known each other only a short while when I asked her home to tea late one afternoon at my parents’ prefab in Wimbledon. The sun was bright and hot. We sat with our tea on the lawn. After we had held hands there was silence for a while. Then I said, “June — I think I love you.” She replied quietly, “I feel the same way about you, Marc.”
They fell in love nearly on the spot and spent their first four nights together sleeping in June's van on Wimbledon Common. They then moved into a small cold-water flat in Notting Hill Gate in which Marc had an artist draw a picture of a Tyrannosaurus Rex upon the wall. Together they discovered worlds of myth and legends and spent hours reading the Lord of the Rings. One night June claimed to have awaked to find the picture on the wall moving and breathing. Marc swore that his own imagination had brought the creature to life and had he not the strength to divert his eyes from it; it would have devoured them both.
After that, the couple moved into the attic of 57 Blenheim Crescent. In their ‘chateau in the west’, as Marc called it, just off Ladbroke Grove down the hill from Hendrix’s last residence, the Bolans lived a frugal macrobiotic existence. During their Tolkienesque Notting Hill hippy phase, Marc is recalled sitting cross-legged on the floor worshipping a statue of Pan (which he called ‘Poon’) on the mantelpiece, studying Buddhism, and making his own Christmas cards while June sold lampshades on Portobello.

June was four years older, smarter and more worldly wise. Bolan was obsessed with Lord of the Rings, but he was dyslexic and had never read it. Lying in bed together, June read the three volumes out loud to Bolan - 'and The Hobbit too,' says Tony Visconti. 'She filled in all the pieces that were missing in his life.' June became his lover, chauffeur, minder, mentor, and eventually, his wife.

Since then June played an essential role in Marc's life and career, she became not only Marc’s wife and inspiration to many songs but his closest ally, organising gigs, co-ordinating media relations, typing lyrics for him, but most important, always supporting him in all of his endeavours. June always offer Marc an honest critic to his songs and lyrics. June often recalled later: "It was a wonderful time. We were very happy."

After Steve Took’s separation from Tyrannosaurus Rex and going musically his own independent way, June encouraged Marc to give his new discovery Mickey Finn a try. She thought both of them were very beauty and would be a great band convincing in their style and appearance.

June and Marc got finally married on January 30th in 1970 at the Kensington Registry. So her name changed into June Bolan btw. June Feld. Only five close friends were witness of the marriage: Mickey Finn and his girlfriend Sue Worth, ex-mod Jeff Dexter, June’s friend Alice Ormsby-Gore and Pete Sanders, all dressed in the earthy hippie outfits of that season.

One faithful evening June got her frustrated husband to write another great song, which finally made it and became the hit he needed, the first of ten straight top ten hits. Ride a White Swan.
She loved Marc’s music and even blamed David Bowie in 1970. Marc joined David on his birthday in the studio to add some guitar riffs and June thought the only good thing was Marc’s play. This had the affect to put some more wood into the fire of the professional rivalry between the friends Bowie and Bolan what lead to the rise of two great superstars who wanted to out beat each other on stage.

June was Marc’s wife and manager, also his driver to some shows as Marc was afraid of driving, and the strong pole in his life for everything practical...as Marc had no sense for that. The one and only time Marc drove a car was when June tried to teach him. Marc was very enthusiastic but enjoyed the lesson very little and was deeply shocked when he thought he lost control of the car. When he left June’s mini he had made his mind: never to drive a car again. At this time June thought Marc’s behaviour was quiet funny. "Marc, you are my hero" she laughed but respected his decision feeling how serious he was about that.

Glam Rock got started when Marc plundered his wife’s beauty case and used some of her glitter. With putting it under his eyes he started a musical revolution. In its time Glam Rock was a powerful movement, David Bowie, the Sweet and some others followed the new way and the success was on Marc’s site too. In 1972 he was starring in a film produced by Ringo Starr "Born to Boogie". June can also be seen there. She was one of the nuns on the Tea Party scene, enjoying her burgers and drinks.
“Born to Boogie” UK premiere was held at Oscar’s cinema in Brewer Street, Soho on 14 December 1972, attended by T.Rex, Ringo Starr and Elton John (sporting his famous ZOOM glasses). Marc’s wife June was initially refused admission, as an over-zealous doorman considered her claim to be Mrs Bolan just another ruse to get close to the star of the show.


On all his tours she followed him around the world, being pleased by the success in England and Germany. But it was not always pleasant. June always thought that America wasn’t good for Marc and had a very negative effect on him. She felt heartbroken too when she saw how much Marc was hurt by his failure not to succeed in America. In Japan he did an amazing tour but America was a hard road.


But by 1973 she started to feel neglected. And sometimes worse. “It was after The Slider album when it started”, she told Ted Dicks. “We were on tour and he became incredibly violent. He was never a violent person really, and if he became cross he used to bit himself on the head. I mean, he never hit me. He usually did it when gigs were bad.”

This same year, June had declined to go to Munich. Her idea of success was to sit in the garden of Eric Clapton’s house in the Surrey stockbroker belt. The recording studio was becoming Marc’s home, the American stage his holiday destination.

Unstable and insecure, Marc Bolan inevitably began to view June through different eyes. Her occasional absences from his side were an indication that they were growing apart. From the time they’d first met, early in 1968, June Bolan had been a powerful force in Marc’s life. “June kept Marc on the ground in the early days when there was much to do”, says Mick Gray. ”She was his wife, lover, his mother and his best friend. When she relaxed her hold, the troubles started and so did the excesses”.

“I love June very much,”
he told John Blake in the Evening News in May 1973, “but people are weird. Things change and I never know.” It was a revealing slip that he sought to cover up immediately. “But I’m very happy at the moment,” he insisted. “Marriage is a great basis for sanity. I’d have opted out years ago with June.”

The marriage with Marc split in October 1973 after spending some weeks in holidays and having a good time together with their friends Ringo Starr, his wife Maureen and some other musicians they had been in touch. A sudden split after all but none of them had the courage to complete the divorce procedure — they never obtained the decree absolute. In 1977 Marc told June: “If you had not left, none of this would have happened.”

Despite their close working friendship of a few years earlier, Ringo had long since moved on professionally and personally. He had been equally close to June Child and when the couple split, his relationship cooled somewhat toward the erratic Marc. (June said that Ringo was like an uncle to Marc, often warning him to lay off the nose candy).

"He was my best friend, always, always my best friend" said June. 

 

Source: Bolan: the rise and fall of a 20th Century superstar, by Mark Paytress. Music Sales Corp. 2006.

Life with Paul Varley

June started a long-live relationship with Paul Varley (b. 24 May 1952), the Arrows drummer in 1976.  "June is very important to me" says Paul "We see a lot of each other and we go almost everwhere together". In 11th July 1978 they were parents, June gave birth to a daughter, Ilona.

When Marc died on 16th September 1977 June was deeply hurt and helped to keep his memory alive. In the following years June did much for the fans and gave interviews about Marc Bolan and T.Rex and was part of some tributes. There are a nice bunch of books around with June Bolan talking about her life in the 70s, about Marc, Mickey and her other friends about the hippie time and what else was important to her.

Later Years

In later years, Graham Porter became a loyal part of her life. Still June was engaged in keeping Marc’s memory in good mind and to stay in touch with his fans.

June’s tragic death on 1 September 1994 of a heart attack while on holiday in Turkey made many Marc’ s fans feel as if they lost a close friend, no matter whether they knew her personally or not.