Bill was born in Barking where he went to Roding Primary School then Erkenwald Secondary School. But following his parents move to Ilford, the last three years of his secondary schooling were spent at Mayfield. It was here that Bill, inspired by a friend and classmate who played guitar, became interested in playing drums.
Bill was influenced not only by the rock artists of the day but also many blues musicians and in particular a soul outfit called ‘Booker T & the MG’s’. They played backing tracks for the renown ‘Stax’ label and were true mentors to Bill’s way of playing.
Bill left Mayfield in 1960 and started work in a London art studio as an apprentice to become a commercial artist and Illustrator, but his self taught drumming skills led him into the music scene. During this time he was combining his job with music, and attending his local church youth movement (the Covenanters) at Marks Gate Baptist Church. He played in ‘The Zodiacs’, ‘Teen Beats’, ‘Scorpions’ and the ‘Epics’ on the pub and Youth Club circuit.
In 1968 Bill married and moved to Hockley. It was in the Southend area that he met the singer/songwriter Mick Jupp, leader of the band ‘Legend’. Bill joined the band, working the College and London Club circuit. The band enjoyed success, making two albums ‘The Red Boot’ and ‘Moonshine’ plus five singles.
Then Bill was introduced to Marc Bolan, the leader of T.Rex. Bolan was impressed by Bill’s skillful drumming and invited him to join the popular rock band. Marc Bolan renamed the drummer ‘Bill Legend’ after the band he came from. The first T.Rex single with Bill Legend on drums, ‘Hot Love’, went to number one in the UK charts in 1971 and stayed there for six weeks. The albums that followed include: ‘Electric Warrior’, ‘Bolan Boogie’, ‘The Slider’, ‘Tanx’ and ‘Zinc Alloy’.
From left to right: Bill Legend (Drums), Marc Bolan (Vocalist, Song Writer and Guitar), Mickey Finn (Congas and Bongos), Steve Currie (Bass Guitar). Bill Legend is the only surviving member of this classic 1970/73 T.Rex lineup, regarded by many as the most successful.