Marc Bolan

A British television series presented by Marc Bolan ~ 1977
By Krista Cameron

‘Sing me a song that the world can sing along and I’ll show you a song from the heart..’
(from the opening of the MARC television program)

Rockstar, mystic, author, and dandy in his own right, Marc Bolan, aka TREX had a short lived television program on British syndication showcasing popular rock ‘n roll, glam and punk acts, as well as lesser known groups and guests. The show was produced in Manchester, England by Granada Television. Each show, Marc would play three or four of his solo or T Rex tunes, taking turns with other acts. Labeled a ‘pop’ music show, it served as great exposure for acts like the Jam, Generation X, and the Bay City Rollers, among many.

The show only consisted of six weekly episodes. The unfortunate cancellation was only due to his untimely yet foreshadowed death in a car accident at age 29. He would have a ‘pick from the top’ of each episode, and more often it was the Radiostars, his ex John’s Children’s bandmate’s current band.  They show why they deserved this spot early in the first episode with ‘No Russians in Russia’.

The six episodes’ full running time was around 25 minutes each. The show aired for its six weeks during fall of 1977, airing the last episode weeks after Marc’s death and days after his funeral. It featured a flubbed duet with fellow musician and friend David Bowie. Mid song, Marc kinda slipped slid of stage. David is rumored to have asked for a little wooden box for his friend to stand on to play and finish.

Other notable guests were a broad spectrum of talent ranging from Thin Lizzy, Hawkwind, Roger Tayor of Queen fame, 10CC, the Boomtown Rats. Marc did know his music and well. Performances were sometimes a tad campy (see also the Heartthrobs), with sometimes silly settings and overacting, as shown in Showaddywaddy’s performance of their song ‘You Got What it Takes,’ depicting the band playing pinball machines in a grease like diner, dressed in T Bird fashion. There wasn’t much talk between sets, and certainly no real interaction with Marc and most guests except their introduction and a thank you. It was a performance based show entirely.

The show still faces criticisms of being ‘cheesy.’ ‘Tacky!’ ‘Horrible!’ ‘Trash!’ the comments read when I was reviewing the episodes online. I don’t think Marc would’ve given a marc-damn. He was doing what all rock’n roll and pop fans were doing at home in their bedrooms each night, except he was playing his songs and his favorite songs and his friends songs on television instead of a full-length mirror.

Episode one is good simply for its T Rex tunes. Radiostar stands out as the act to be of the evening and the pilot comes to a close after seven or eight numbers. Sadly, after an extensive search, nothing comes up online at all for episode two to view. Episode 3 starts with a rip roaring Boomtown Rats tearing through ”looking out for number one.” A baby-faced Jamie Wild follows with a tame disco number. The Heartthrob dancers enter stage for a song, a four member female troupe performing simple choreography to songs like ”Celebrate Summer”.

Episode four opens with a Jon Paul Young type pop singer named Denis Conly. Marc calls him someone to remember. One look at the date the show was aired, and it was sad. It was 2 days before Marc’s tragic death. Queen’s Roger Taylor’s solo effort “I Wanna testify” is a real rocker and really makes the show. As if to foreshadow his death in 48 short hours, Marc softly croons ‘Dandy in the Underworld.’ ‘When will he come up for air? Will anybody ever care?’ he sings, as if asking himself the question.

Episode 5 aired Sept 21 1977. Marc opens the show with the odd ‘New York City’. Denis Conly returns to stink it up again with ‘Idolizer.’ This show is good based purely on Marc’s material, but Thin Lizzy drops in and blows minds, with Radiostar returning to blow even more minds with ‘No Russians in Russia’, which by now is catchy after now hearing it twice.

The final show was aired after Marc’s funeral was held and featured Marc opening with his bouncy tune ‘Deborah.’ Gen X rocks the stage with ‘Your Generation,’ a young Billy Idol sneering into the mic. Eddie and the Hot Rods are amazing and probably the best act Marc ever booked for the show. It’s shaping up to be one hell of a show when BOWIE drops in to perform heroes. They start a jam afterwards and as David breaks into song, Marc topples off stage. David is amused. They eventually pick up and end the reign of MARC on September 28, 1977. Marc and MARC were both dead.

“Keep a little Marc in your heart..”

Show 1:  August 24, 1977  Watch Here

“Sing Me a Song” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex
“All Around the World” – The Jam
“I Love to Boogie” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex
“Cool Wind From the North” – Stephanie
“No Russians In Russia” – Radio Stars
“Heart Throb’s Dance” (You Made Me Believe In Magic/ DCR)
“Celebrate Summer” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex
“You Got What It Takes” – Showaddywaddy
“Jeepster” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex

Show 2:  August 31, 1977 (not found online, unfortunately)

“Celebrate Summer” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex
“Hearts Throb Dance” (Roots Rock & Desmond Dekker)
“If I Can Just Through Tonight” – Alphalpha
“You Made Me Believe In Magic” – Bay City Rollers
“New York City” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex
“Ride a White Swan” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex
“Just a Little Tenderness” – Mud
“People In Love” – 10cc
“Endless Sleep” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex

Show 3:  September 7, 1977  Watch Here

“Sing Me a Song” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex
“Groove a Little” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex
“Looking After Number One” – The Boomtown Rats
“You’re My Baby” – Jamie Wild
“Let’s Dance” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex
“Hearts Throbs Dance (Celebrate Summer)” / Marc Bolan with T. Rex)
“Get Your Love Right” – Alan David
“Quark Strangeness and Charm” – Hawkwind
“Hot Love” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex

Show 4:  September 14 1977  Watch Here

“New York City” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex
“Idolizer” – Denis Conly
“Tulane” – Steve Gibbons Band
“I Love to Boogie” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex
“Endless Sleep” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex
“Confessing” – Robin Askwith
“I Wanna Testify” – Roger Taylor (Queen)
“Dandy In the Underworld” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex

(Sept 16 Marc passes on in a deadly car accident with his girlfriend. Neither were wearing seatbelts and she was the driver. She sustains a broken arm and does not learn of his death until the day before the funeral. Two pre-taped episodes of the show remain to air.)

Show 5  September 21, 1977  Watch Here

“Sing Me a Song” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex
“Sunshine of Your Love” – Rosetta Stone
“Heart Throbs Dance” (Get On)
“Bring Back the Love” – Blue
“Celebrate Summer” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex
“No Russians In Russia” – Radio Stars
“Dancing In the Moonlight (It’s Caught Me In It’s Spotlight)” – Thin Lizzy
“Get It On” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex

(After Marc’s funeral, the last of the pretaped shows is aired and the show is closed out.)

Show 6:  September 28, 1977:  Watch Here

“Deborah” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex
“Your Generation” – Generation X
“I’m a Fighter” – Lip Service
“Heart Throb’s Dance” – (Ain’t it Strange)
“Groove A Little” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex
“Ride A White Swan” – Marc Bolan with T. Rex
“Heart Throb’s Dance (I Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet)” / Gonzalez (band)
“Do Anything You Want to Do” – Eddie and the Hot Rods
“Heroes” – David Bowie
Instrumental Jam with David Bowie and Marc Bolan & T. Rex