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‘Supersonic’: Mid-70s footage of The Damned, Thin Lizzy & T.Rex performing on UK kids TV show
11.11.2015
10:40 am
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Marc Bolan of T-Rex performing on UK kid music TV show, Supersonic, 1975
A shot of Marc Bolan of T-Rex performing on UK kids music TV show, Supersonic

There are days I really, really love my job. Lucky for you, this is one of them, because I can’t wait to share this super intimate (as well as sort of strange) footage of T.Rex, The Damned, and Thin Lizzy performing on the short-lived kids Britpop-music television show awesomely titled, Supersonic.
 
Supersonic annual from 1977 featuring Bay City Rollers, David Essex and the star of the show Mike Mansfield
Supersonic annual from 1977 featuring Bay City Rollers, David Essex and the star of the show Mike Mansfield
 
The show was hosted by producer Mike Mansfield, and was targeted to kids and teens as well as filmed in front of a screaming audience full of them - hence its afternoon time slot.

Supersonic only ran for a couple of years and would feature musical performances from all kinds of groups. Some that would distinctly appeal to the shows targeted demographic like the Bay City Rollers, but there were also appearances by legendary rock musicians and glam bands like The Sweet, Slade, Ginger Baker, and The Kinks. I gotta say that the footage of Thin Lizzy doing “Wild One” from their 1975 record, Fighting on Supersonic is really something special. And after you watch it, you can’t help but hope that it made a lasting impression on the lucky kids in that studio.
 
Phil Lynot of Thin Lizzy performing on Supersonic
Phil Lynott on Supersonic
 
A strange aside - Gary Glitter also made several appearances on the show. Which of course in retrospect sounds like a terrible fucking idea as Glitter’s activities that earned him the title of “pedophile” date back to 1975. Yikes. Anyway, I can’t think of any better way to cleanse your mind of my previous statement than watching a certain Marc Bolan getting doused by a giant bubble machine while lip-synching (and gyrating) his glittery heart out to his 1975 single, “Dreamy Lady.”
 

T.Rex performing “Dreamy Lady” on the UK kids show, Supersonic
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.11.2015
10:40 am
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Brown Sugar: Marsha Hunt, beautiful muse of Mick Jagger and Marc Bolan
10.16.2015
05:07 pm
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Although a famous Vogue magazine cover shot by Patrick Lichfield of Marsha Hunt, naked, with a huge Afro, as a London cast member of Hair is an indisputably and quintessentially iconic image of the 1960s, Hunt remains under the radar of most music fans. For one (quite good) reason, there are exactly zero CDs of her music on the market currently and there is nothing on iTunes or Spotify either. This is too bad, because she made some worthwhile music during her career. However, some pretty great clips of her live on European TV have been popping up on YouTube and many of her better known singles have made it to some audio blogs as well, so there’s plenty for me to illustrate here what still makes Hunt the object of cult fascination. Eventually, I have no doubt, she’ll be rediscovered by music nerds. It’s about time…
 

 
Hunt, an insanely gorgeous, highly-intellectual 19-year-old model, originally from Philly, went to UC Berkeley, smoked pot, dropped acid and marched alongside Jerry Rubin protesting the Vietnam war. She moved to swinging London in 1966 and married Mike Ratledge of the Soft Machine so she could stay in the country (and is still married to him to this day, although they have not been together for decades). She sang backup vocals for blues great Alexis Korner and became a cast member of Hair, playing “Dionne” in the West End production. A photo of Hunt by Justin de Villeneuve was used on the poster and Playbill of the London production.
 

 
There’s very, very little surviving footage of the London production of Hair—which opened on September 27, 1968, one day after the abolition of theatre censorship, allowing for nudity and profanity onstage—but I did find this amazing clip of “Black Boys/White Boys.” Marsha Hunt, looking stunning, comes into view at about one minute in:
 

 
More Marsha, after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.16.2015
05:07 pm
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‘Music-Hall Humorist’: Read Marc Bolan’s Melody Maker article about David Bowie
05.21.2015
09:59 am
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Bowie and Bolan on the final episode of Bolan’s TV show, MARC

He had a mime act and used to open up the show. He didn’t sing at all but had a tape going and he’d act out a story about a Tibetan boy.

Mime act? Tape going? Tibetan boy? It can only be another reminiscence of David Bowie’s early years in showbiz. But this one is special: it comes from a Melody Maker feature by Bowie’s friend and sometime rival Marc Bolan. It appeared in print just six months before Bolan’s tragic death in a car crash.

I came across Bolan’s article, “Music-Hall Humorist,” in the foxed and brittle pages of David Bowie, A Chronology, a relic from the Let’s Dance era. “Music-Hall Humorist” first appeared in the March 12, 1977 issue of Melody Maker, a number that was heavy with Bowie-related news. Published during the Thin White Duke’s annus mirabilis, the issue featured both Iggy and Bowie on the cover, and the headline screamed LOU REED DUE.

The article reads more like a transcript of Bolan talking to a reporter than something he sweated out over a typewriter, but who knows? Maybe it was laboriously composed over a period of several weeks. Sure it was…

David is a great singer . . . he can sing anything, almost. I remember him when he was in The Lower Third and he used to go to gigs in an ambulance. I used to think he was very professional. He was playing saxophone then and singing. I suppose it was a blues band then and he was produced by Shel Talmy.

He did a record which I’m sure everybody has forgotten. It was ‘Pop Art’ – yer actual feedback. I can’t remember what it was called.

After that he went to Decca around the time I was doing ‘The Wizard’. He was into . . . bombardiers then. Don’t you remember ‘The Little Bombardier’?

He was very Cockney then. I used to go round to his place in Bromley and he always played Anthony Newley records. I haven’t spoken to him about it, but I guess that was how he got into mime.

Newley did mime in Stop the World I Wanna Get Off. The funny thing is that ‘The Laughing Gnome’, which was one of David’s biggest singles here, came from that early period.

It came at the height of his supercool image. And that’s very ‘Strawberry Fair’ . . . ‘the donkey’s eaten all the strawberries!’ That was his biggest single, so it just shows you it doesn’t pay to be cool, man!

Rock ‘n’ Roll suicide hit the dust and the laughing gnomes took over. We were all looking for something to get into then. I wanted to be Bob Dylan, but I think David was looking into that music-hall humour.

It was the wrong time to do it, but all his songs were story songs, like ‘London Boys’. They had a flavour, with very square kinda backings.

But in those days there weren’t any groovy backings being laid down. I think if he played back those records now he’d smile at them, because he was an unformed talent then. He was putting together the nucleus of what he was eventually going to be.

When he had ‘Space Oddity’ he was on tour with me in Tyrannosaurus Rex. He had a mime act and used to open up the show. He didn’t sing at all but had a tape going and he’d act out a story about a Tibetan boy. It was quite good actually, and we did the Festival Hall with Roy Harper as well.

I remember David playing me ‘Space Oddity’ in his room and I loved it and said he needed a sound like the Bee Gees, who were very big then. The stylophones he used on that, I gave him. Tony Visconti turned me onto stylophones.

The record was a sleeper for months before it became a hit, and I played on ‘Prettiest Star’, you know which I thought was a great song, and it flopped completely.

But I never got the feeling from David that he was ambitious. I remember he’d buy antiques if he had a hit, when he should have saved his money. David got his drive to be successful once I’d done it with the T. Rex thing. At the beginning of the seventies it was the only way to go.

 

“It’s so easy, a baby could learn to play it in fifteen minutes”: an ad for the Stylophone
 
David Bowie, A Chronology also includes this unsourced anecdote from March 1977:

While in London, David is taken for lunch to Toscanini’s in the Kings Road by Marc Bolan. After the meal, David and Bolan, both slightly drunk, wandered down the Kings Road singing. At one point, when in view of a packed open-topped double-decker bus full of school children, the two jumped up and down trying to attract the children’s attention shouting alternately, ‘I’m David Bowie’, and ‘I’m Marc Bolan’. Although the school children were none too interested in their antics, they did manage to attract some Bowie fans who couldn’t believe their luck when David obliged with an autograph and a chat.

I’m not sure if this is the “pop art” single Bolan was trying to recall, but here’s Bowie (in the Manish Boys) singing “I Pity The Fool” in 1965. Shel Talmy produced and Jimmy Page played lead guitar. (Be warned: there’s six seconds of silence before the song starts.)

Posted by Oliver Hall
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05.21.2015
09:59 am
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The Beginning of Doves: EARLY live Marc Bolan performance from 1967
10.24.2014
07:58 pm
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John Peel intros this early on—and I do mean really early on, he’d just left John’s Children—performance by his chum Marc Bolan’s brand new “little group,” Tyrannosaurus Rex.

After a single disastrous gig with a four-piece rock group, Bolan slimmed the act down to just himself and wild-man bongo player Steve Peregrin Took.

The duo are seen here performing in the legendary psychedelic nightclub, Middle Earth in late 1967. Tyrannosaurus Rex were one of the most regular acts to play the club, along with Soft Machine, Tomorrow, The Deviants and the Graham Bond Organization.

The number, “Sarah Crazy Childe,” was a John’s Children b-side written by Marc.

If there’s an earlier clip of Tyrannosaurus Rex, I’ve not seen it.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.24.2014
07:58 pm
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Pictures of Marc Bolan riding on top of things
09.26.2014
10:22 am
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Marc Bolan riding a tiny shiny tank
 
What started out as a desire to spend some time looking at photos of the forever young Marc Bolan (we’ve all been there), led me to spend many satisfying hours in a glam rock rabbit hole full of feather boas, and mind-boggling sparkly menswear. Among the thousands of images of Bolan that caught my eye were a few that had the electric warrior riding on top of things. No big deal you say? I mean, if you’ve seen one rock icon riding on top of a horse while out of their mind, you’ve seen them all, right? Wrong. To prove my point, here is a collection of six photos with Marc Bolan riding on top of everything from a shiny toy tank to a tiger.
 
Marc Bolan riding on top of a carousel horse
Marc Bolan riding on top of a carousel horse
 
Marc Bolan riding on top of a bike
Marc Bolan riding on top of a bike
 
Marc Bolan riding on top of a skateboard
Marc Bolan riding on top of a skateboard
 
Marc Bolan riding on top of a tiger
Marc Bolan riding on top of a tiger
 
Marc Bolan riding on top of a cloud
Marc Bolan riding on top of a cloud

Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.26.2014
10:22 am
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Scenes from Marc Bolan’s funeral
07.07.2014
06:49 pm
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Marc Bolan and Gloria Jones at Rod Stewart’s party at Morton’s on the night that he died.
 
Although many of his songs refer to cars, Marc Bolan himself was deathly afraid of driving, fearing a young death. Despite owning his famous white Rolls-Royce (among many other ostentatious vehicles) he never learned how to master an automobile. On September 16, 1977, two weeks before Bolan would have turned 30, returning from a party thrown by Rod Stewart, he was killed when the purple Mini being driven by his girlfriend, American soul singer Gloria Jones (she recorded the original version of Ed Cobb’s “Tainted Love”) hit a chainlink fence and then a tree near Gypsy Lane in Southwest London. Neither passenger was wearing a seatbelt. The accident occurred less than one mile from Bolan’s mansion in East Sheen.

The funeral held four days later at the Golders Green Crematorium was attended by Les Paul, Rod Stewart, Bolan producer Tony Visconti, Eric Clapton and a contingent of sobbing fans. A swan-shaped floral arrangement calling to mind Bolan’s first big hit record, “Ride a White Swan” was displayed at the ceremony. Gloria Jones, hospitalized with a broken jaw and arm was not to find out about Marc’s death until the day of his funeral. Within a few days their home was looted by thieves.

The crash site has become a shrine to his memory with fans making pilgrimages to leave flowers and tributes and is maintained by the T.Rex Action Group. Today Gloria Jones runs a charity dedicated to Bolan’s memory in Sierra Leone.

The images here are courtesy of a new website devoted to nostalgia, Flashbak and the Press Association. Follow Flashbak on Twitter and Facebook.
 

A young couple comfort each other in front of the floral white swan.
 

Members of Marc Bolan’s family. Gloria Jones’ brother, Richard Jones, in hat behind them.
 

Rolan Bolan’s godfather David Bowie—who would quietly provide for Gloria and Rolan and paid for his education—arrives at the service.
 

Rod Stewart and friend.
 

 

 

What was left of the purple Mini.

If you go to the 4:15 mark below, you’ll see color footage of Marc Bolan’s funeral.

Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.07.2014
06:49 pm
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Amazing Marc Bolan memorabilia on ‘Antiques Roadshow’
06.27.2013
02:30 pm
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An unnamed, but very dedicated Marc Bolan fan (and T. Rex tribute band leader) brings along choice selections from his insane collection of Marc memorabilia on a 2007 episode of Antiques Roadshow.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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06.27.2013
02:30 pm
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The ‘Honky Château’ where Bowie, Bolan, Elton, and Iggy recorded is Up for Sale
06.13.2013
05:41 pm
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nolabyggiwtnotleeiwob.jpg
 
The Château d’Hérouville where David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Elton John, The Grateful Dead, The Sweet and Fleetwood Mac recorded is up for sale.

Located near the town of Auvers-sur-Oise, in France, the property is described as a coaching station, built in the 18th century, which includes 30-rooms, and 1,700m ²  of living space.

The selling price is 1, 295, 000 Euros.

In 1962, composer Michel Magne purchased the property and developed it into a recording studio. Magne is best known for his Oscar win for Gigot.

The Château was particularly popular with British artists, starting with Elton John, who recorded three albums at the studios, Honky Chateau, Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player and Goodbye Yellowbrick Road. Elton suggested the studio to Marc Bolan where he recorded his 1972 album The Slider; and Bolan recommended it to David Bowie who record Pin-Ups in July 1973, and then Low in 1977. 

But the Château wasn’t just known for its considerable musical pedigree. Producer Tony Visconti claimed star-crossed lovers Frederic Chopin and George Sand haunted the building—Chopin had trysted with Sand while living at the mansion. Bowie also noted the studios supernatural feel.

If this slice of pop history tickles your fancy, then check the details here.
 
aauaetahcsicum.jpg
 
More info and pictures, after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
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06.13.2013
05:41 pm
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Early Marc Bolan: ‘Warlord of the Royal Crocodiles’ on US TV, 1969
04.22.2013
06:41 pm
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Another nugget of early Marc Bolan gold: Tyrannosaurus Rex performing “Warlord of the Royal Crocodiles” (from Unicorn) on Philadelphia’s The Hy Lit Show in 1969.

Handsome as life
He’s our lord and we trust in him
To move like the wind
As our friend and guardian.

The elements and oceans congregate on his brow
And he stalks in style like a royal crocodile.

His chariot legs
Are tree green and autumn brown
His crown of dusk is a glimpse of things to be.

In palaces and temples near the dwellings of man
If he can he’ll smile ‘cos he’s a Royal Crocodile.

After their American tour, Bolan would sack his hard-partying bongo player, Steve Peregrin Took and replace him with Mickey Finn.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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04.22.2013
06:41 pm
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The Beginning of Doves: Live Marc Bolan performance from 1967
04.17.2013
09:08 pm
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John Peel intros this early on—and I do mean really early on, he’d just left John’s Children—performance by his chum Marc Bolan’s brand new “little group,” Tyrannosaurus Rex.

After a single disastrous gig with a four-piece rock group, Bolan slimmed the act down to just himself and wild-man bongo player Steve Peregrin Took.

The duo are seen here performing in the legendary psychedelic nightclub, Middle Earth in late 1967. Tyrannosaurus Rex were one of the most regular acts to play the club, along with Soft Machine, Tomorrow, The Deviants and the Graham Bond Organization.

The number, “Sarah Crazy Childe,” was a John’s Children b-side written by Marc.

If there’s an earlier clip of Tyrannosaurus Rex, I’ve not seen it.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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04.17.2013
09:08 pm
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Early Marc Bolan: ‘Jasper C. Debussy’ (X-rated version)
04.14.2013
12:37 pm
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image
 
One of my top favorite Marc Bolan songs, the criminally obscure “Jasper C. Debussy” from The Beginning of Doves album, a 1974 compilation that collected together material recorded much earlier in his career. The version on that album clipped out a bit of how Bolan actually introduced the song, but when the CD came out it was added back.

This song never gets old for me. Listen below:
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Orgasm: The Pop Art Explosion of John’s Children (featuring a pre-T. Rex Marc Bolan!)

Early Marc Bolan: Tyrannosaurus Rex perform ‘The Seal of the Seasons’

Posted by Richard Metzger
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04.14.2013
12:37 pm
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T-Rex: Marc Bolan rehearses ‘Get It On (Bang a Gong)’ in the studio, 1970
04.11.2013
08:53 am
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image
 
This is rather delightful: Marc Bolan rehearses an early version of “Get It On (Bang A Gong)” in the studio with T-Rex, for producer Tony Visconti in 1970.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Seldom-seen T-Rex video for ‘Light of Love’ 1974


Marc Bolan: T-Rex rule Don Krishner’s ‘Rock Concert’ 1974


 
With thanks to Gavin Bonnar
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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04.11.2013
08:53 am
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Marc Bolan: T.Rex rule Don Kirshner’s ‘Rock Concert’, 1974
12.08.2012
08:10 pm
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image
 
Marc Bolan’s career was in decline by the time he appeared on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. His singles were failing to chart back in Britain, the original T.Rex line-up had split after the departure of Bill Legend, and Bolan was no longer working with his key producer Tony Visconti. There were also rumors of Bolan living an out-of-control, tax exile, lifestyle of cocaine and brandy, and his once svelte, androgynous frame, had ballooned into a debauched cherub.

The fans had changed too. A new generation had sworn allegiance to the tartan-trewed Bay City Rollers, rather than fantasies of Glam. This then was the background against which Bolan was first introduced to the American public on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, in 1974.

In a new line-up that included Bolan’s girlfriend Gloria Jones on keyboards and backing vocals, T.Rex kicked ass (even Bolan’s voice was occasionally flat) as they played “Jeepster”, “Zip Gun Boogie”, “Token of My Love” and “Get It On (Bang A Gong)” to an audience that seemed both literally stunned and amazed.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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12.08.2012
08:10 pm
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T.Rex Regeneration: Tony Visconti releases ‘new’ Marc Bolan track, ‘Childlike Men’
10.11.2012
03:25 pm
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image
 
Nope, this isn’t an undiscovered song by the 20th Century Boy recently unearthed here in the 21st: “Childlike Men” is the first track from Tony Visconti and son Morgan Visconti’s “T.Rex Regeneration” project.

They’ve taken the multi-tracks from some vintage T.Rex recording sessions from 1970-72—which, of course, Visconti Sr. produced—to create an entirely “new” song. (Well entirely like a new—and highly enjoyable, don’t get me wrong—fusion of demos for “Jeepster,” “Diamond Meadows” and “Ride a White Swan” with a spoken word poem section, strings and an unrelated guitar solo or two, I guess is more like it).

A few years ago Visconti mixed a barnstorming version of Electric Warrior in 5.1 surround, and took great care that it still sounded sonically like what it is, an album from the early 1970s. I didn’t expect this to be as good as it is, but I really, really love it.

Marc Bolan’s would have turned 65 on the September 30, 2012.
 

 
Well-spotted, Niall Connolly!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.11.2012
03:25 pm
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‘Marc’: Every episode of Marc Bolan’s 1977 TV series, now on YouTube!
10.08.2012
05:33 pm
Topics:
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image
Bolan with girlfriend Gloria Jones (who wrote sang “Tainted Love” in 1965), and son Rolan. Yup… Rolan Bolan. I suppose Rolan had play-dates with Zowie Bowie?
 
Though clips of Marc Bolan’s 1977 after school Granada TV series, Marc, have been floating around YouTube for a while, this is the first time I’ve seen all the episodes up in their entirety. It’s quite the visual parade. It’s got some really cool moments, though at times Bolan looks positively bleary, lip-synching to T. Rex tunes with what appear to be “The Marc Bolan Dancers” (one of the weirdest/awesomest parts of the show).

Many of the artists are were up-and-comers who came and went, but you can also catch some great performances by bands like Thin Lizzy, Hawkwind, The Jam and Generation X. David Bowie even makes an appearance on the final episode where Bolan trips over a microphone wire and falls off the stage. Not having time for a reshoot, they kept it that way as the paired giggled and Bowie allegedly asked “Could we have a wooden box for Marc [to stand on]?”

Nothing like basing a live television show around a guy with a serious drug and alcohol problem. Still though, it’s hard to imagine some honey-cooing glam rocker getting his own live musical variety show in this day and age, and the concept is golden. “If only…” you know what I mean?
 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Amber Frost
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10.08.2012
05:33 pm
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