Having a late career re-boot with I Love To Boogie in 1976 Marc was back in the chart
and suddenly TV wanted him again. Mike Mansfield afforded him his own TV special
Rollin' Bolan in August, while in the London area he could also be found interviewing
pop stars on Thames' Today, the show which would see those pesky Sex Pistols get
the better of a drunk hack later in the year. It was of course, a false dawn. He
wouldn't really bother that charts again and, unbeknown to anyone, the end was in
Marc Bolan was probably approached about hosting his own show when he appeared on
Granada's fellow tea-time pop shows Arrows and Get It Together in April 1977. Both
were produced by Muriel Young, who single handedly owned tea-time pop from the mid
sixties for well over a decade.
Marc re-recorded his songs for the new show with his new version of T Rex, including
Herbie Flowers, Dino Dines and Tony Newman. While he was there to play his old hits
and introduce new acts he not unreasonably plugged his new 45 Celebrate Summer several
times, which despite the plays and his sudden death was still not a big hit. The
resident dance troupe were Heart Throb, choreographed by Teri Scoble as were many
of the Granada shows of the time.
By mid-1977 punk was considered a little safer than it had been and was slowly encroaching
into tea-time telly, so The Jam, Generation X and The Boomtown Rats were invited
onto the show as were The Radio Stars, featuring Bolan's old friend from John's Children
Andy Ellison. However, another old friend also appeared on the final edition. David
Bowie was briefly back in the UK to promote his single Heroes and lined up appearances
on Top Of The Pops, a Bing Crosby TV special of all things, and Marc's show, the
final of the series. In the Bolan TV documentary 'Ride On' DJ and friend Jeff Dexter
gave some comic-tragic insight into the recording of that final show, and the occasionally
less than cordial relationship between Boland and Bowie, "That day at the studio
was one of the of the worst experiences of our lives. We get back to the studio and
go to walk straight into the room I'd been in three days a week for six weeks, and
this guy puts his hand up and says 'sorry you can't go in there, it's (a) closed
session.' I said 'excuse me, who are you' he said 'I'm stopping anyone going to see
David Bowie' I said 'you get out the bloody way right now or you're out of here mate'.
I walked straight past him into the studio I walk in and there's this 'air' and the
studio is empty apart from Marc and the band and David and there's two other people
on the other door, so I go out the side door and go to look for Muriel, and I walk
down the end of the hall and there's this floor manager standing on his side with
his kit on and there's a group of people and there gonna call out everyone out they've
been ordered out of their own studio by David Bowie's security. So they've calling
a meeting, shop steward's come down. They're gonna close the show. So this turned
into an incredible row between everybody once Marc had twigged what had happened.
The rivalry then really showed." Publicist Keith Allen had invited press to the studio
only to witness the madness for himself. "Then the run through was chaotic because
people were arriving late. The Generation X turned up without their equipment and
to borrow from everybody else and Marc was saying 'if they smash anything of mine
I'll kill 'em.' Marc was going into his Cecil B DeMille routine 'Why do I have to
do it all, I can't be the director, the producer, the artist'." Everyone had assumed
the recording was at an end, but Marc and David promptly went into an end of show
jam which ended abruptly when Marc fell off the stage, much to Bowie's amusement,
he was only there to plug his new single after all.
A second series of thirteen shows was discussed with Marc, but his sudden death on
the 16th of September, two days after wrapping up the recording of the final show
put an end to that. The final two shows which were still to be shown were broadcast
Many of the shows began with Marc's Sing Me A Song and before he signed off he suggested
we all "Keep a little Marc in your heart and we'll be back at the same Marc time,
the same Marc channel." Consider it done.
A Network DVD featuring only the Marc and T Rex songs was released, while the complete
series was released in Japan.