Intimate Encounter With Marc Bolan, Britain’s 1st Pop Megastar.

The Return of Marc Bolan: A Pop Icon Revisited

The Perfect Pop Star

There is a resurgence of interest in the legendary Marc Bolan, and it’s long overdue. Often hailed as “the perfect pop star,” Marc possessed a magnetic charisma and an iconic style that set him apart. Draped in velvet and satin, with striking good looks, dark curls, and a natural flair for drama, he epitomized the image of a pop sensation. His chart-toppers like “Metal Guru” and “Telegram Sam” solidified his status as Britain’s first megastar, even before the era of the New Romantics had been coined.

A Chance Encounter with Marc

In 1975, during my early days as a junior PR professional, I found myself thrust into the whirlwind world of Marc Bolan. My boss, Keith Altham, tasked me with taking over Marc’s day-to-day PR responsibilities. At the time, Marc’s career was experiencing a slump due to excessive drinking and overspending. However, his dramatic flair was undiminished. I was in for a surprise when he arrived for a day of interviews in a Rolls Royce, courtesy of a chauffeur friend who chauffeured him around just for the occasion. This grand entrance set the stage for what would be an eventful day.

Managing Marc’s Eccentricities

My instructions were clear: keep Marc away from alcohol. I diligently kept an eye out for any hidden bottles, but Marc found an alternative in cough medicine. As the day wore on, his already audacious claims escalated, boasting of more hit singles than Elvis Presley. Journalists lapped it up, providing sensational copy. However, Marc’s behavior was becoming increasingly unruly. At one point, he grabbed a curtain for support, inadvertently bringing down the entire pelmet. Just then, Mr. Altham walked in, witnessing the chaos. He immediately blamed me, despite my adherence to the alcohol ban. Little did I know that Marc’s cough medicine was secretly spiked with vodka!

The Humble Beginnings of PR

In those days, PR firms were modest operations. Although we represented icons from the Woodstock generation like The Who and the Moody Blues, we were a tiny team with just three telephones in one room. Marc, despite his superstardom, remained warm and generous.

A Star’s Act of Kindness

One day, Keith Altham fell seriously ill and was rushed to the hospital. I was left to manage the office alone. An anxious guitarist from a famous band called, inquiring about the boss. When I explained Keith’s hospitalization, the guitarist’s primary concern was his upcoming album release. The next call came from Marc himself. Upon hearing the news, he immediately offered to help. Within 20 minutes, he arrived at the office, exuding a superstar aura, and spent the afternoon answering phones with me.

Marc Bolan and David Bowie: Kindred Spirits

Marc shared a close friendship with David Bowie. During Marc’s challenging career phase, David attempted to assist him in making a comeback, even appearing with him on the ITV pop series “Marc.” These two titans of glam rock had both climbed the ladder to success together, albeit initially with paintbrushes in hand. Their lifelong friendship blossomed from a day of painting their manager’s office white rather than painting the town red.

Angel Headed Hipster: A Tribute to a Legend

The documentary film “Angel Headed Hipster” and the accompanying album of the same name, featuring luminaries like U2, Elton John, Ringo Starr, David Bowie, and Nick Cave, serve as a poignant reminder of what it truly means to be a global superstar. Marc Bolan’s enduring legacy continues to captivate audiences, and this tribute would have undoubtedly delighted him.

Coming Soon to Cinemas

“Angel Headed Hipster” is set to hit cinemas on September 22, promising to reignite the passion for the inimitable Marc Bolan and his indelible impact on the world of music.