MARC BOLAN'S COLUMN
Record Mirror, August 6, 1977 By Marc Bolan

I'M BACK on the Box (as the pic on the News Page proves - just regard it as a little bit of early Joan Crawford "Hooray for Hollywood").

You can get your details on the Dave Brown pages - he of the perpetual Status Quo T-shirt.
However - just in case he has made room for one or two other totally unworthy items - about Rotten, Bowie, Zep, Jam, the Stranglers or similar unknowns - I'll bang my own gong a bit and fill you in on the biggest news since we exclusively revealed that Kermit the Frog was gay. My own TV series is something I'm really excited about.
It came about because Grenada's big chief Johnny Hamp wanted someone to host a rock show which would bridge the gap between today and tomorrow and generate a genuine feeling for young people. Someone who would be accepted by the new wave, the old wave, super-novas, black holes in space and skateboarders (more about that little explosion later). Anyhow when Muriel Young asked me to do the shows I was straight into the idea.
There are one or two people who have the wrong idea about Mu, just because of her early love affair with 'Pussy Cat Whilem'. I think I should be honest - most of us early boppers used to fancy her like mad and Wally Whyton was a total wipe-out. Basil Brush was just not my kind of fox.

Bubbles

Mu languishes under one of those heavy titles:
'Head of Children's Entertainment, but she is also a very bright lady with a clear view of what you want.
It was Pussycat Whilem's keeper who put Mike Mansfield in charge of the programme which launched The Rollers on 'Shang a Lang'. This enabled Mike to fulfil his destiny on 'Supersonic' and bury the likes of me up to me earoles in foam, balloons and bubbles to bring back real fun and fantasy into those tired old presentations on early Top of the Flops.
Mu booked the Jam, on the kids 'Get It Together' prog six weeks before their 'In The City' hit the charts. She has her eyes and ears wide open for new wave talent.
While we are on new waves, old waves and punk I think it is time to take a stand. New wave and punk are just words thrown up by the media in an attempt to bag a new generation and some fresh energies. But I am getting sick of some of the moronic, talentless new groups joining the bandwagon, after it has rolled past, with nothing to recommend them but the age - old ability to join in after it's too late. So from here on I am drawing the line between the punkoid junk, and some of the stupid violence that accompanies it, and genuinely talented people with something new to say. The Pistols, the Stranglers, the Jam, the Damned, the Clash, Generation X and the Boomtown Rats fall in the talented category.

Optimistic

New bands like Boomtown can hardly be bracketed in that high adrenaline new wave category, but I've seen them twice at London clubs and they have the ability to become huge. These are the kind of groups I want to get on the show but they are not the only ones. Others I would like are: Gary Glitter, Frank Sinatra, Vera Lynn, Steve Harley, Elvis Presley, Parliament, Pat Boone, Kermit the Frog, Rolling Stones, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Batman and Be Bop De Luxe - though this may be a little optimistic.
The dust being kicked up by the new wave is resulting in the spitting out of groups like the Pirates, who don't pretend to be teenagers but are homed in on the new energy levels (along with bands like Burlesque and solo singers like Elvis Costello) both are getting into this re-energising. Watch them go - watch them grow and, if you care, just call them new and leave the mindless, bovva boys, who have made 'punk' a bad word covered in their own gob, to their own devices.
I'm sick and tired of punkoid junk but into new wave funk. So now you know what to expect from me on my new TV series - I want the Jam, the Stranglers and the Damned, plus the best of the old wave.
We won't have any corny hyped-up studio audiences, just plenty of imagination and fresh ideas. So far none of the names I have suggested for the show have been turned down by the Granada bosses.
My new T. Rex single 'Celebrate Summers has a very definite new wave feel about it. If anyone thinks it is deliberate they am quite right. I know a good thing when I hear it, and am young enough to enjoy adrenaline-rush rock.

On TV I intend to do it against the background of a genuine skateboard team called 'The Benji Boarders'. I hope you'll fell I'm moving with the times cos I gave up doing re-make of Sun record oldies with 'I Love To Boogie'. If you like the one - wait till you hear the one I've got in mind for the TV theme tune.
Let's rap a little about skateboarding which, not too many of our older administrators seem to have realised, is going to be the new recreation for the young. I doubt if one local council in 10 is thinking about tracks for skateboarders, even though you can hardly walk along the pavements for them.
Skateboarding is already a monster sport in America. Over here the only contribution I've heard of local officials making was to spread gravel over a park to stop kids doing it.
What we want are proper skating areas. All you need is a banked rink, you can rent the protective gear for this healthy sport that'll keep you trim, outdoors or in. Given some rock and roll music to move to, you've got the best combination since surfing and the Beach Boys.
Some oldies were drumming up publicity to prevent the punk and ted war, which never existed until they publicised it. They'd have done better to donate funds to this new sport.
I still get letters asking about some of my early partners like Steve Peregrine Took from the Tyrannosaurus Rex days and Mickey Finn from T Rex. Steve's writing songs - he sent me some tapes recently and they sounded interesting. He turned up to the T. Rex concert at the Rainbow, and we still see each other now and then. He left me because he wanted to get into a heavy rock band.
Mickey Finn has an antique business and is about to become a dad. There may be a possibility of my working with him shortly, on his own single.

Finally some random ramblings. I dropped in by sheer accident to the Jam's celebration of their Hammersmith success and met Mum and Dad Jam, Mr and Mrs Weller. Mum was a particularly nice lady and very concerned about her son's future in the business. They have their heads well screwed on so there is no real need to worry.
Ran into Bruce Welch of the Shadows at another party. He admits the Shadows recent re-union was pure nostalgia for him and the audience, unlikely to produce a regular re-grouping.
Bruce is a very honest guy, unaffected by the business and he's become a force in the songsmith stakes. He's no mean producer either... my manager, Tony, asked his four-year-old son who he would rather see on my TV show - The Rubettes or Johnny Rotten. Guess who he picked? Rotten is a star like it or not. Don't believe all this old crud about them not playing on their singles. Steve Jones is a damn good guitarist.
We're still sifting your suggestions about your favourite made-up group.
Next time you see me it will be Marc-the-shark on-the box- jaws with a guitar, smiling like Peter Frampton but still trying to be flesh and blood for you.


Copyright 2002 The Till Dawn Organization/Marc Bolan. All Rights Reserved.