Glam star Marc’s family were left destitute after his death – now son reveals his godfather David paid for everything
Marc Bolan’s son has revealed how David Bowie stepped in to save him and his mother from poverty after the glam star’s death.
But Rolan, 35, has never seen his godfather since he was a baby. And the star has never wanted thanks for providing emotional and financial help.
Glam icon Bolan died in a car crash in 1977 just as he was on the cusp of rebuilding his career after years in the doldrums. His girlfriend Gloria Jones, who was driving the purple Mini in London, was seriously injured in the accident.
Rolan, who was two years old at the time, tells the Daily Mail: “My parents liked to take me everywhere with them but they left me with my grandparents while they went to dinner.
“If I’d been in my usual place in the back there was no way I’d have survived. My mother had a broken jaw, leg and foot and severe internal injuries and was too ill to be told Dad had died.
“The terribly irony is that he’d slowed down his lifestyle because he took his responsibilities as a parent very seriously.”
Bolan’s income was protected by a trust fund – but because he was still married to another woman, Jones and her son weren’t entitled to a penny. She decided to go home to the USA.
Rolan says: “My mother went from a millionaire lifestyle to virtual poverty. We lived in Los Angeles and things got very tough.”
That’s when Bowie, who’d known Bolan for years, came to rescue: he paid for his godson’s private education and provided whatever further help he and Jones needed.
“David’s generosity helped us to survive,” Rolan says. “It wasn’t just the financial help – He kept in regular touch by phone and his first and last words were always: ‘Don’t hesitate to tell me if there’s anything I can do.’
“He’d shrug off our thanks, saying it was the least he could do for the family of a good friend.”
After the death of Bolan’s wife June Child in 1994, the legal issues surrounding his estate were resolved. Rolan now receives a monthly allowance and Jones is settled running an orphanage in Sierra Leone.
And he’s aiming to finally meet Bowie to thank him in person. “He never came to us in California because he lives in New York and hates to travel,” Rolan says. “But I’m hoping to visit him soon and tell him how very, very indebted me and my mother are.”
A musician himself, he says no amount of money could make up for the loss of his dad, reflecting: “His music is one of the reminders I have of him – that, a gold disc and an autographed tambourine.”