Thursday, 8 April 2010

RIP Malcolm McLaren

Born on 22nd January 1946, Malcolm McLaren had his fingers in a good many pies, ranging from retail to music, television and even considered throwing his hat into the ring for the Mayor Of London 'contest'.
Of course, Malcolm will be best remembered for his role as the former manager of the Sex Pistols. In the 1970s', the music scene in the UK had become stale and monumentally boring. Without really knowing it, we were crying out for some excitement. For someone to stand up and deliver the rallying cry of "Fuck You" to politicians, musicians and the bosses who ripped us off in search of yet another holiday in the sun. A few kindred spirits sensed the mood, did the decent thing and formed bands. Others followed. Cue "Anarchy In The UK". First time I encountered this call to arms was on the late, great John Peel radio show and it damn near took my head off. A rabble-rousing introduction to one of the greatest bands ever to come out of the UK.

History records that McLaren and one John Lydon ended up in court, following accusations of unpaid revenues and sundry misdemeanours.
There'[s no doubt that McLaren was an expert at building up the hype and seemed to take pride at the fact that many local councils actually banned The Pistols from playing, thereby denying punters the chance of seeing the group onstage. Yes, he was a canny businessman - a bit to canny, I'd say - but he seemed to have a sharp mind, always searching for the next big thing and then moving on when a project went belly up. Love him or hate him, MM was there at the start and played an important part in a true musical revolution.

Malcolm died earlier today in New York and will be buried in London's famous Highgate Cemetary.

RIP I'll miss you.


  1. A fine tribute, Steve. Thank you.

  2. I have oddly conflicted feelings about McLaren. While he did give us the Sex Pistols, he really screwed them over back in the day, esp. by Lydon's account on the FILTH & THE FURY documentary. Still, he knew how to provoke a reaction and get people stirred up...

  3. Thanks, Michael. MM's antics were a part of my youth. Sad to see him go.

    I agree, JD. As a friend commented on Twitter, it was perhaps a case of love him And hate him. As you say, he really had The Pistols over with regard to royalties etc and no-one was more pleased when the group were banned from so many UK venues.