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Former Sex Pistols Manager Malcolm Mclaren Dead at 64 by Iman Lababedi

This is what the late Sex Pistols manager didn’t do:
McLaren didn’t invent punk rock. What he did was take the music he heard managing the New York Doll’s and from the nascent new york punk scene and moved it  to the West End Of london, where he got three loutish street boys who used to hang at his and wife and fashion designed Vivienne Westwoods’ “Sex” boutique, discovered John Lydon and made him the lead singer of the three boys and formed the Sex Pistol, dressed them in Westwood’s bondage fashions and set them loose on the world.
In New York, a year earlier, McLaren had dressed the New York Dolls in Soviet Union kitsch and effectively ended their careers.
In the UK Mclaren got luckier and with Westwood invented the look of punk (though Richard Hell always claimed it was stolen off him – some of it would seem highly likely). It is hard to remember today but punk terrified the UK. It was ugly, obstreperous outsiderdom and mclaren wound the world right up. Including the renamed Johnny Rotten who two years in balked and quit. 
Rotten came to New York and stayed with my absent friend Joe Stevens before returning to london and inventing the first and best lineup of Public Image Ltd.
McLaren kept on making money with Ronald briggs (the famous train robber) joining what was left of the Pistols for one song and McLaren flogging dead horses and making the pretty lousy movie “The Great Rock And Roll Swindle” till Sid Vicious did it his way once too often and died.
So malcolm started a dance band, Bow Wow Wow, just in time for the new romantic movement but what exactly was he trying to do while posing thirteen year old Annabel Lwin topless in a knock of an impressionist painting (“we’re only in it for the Manet” was the NME’s caption from back when NME was great)? The music was pretty good dance rock, a part of the new romantic movement, and the whole music via walkman’s “C30-C60-C90 Go” did pretty well for awhile though his magazine “Chicken” (slang for underage girls and boys) pushed the envelope over the edge.
He followed that out on his own with a song about double dutching which was also a hit. And wasn’t their an opera there somewhere? I’m writing this the old way, without internet help.
Also, I think Helen told me something about a reading tour this summer…
Anyway, at some point Helen or  Mike or  I will cheat and will write something more thorough about the great rock and roll swindler.
Till then, RIP Malcolm: you didn’t invent punk rock… but you came damn close.

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