MALCOLM McLAREN


Vive Le Punk salutes the recently deceased cultural provocateur. 



Malcolm will not be fondly remembered in all quarters. As a self-styled managerial svengali, punk rock’s arch manipulator left a number of highly disgruntled parties in his wake and was successfully sued by his most famous former clients the Sex Pistols. The public perception of McLaren as a villainous Fagin figure was something he would tend to play up to, but whatever the truth behind that, as a cultural innovator Malcolm was peerless.

After some early dabbling in political provocation, Malcolm set up his Kings Road clothing emporium Let It Rock – later rechristened Sex – with his then-girlfriend Vivienne Westwood. When US proto-punks the New York Dolls paid a visit, Malcolm was smitten and followed the band to New York with ambitions of managing them.

Dressing the drug-ravaged Dolls in fetish-club communist gear didn’t prove an entirely successful enterprise, but it enabled Malcolm to bring some valuable lessons back home to London, where he set about forming a new band with various shop regulars, a pack of spiky misfits who became the Pistols. While McLaren’s managerial style resulted in many years of bad feeling on the part of the group, he took the Pistols from nowhere to worldwide notoriety, giving disaffected 1970s youth a vital focal point, providing inspiration and tabloid revulsion in equal measure. Music, society and culture would never quite recover.

Timing the release of the royalty-baiting single ‘God Save The Queen’ to coincide with the 1977 Silver Jubilee, McLaren pulled off one of the music’s greatest publicity coups, although it practically guaranteed his charges could no longer hope to walk the streets without fear of physical attack.

But Malcolm sought infamy on a worldwide level, booking the Pistols on a tour of some of the USA’s least liberal states, a messy undertaking which was to prove the band’s undoing. With the group in tatters, McLaren then set off to mythologize his handling of the Pistols with the film ‘The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle’, a highly distorted account of the band’s career that makes nonsense of history but is nevertheless highly entertaining. Malcolm kept a hand in with management, famously bringing Burundi Beat to the masses via Adam And The Ants and Bow Wow Wow, further courting controversy with the latter in recruiting the 14-year-old Annabella Lu Win as vocalist. He also delved into performance himself, foraging into world music and hip hop on 1983’s groundbreaking ‘Duck Rock’. Diversifying into film and television as well as music, Malcolm brought an anarchic sense of mischief to all his undertakings, and when he pushed societal and cultural buttons, sparks flew. For that, we can thank him.

Malcolm McLaren, 22 January 1946 – 8 April 2010

‘The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle’ is out now on EMI



Hugh Gulland

MALCOLM MCLAREN DISCOGRAPHY

Albums

Year
Title
Artist credit

1983
Duck Rock
Malcolm McLaren & The World’s Famous Supreme Team
D’ya Like Scratchin’?
Malcolm McLaren & The World’s Famous Supreme Team
1984
Would Ya Like More Scratchin’
Malcolm McLaren & The World’s Famous Supreme Team
Fans
Malcolm McLaren
1985
Swamp Thing
Malcolm McLaren
1989
Waltz Darling
Malcolm McLaren & The Bootzilla Orchestra
1990
Malcolm McLaren presents the World’s Famous Supreme Team Show – Round the Outside, Round the Outside
Malcolm McLaren & The Shake City Productions
1991
Carry On Columbus
Malcolm McLaren, Fantastic Plastic
1992
LUST 2 – Seven Deadly Sins
Soundtrack by Malcolm McLaren, Film by Maria Beatty
1994
Paris
Malcolm McLaren
Largest Movie House in Paris (Ambient Remixes)
Malcolm McLaren
1995
Paris (Double Album)
Malcolm McLaren
1998
Jungk DEMO Tracks
Jungk, by Malcolm McLaren
Buffalo Gals – Back to Skool
Malcolm McLaren & The World’s Famous Supreme Team, Rakim, Soulson, KRS-One, De la Soul, Hannibal Lechter, uvm.
2005
Tranquilize
Malcolm McLaren
2009
Shallow – Musical Paintings
Malcolm McLaren

Singles
Year
Title
Artist credit

1982
"Buffalo Gals"
Malcolm McLaren & The World’s Famous Supreme Team
1983
"Soweto"
Malcolm McLaren & The Mclarenettes
"Double Dutch"
Malcolm McLaren & The Ebbonettes
"Duck for the Oyster"
Malcolm McLaren & The Main Hilltopper Man
1984
"Madam Butterfly (Un bel di vedremo)"
1985
"Carmen"
Malcolm McLaren
"Duck Rock Cheer"
Malcolm McLaren
1989
"Waltz Darling"
Malcolm McLaren & The Bootzilla Orchestra
"Something’s Jumpin’ in Your Shirt"
Malcolm McLaren & The Bootzilla Orchestra feat. Lisa Marie
"Deep In Vogue"
Malcolm McLaren & The Bootzilla Orchestra
1990
"House of the Blue Danube"
Malcolm McLaren & The Bootzilla Orchestra
"Call a Wave"
Malcolm McLaren & The Bootzilla Orchestra
"Operaa House"
Malcolm McLaren Presents The World Famous Supreme Team Show
1991
"Magic’s back" (Theme from ‘The Ghosts of Oxford Street’)
Malcolm McLaren feat. Alison Limerick
1994
"Paris Paris"
Malcolm McLaren & Catherine Deneuve
1995
"Revenge of the Flowers"
Françoise Hardy & Malcolm McLaren
1998
"Buffalo Gals Stampede"
Malcolm McLaren & The World’s Famous Supreme Team versus Rakim & Roger Sanchez
2004
"Fashion Beast Party"
Malcolm McLaren

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