April 09, 2010
Malcolm McLaren (1946-2010)
Malcolm McLaren, patron saint of rock band PR publicists and managers, Chelsea's version of the Wizard of Oz, cultural revolutionary and Situationist iconoclast, has died.
I've never met the man, but have always been amused by his tactics of getting up the noses of many in the establishment, from ITV hacks, Royal Jubilee organisers, tabloid newspaper editors and record company execs to even his former protégé, John Lydon.
He was always worth listening to, his cutting commentary on contemporary culture was always wry and biting. They could barely shut him up when he was on the radio or in nostalgic punk rock documentaries!
Of course he didn't invent punk rock or was its midwife and nanny, but you can't help but think subcultural history would have been different, much less infused with a 1968 ethos, if he hadn't been there. I'd like to remember him as the Daniel Cohn-Bendit of punk, channeling the zeitgeist of the late 1970s and nurturing it into something we can still feel vibrate today.