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The shop-keeper who unleashed a revolution: Documentary on Punk’s Artful Dodger Malcolm McLaren

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Malcolm McLaren unleashed the greatest revolution of the last quarter of the 20th century. This was in part because McLaren was really a shop-keeper, a haberdasher, a boutique owner who knew his market and, most importantly, knew how to sell product to the masses.

Unfortunately, when it came to music, the talent was more than just product, and McLaren regularly mis-used and manipulated the musical talent (New York Dolls, Sex Pistols, Adam and The Ants/Bow-Wow-Wow) for his own personal gain. It was the behavior of a man who couldn’t and didn’t trust anyone—perhaps because (as he claimed) he had been abandoned by his mother—an act of betrayal he never forgave. There is the story of how years later, McLaren was have said to have traveled on a London Underground train, only to find his mother in the same carriage. The pair sat opposite each other, with neither acknowledging the other’s presence, and each alighting at their separate stops.

McLaren was bewitching, relentless and always on the make. But for all his scams and incredible machinations, little is really known about the man himself. He re-wrote his biography so many times it is almost impossible to know what is the truth. He also carefully edited out those who had helped his success, and fabricated wonderful, picaresque tales of misadventure—-for example, the time he failed to have Nancy Spungen kidnapped, in a bid to remove her insidious influence over Sid Vicious.

In essence, Malcolm’s greatest talent was his own self-promotion—his unique role as a cultural PR man, who changed history. If there is anything to be learned from his particular type of genius, it is to make headlines out of even the worst situation. On his deathbed, Mclaren’s last words were said to have been: “Free Leonard Peltier.” As he had done in his life, McLaren had once again grabbed hold of someone else’s notoriety.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Superb documentary on Malcolm McLaren from 1984


 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Sid & Nancy on NY cable access less than a month before her death
12.31.2012
08:18 am

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
Sid Vicious
Nancy Spungen


 
Somewhat lurid New York cable access interview with a booger-flicking Sid Vicious and a quite talkative Nancy Spungen from 1978. Also on hand are Dead Boy Stiv Bators and his then-girlfriend, Cynthia Ross, of the all-female Canadian punk group, B Girls.

I never got the whole Sid Vicious “icon” thing. I always look askance at a kid wearing a Sid Vicious tee-shirt, especially ones where Sid is pictured sporting a tee-shirt with a swastika. What a role model. He’s one step above G.G. Allin, if you ask me. An icon of stupidity, heroin addiction and… murder?

Nancy’s assertion that Sid is a feminist around the 10.40 mark is kind of ironic, all things considered, as she was dead less than a month later. When a female caller flirts with Sid, she gets her dukes up: “You better keep your fucking hands off him, dearie, or I’ll kill you!”

And what’s with her fake English accent? Christ, look at these two. Who would want them around?

The Day Punk Died (New York)

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Who Killed Nancy?’ : New Documentary Claims Sid Vicious Did Not kill Nancy Spungen
Sid Vicious’ handwritten list of why Nancy Spungen is so great
‘I shall die, and my friend will die soon’: Sid Vicious interview with Judy Vermorel from 1977
 

 
Via Open Culture/Thank you, Joseph Matheny!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Sid Vicious’ handwritten list of why Nancy Spungen is so great
02.08.2011
10:25 am

Topics:
History
Music

Tags:
Sex Pistols
Sid Vicious
Nancy Spungen

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(via Letters of Note )

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Who Killed Nancy?’ : New Documentary Claims Sid Vicious Did Not kill Nancy Spungen

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Who Killed Nancy opens today In New York City. The film makes a strong case that Sid Vicious did not kill Nancy Spungen. Read about it at the Daily Mail.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment