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


 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Happy Birthday Dave Davies

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Happy Birthday Dave Davies - founder of The Kinks and highly original guitarist, whose innovative playing style influenced Psychedelic Rock, Heavy Metal, Punk Rock and Brit Pop.

Mr Davies continues to make wonderful music and has just released a fab new CD Fortis Green 2, a follow-up to his 1999 release, named after the district in London where Davies was born, sixty-six years ago. The album is exclusively available at Dave Davies homepage.

Happy Birthday Dave Davies and long may you continue to make music.
 

Dave Davies - ‘Fortis Green 2’ promo
 

The Kinks - ‘Got My Feet On The Ground - written and performed by Dave Davies
 

The Kinks - ‘Susannah’s Still Alive’ - written and performed by Dave Davies
 

Dave Davies - ‘Death of a Clown’ Live Belgian TV, 2002
 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Kinkdom Come: A beautiful film on Dave Davies


 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Dick Tracy meets the punks
08.05.2010
09:03 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Punk

Tags:
Punk Rock
Dick Tracy

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Thanks Kristian Hoffman !

Written by Brad Laner | Discussion