Friday, April 9, 2010
Resquiat in Pacem: Malcolm McLaren (1946 -2010)
Yesterday, punk rock icon Malcolm McLaren died at age 64. This is big news (and the far better nostalgia blog Slicing Up Eyeballs has its coverage here.). Often called a punk rock impresario, he managed the New York Dolls for a bit in the early 1970s and later in that decade brought the Sex Pistols into being (which means, of course, he is to blame for introducing Sid Vicious, the ultimate poseur, to the world). In 1983, he released Duck Rock (the album cover of which is depicted above), which assisted in the rise of hip-hop in the U.K. Perhaps McLaren receives a bit too much credit today for fashioning the punk rock aesthetic, as he simply appropriated many things from Richard Hell, Tom Verlaine, and the New York Dolls. (It's no coincidence that Hell's "Blank Generation" predates the Pistols' eerily similar "Pretty Vacant."). But he was a fierce self promoter and exploiter and certainly punk rock would be a much different thing today without his efforts and influence. And in perpetrating the Pistols, McLaren apparently frightened much of the United Kingdom back in the day. And that's certainly a punk rock thing to do. Resquiat in Pacem, Malcolm, and say hello to Sid for us, wherever he may be.