Remembering the punk rock godfather, the Teddy Boy sartorialist, the Situationist International combatant, the propagandist imperator, my true idol: Malcolm McLaren. He was born on this day in 1946.
Born in England, Malcolm Robert Andrew McLaren was notable for combining visual and performing art, music, as well as an impresario, clothes designer and boutique owner, in an inventive and provocative way. He is best known as a promoter and manager of bands the New York Dolls and the Sex Pistols.
McLaren attended a number of British art colleges and adopted the stance of the social rebel in the style of French revolutionaries, Internationale Situationniste. McLaren realised that a new protest style was need for the 1970s, which he supplied fashion from the Chelsea boutique SEX, which he operated with girlfriend Vivienne Westwood. After a period advising the New York Dolls in the U.S., McLaren moved back to London and managed the Sex Pistols. The issue of a controversial record, God Save the Queen, satirising the Queen’s Jubilee in 1977, was typical of McLaren’s shock tactic.
McLaren performed with acclaim as a solo artist, initially focusing on hip hop and world music and later diversifying into funk and disco. His first album, Duck Rock, spawned 2 top-10 singles: “Buffalo Gals” and “Double Dutch”.
In his later years, he lived in Paris and New York City, and died of peritoneal mesothelioma in a Swiss hospital on 8 April 2010.
Featured image via Vice.