Malcolm McLaren: DEAD!

Last night PIL played on Jimmy Kimmel. Today, the New York Times announced that Malcom McLaren, the man behind the Sex Pistols–and Adam & the Ants and BowWowWow–has died of mesothelioma at a hospital in Switzerland.  He was 64.

McLaren had managed the New York Dolls as that great glam band fell apart, and on his return to London, where he and his girl friend at the time Vivienne Westwood ran a clothing shop called Sex, the budding impressario put together the Sex Pistols.

Boom! Punk rock! The world changed for millions of us. Goodbye Malcolm. And thank you.

22 Responses to "Malcolm McLaren: DEAD!"
Gregg Levine | Thursday April 8, 2010 12:55 pm 1

Man, I just got a lot older.


Badwater | Thursday April 8, 2010 01:05 pm 2

Thank you, Malcom McLaren, for freeing the world from disco.


ubetchaiam | Thursday April 8, 2010 01:18 pm 3

ratfood | Thursday April 8, 2010 01:20 pm 4
In response to Badwater @ 2

What an odd statement. There were always alternatives. Anyway, the seeds of punk were sown before Malcolm’s contribution… may he RIP.

Funny, I never watch Kimmel but was flipping channels last night and actually caught PIL. Johnny appears to be holding up surprisingly well.


aoyama | Thursday April 8, 2010 01:20 pm 5

RIP Malcolm McLaren, and thank you.


transparait | Thursday April 8, 2010 01:49 pm 6

puppethead | Thursday April 8, 2010 01:50 pm 7

I’ve always considered Malcolm McLaren as setting the mood of the punk era, although I’m more of a Clash kind of punker. But he was definitely hugely influential.


brendanscalling | Thursday April 8, 2010 01:56 pm 8

it is no exaggeration to say that without the Sex Pistols, i would have never made it through high school (although minor threat, the bad brains, the circle jerks, DRI, Verbal assault, and tons of others helped).

RIP Malcolm, and say hi to that useless ninny Sid if you see him.


Inquisitr | Thursday April 8, 2010 02:02 pm 9

Anarchy in the UK baby!

I remember as a child first being introduced to the sex pistols as I was first becoming aware of music. Changed my life.


punaise | Thursday April 8, 2010 02:23 pm 10

zut! all that scratchin’s making me itch!

Buffalo gals go ’round the outside

Madame Butterfly


Jane Hamsher | Thursday April 8, 2010 02:26 pm 11

The Great Rock’n'roll swindle. One of the greatest movies of all time.

You could learn just about everything you need to know about marketing from listening to Malcolm pontificate in the bathtub while he’s getting his feet scrubbed by the dwarf.

The crazy genius of my misspent youth.


seaglass | Thursday April 8, 2010 02:30 pm 12

The PUNK scene started in NYC not London. The Romantics were the 1st Nuwave /Punk act in the mid-70′s. The S-Pistols didn’t appear till the late 70′s their claim to fame was their appearance and attitude plus a few good songs. Punk and Nuwave grew from a Rock root but Nuwave also had a Reggae flavor as well. Punk added an atonal feature to Rock and looked more toward early Rock for a model. Jerry Lee Lewis was the grandfather of Punk and Lew Reed and the Velvet Underground its’ grand uncle. It’s attitude could be attributed to Kubrick’s early 70′s classic about a bunch of Proto -punks “A Clockwork Orange.”


Badwater | Thursday April 8, 2010 02:47 pm 13

Frank Zappa

All them rock n roll writers is the worst kind of sleaze
Selling punk like some new kind ol English disease
Is that the wave of the future? Aw, spare me please!


Larue | Thursday April 8, 2010 02:52 pm 14

Outside of Adam Ant, The Sex Pistols and The New York Dolls, I’ve never heard of most of these folks!

Adam Ant, Psychedelic Furs, now . . . Romeo Void . . . all later I know . . . I know them.

Great thread Lisa, thank YOU and others for hipping me to Malcolm and his many and varied influences and those he influenced.

And yeah, Joe Strummer/The Clash/The Pogues more my style, too . . . ;-)

Always loved Talking Heads, SF’s The Tubes, Ramones so so, took me FOREVER to like Blondie (15 years) . . . one mid 70′s that NO ONE talks about, I saw twice in SF, Jim Carroll Band . . . GREAT!

And all this time, around Lou Reed and Patti Smith and the rest of the NYC Scene, was this Malcolm . . .

The things I learn at Lisa’s, and FDL! ;-)


Larue | Thursday April 8, 2010 02:55 pm 15

My bad, Jim Carroll Band wasn’t until late 70′s . . .


seaglass | Thursday April 8, 2010 02:58 pm 16
In response to Badwater @ 13

In 1969 I was surfing in Atlantic City and ran over Zappa while he was bathing. He was a skinny thing almost drowned. He was in town he told me for the AC Rock festival that happened a week before Woodstock.


Kelly Canfield | Thursday April 8, 2010 03:24 pm 17
In response to Jane Hamsher @ 11

Heh. You just KNOW that’s where David Lynch got a lot of ideas…

Ahh, misspent youth.

I hope Jello Biafra makes a cool “Adios Malcom” song.


bgrothus | Thursday April 8, 2010 03:28 pm 18

Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos. It is rare, outside of mining circles. . .wonder how he got that?

I loved those days. Fun dancing, crazy times. . .when we were young.


Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle | Thursday April 8, 2010 03:50 pm 19
In response to bgrothus @ 18

Look at Warren Zevon. It’s not just mining. It used to be prevalent in construction. I think that’s where Zevon got it, but not 100% sure.


Lisa Derrick | Thursday April 8, 2010 04:17 pm 20

I was so thrilled to hear the Sex Pistols for the first time, and every other time after that. I glued black glitter to my uniform saddle shoes wore back eyeshadow everyday to school and stuck safety pins on the collar of my school shirt.

Then we started a fanzine, and we went to shows, and and and…Life became whole and wide and open and there were possibilities beyond the circumscribed.

Punk rock taught so many of us that we could be our true selves, that we could live outside of convention. And the Sex Pistols were part of that soundtrack.


punaise | Thursday April 8, 2010 04:39 pm 21
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 20

Life became whole and wide and open and there were possibilities beyond the circumscribed.

you mean Toto, Boston and ELO weren’t cutting it for you? :~)


goto100 | Friday April 9, 2010 05:51 am 22

Sad loss.

Nice to remember this.

He was visionary. Extraordinary in every way. The world lost something with his passing, but his legacy and influence is quite immense and will go on long after him. RIP


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