In the new issue of NME we pay tribute to Sex Pistols svengali Malcolm McLaren, through the words of people who knew him – Alan McGee, Steve Jones, Julien Temple. There’s also a classic Nick Kent interview from the archives.
Meanwhile, here on NME.COM we wanted to pay tribute the great man’s career via video clips. Here you can watch NME’s Editorial Director Steve Sutherland and Allan Jones, Editor of Uncut magazine, discuss why Malcolm McLaren was so special.
Some blame McLaren’s love of in-your-face publicity stunts for the demise of New York Dolls in 1975. At one point he designed red leather outfits with Soviet-style hammer-and-sickle motifs for the band in the 1970s – and they didn’t go down well in heartland America. Here’s the band performing ‘Red Patent Leather’, just before they broke up.
In May 1977, under the watchful eye of McLaren, the Sex Pistols released ‘God Save The Queen’ during the week of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. McLaren decided to take the band on a boat down the Thames to play outside the Houses of Parliament. As a result they were raided and McLaren was arrested. Here’s the video for ‘God Save The Queen’:
And here’s McLaren talking to Conan O’Brien in 1994 about how the Sex Pistols came to be.
Matthew Ashman, Leigh Gorman and David Barbarossa left Adam And The Ants to form Bow Wow Wow in the 1980s under McLaren’s management. New band members joined Adam Ant and Malcolm worked with them too. Here’s Bow Wow Wow’s hit version of ‘I Want Candy’.
Not intent on just managing acts, McLaren took centre-stage in 1983 with album ‘Duck Rock’. Singles ‘Buffalo Gals’ and ‘Double Dutch’ were top ten hits. Here’s the latter tune:
Always on the lookout for the next big pop thing, in 1984 McLaren released an electro track based on the opera Madame Butterfly. Blending drum machines, synthesizers and spoken word passages, it reached number 13 in the charts.
McLaren worked with Jeff Beck and Bootsy Collins on his 1989 funk-disco record ‘Waltz Darling’. His track ‘Deep In Vogue’ brought voguing to the mainstream long before Madonna did it – here’s a track off the album, ‘Something’s Jumpin’ in Your Shirt’.
Quentin Tarantino picked McLaren’s song ‘About Her’ – which is based on Zombies track ‘She’s Not There’ – for Kill Bill 2. In 2005 a French musician accused McLaren of plagiarism in the song but the court threw out the case.
Finally, check out McLaren speaking to Andrew Denton on Australian chat show Enough Rope about his life.