The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Malcolm McLaren Dead at 64

It scarcely matters what anyone thought he was . . . impresario, visionary, con artist, pop culture bomb-thrower, you name it . . . or what anyone thought about him. Malcolm McLaren, who passed on today at the age of 64, was an oddly necessary presence in the cultural landscape of the 1970s; popping up like the red-headed demon in some hitherto invisible Jack-in-the-box planted in our unknowing midst to forge, with that rockin' teenage combo he managed, the most fateful union of its time; that wedding of genuinely anarchic social impulse and legit showbiz which came to be known, and marketed, as Punk Rock.

Of course he wasn't the Svengali of his dreams (or ours), and his ultimate talent lay in the not-inconsiderable art of self-promotion. But he was there, right there in the center of it, when everything shifted and the radio sounded . . . different . . . and a million and one souls who thought it would never happen could turn on their TV sets and, for the duration of a song, no more, see themselves staring right back.

Here are three accounts of the life and times:

The Guardian

The Independent

The Mirror


Gwyllm said...

I for one am thankful for Malcolm. Pain in the arse that he was, he was a bit of uncanny business. My wife worked up above Seditionaries/Sex where he popped the Pistols out of his forehead, and insured that music was at least interesting for awhile. On occasion one could find him at the Water Rat up across the way... He was not everyones cup of tea, but he made World's End an interesting place to be in the mid-late 70's.

Fred said...

Adam Ant, Bow Wow Wow, Double Dutch and Madam Butterfly. He didn't seem to have much luck after the Sex Pistols. One trick pony?

Sadie Mae said...

I'll miss the little prick.
RIP Malcolm

ilovetrash said...

::sadie mae::