Malcolm McLaren, British musician, Died at 64


Dead, Malcolm Robert Andrew McLaren on the 8th of April 2010 at the age of 64, he was a British musician, impresario, visual artist, performer, clothes designer and boutique owner, notable for combining these activities in an inventive and provocative way.

Born on the 22nd January 1946 to Peter McLaren, a Scottish engineer, and Emily Isaacs, in post-World War II North London.

His father left when he was two and he was raised by his maternal grandmother, Rose Corre Isaacs, the formerly wealthy daughter of Portuguese Sephardic Jewish diamond dealers, in Stoke Newington.

McLaren told Andrew Denton on Enough Rope that his grandmother always said to him, “To be bad is good… to be good is simply boring”. In The Ghosts of Oxford Street he says Charles Clore (who bought Selfridges) became his mother’s lover.

In October 1971, McLaren took over the back part of the retail premises at 430 Kings Road in Chelsea, west London, and sold rock n roll records, refurbished 50s radiograms and dead stock clothing as In The Back Of Paradise Garage.

With the assistance of his art school friend Patrick Casey, McLaren subsequently converted the entire ground floor into Let It Rock with his girlfriend Vivienne Westwood repairing original clothing and making facsimiles.

McLaren and Westwood gathered custom from Teddy Boys and also designed clothing for theatrical and cinematic productions such as That’ll Be the Day.

In 1973, new designs in leather with studding inaugurated a new manifestation at the site with the name Too Fast Too Live Too Young to Die; among commissions were costumes for Ken Russell’s film Mahler.

The band released their album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols in October 1977 and played their last UK gig before embarking upon a US tour in January 1978.

During his time managing the band McLaren was accused by band members (most notably by John Lydon) of mismanaging them and refusing to pay them when they asked him for money.

McLaren stated that he had planned out the entire path of the Sex Pistols, and in the film The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle he set this plan out.

McLaren kept the Sex Pistols’ contract rights until Lydon took him to court in the 1980s to win the rights and unpaid revenues from McLaren.

Lydon won and gained complete control from McLaren in 1987.

In a 1997 article for The New Yorker, Mr. McLaren recalled, “We set out to make an environment where we could truthfully run wild.”

On most days the shop did not open until the evening and closed within a few hours.

The goal, Mr. McLaren wrote, “was to sell nothing at all.” After the New York Dolls visited the store, renamed Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die, Mr. McLaren followed the group to the United States and became its manager.

He dressed the band members in red clothing based on the Soviet flag, placed politically provocative slogans onstage and presided over their swift demise.

He is survived by his son with Ms. Westwood, Joseph Corré, a founder of the lingerie company Agent Provocateur; a brother, Stuart Edwards; and a grandchild.