O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

McLaren in the Pits

Famed provocateur, Malcolm McLaren, gone.

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Hamilton High, for outsideleft.com
originally published: April, 2010
Along the way he made some pop records for himself that could be listened to and enjoyed
by Hamilton High, for outsideleft.com
originally published: April, 2010
Along the way he made some pop records for himself that could be listened to and enjoyed

Malcolm McLaren has rolled into the pits one last time at an untimely 64. Mesothelioma. The godfather of the Sex Pistols, grandfather to Agent Provocateur, an ex Mr Vivienne Westwood, an inventor of bow wow wow and boy did he give Adam Ant the biggest leg up ever. Along the way he made some pop records for himself that could be listened to and enjoyed. There's the New York Dolls dalliance, the shops, the shameless self-promotion when there was no shame in shameless-self promotion. It would be shameful now, but of course now he's not doing it. Now it would take a team of media consultants and they'd still get it wrong. By consensus. Malcolm McLaren was a renaissance man when they were thin on the ground. He was a human sampler, a masher upper before mash ups were. Recently, finding myself at a wildly popular Curryoake evening,  I wondered still, had Malcolm McLaren got a hand in it? It's going to be so big in Little India.

I can't tell you whether there would be an outsideleft.com, I can't tell you whether I'd be happier if I'd never heard of him back when I was a kid. I can't blame him for everything can I? All of the good things would most likely be gone, never have happened. No London, Los Angeles, no St. Leonards, no Kirk, no Ron & Nancy, but, on the other hand, look at well, I won't say, some people I know who've never heard of the guy. They do nothing never endeavor and have very nice lives. So maybe without Malcolm McLaren's influence, I might have never tried to do anything ever. Maybe then I'd be happy now.

see more stories from outsideleft's Music archive »»

Hamilton High

Hamilton High was born on Doheny Ave in the gutter, is a poet, writer and observer of popular culture. Likes fashion and cares less for style. He's on the move, he's an alter ego and we hardly ever hear from him.

best LPs of 2019 Bill Callahan... best LPs of 2019
  1. Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest - Bill Callahan
  2. Return to Me - Lilac Time
  3. 2020 - Richard Dawson
  4. Chalk Hill Blue - Will Burns & Hannah Peel
  5. All Mirrors - Angel Olsen
Sno Aalegra... best LPs of 2019
  1. Shlagenheim - black midi
  2. The Imperial - The Delines
  3. Old New - Tomeka Reid Quartet
  4. Ugh, Those Feels Again - Snoh Aalegra
  5. 5 - Sault
Esther Rose... best LPs of 2019
  1. You Made it this Far - Esther Rose
  2. Hiding Places - billy woods + Kenny Segal
  3. I Found a Place - Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
  4. Thanks for the Dance - Leonard Cohen
  5. Walk Through Fire - Yola
David Benjamin Blower... best LPs of 2019
  1. We Really Did This and We Really Existed - David Benjamin Blower
  2. The Reeling - Brighde Chaimbeul
  3. Eton Alive - Sleaford Mods
  4. Purple Mountains - Purple Mountains
  5. Biiri - Nihiloxica

more stories you really could read...

thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...

sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

Forget Lost: Found, Shared
There's archive fever, carrot cake, but no sign of Evangeline Lilly
300 Words From London: Hancock's Five Minutes
Another wet day in west London and the spitting image of Tony Hancock.
Sultanas of Swing, Eric Clipton, and Mick Jugger
Bootleggers... Oh so much to answer for
Bright Star Rising over the Dovecote
Andy Conway is launching Bright Star Rising, the latest episode in his hugely popular Touchstone series of Birmingham-set time travel novels with an event at Moseley Dovecote and... You're all invited
Cara and Jennifer in The Unexpected Metropolis
Get Your Checkbooks Out, Then
If you don't have Hullabaloo tickets yet, get in line at the Amoeba auction this weekend
Some of our favorite things...