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Malcolm McLaren

I was too young to experience the punk phenomenon and Malcolm’s influence on angry young Britain. And when listening to The Sex Pistols ‘post scene’ the tracks were slightly lost on me; the movement being a product of the social circumstances at the time. You had to be there I guess.

But it was when watching the video below that I began to understand more about Malcolm’s significance to music and cultural trends. Firstly the way he explains punk (39:20) is an insight that sheds light on his genius. Punk is a state of mind, the ability for anyone to express themselves creatively no matter what their class, skills or training. This was as much a political movement than a music scene. Secondly what struck me during this post punk period was his early association with Hip Hop, Electro and Afrobeat.

Forward to (09:50) for the collection and notably ace playlist (planet rock!). Or just enjoy letting it role and observing the styles and zeitgeist of the day.

So whilst he is remembered for inventing punk rock, I feel his influence in these other musical styles and cultural trends is under appreciated. Introducing African Bambatta and the World Famous Supreme team to Britain. Musical styles far removed from punk rock, but still organically grown and sharing that street attitude. There was much more to Malcolm than ripped jeans, spiked hair, piercings and guitars.
It’s evident that opinion was divided on his character; often dissed in the press. It would seem he had dubious contracts with bands; Bow Wow Wow weren’t allowed to speak to the press and the classic court case whereby Jonny Rotten litigated for Sex Pistol funds is well documented. Who knows, there’s always two sides to a story. Still, I love a clued up character and Malcolm was a biggen. Nuff respect Malc.

Darren Turrell