Malcolm McLaren


Biography of Malcolm McLaren

Malcolm Robert Andrew McLaren (22 January 1946 – 8 April 2010) was an English impresario, rock-artist, clothes designer and boutique owner, notable for combining these activities in a creative way.

Born into a dysfunctional family, he became an art-college dropout and social rebel in the style of the Paris revolutionaries (Situationists) of 1968. With his keen eye for trends, however, he realized that a new style was needed for the young rebels of the 1970s, and largely initiated the punk movement, to which he supplied fashions from the Chelsea boutique 'SEX' that he ran with his girlfriend Vivienne Westwood. He also managed a new band, the Sex Pistols, to which he recruited the nihilistic Johnny Rotten with his torn clothes and tattooed motto 'I Hate'. The issue of a controversial record 'God Save the Queen' satirising the Queen's Jubilee was typical of McLaren's shock-tactics, and he gained valuable publicity by getting himself arrested on a boat outside the Houses of Parliament.

McLaren also performed as a solo artist, helping to introduce Hip-Hop to the UK, and diversifying further into funk/disco/vogueing and electronic opera.

In his last years, he lived in Paris and New York, eventually dying of peritoneal mesothelioma in a Swiss hospital. When accused of turning popular culture into a cheap marketing gimmick, he joked that he hoped it was true.

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