Friday, 9 April 2010

Start again, start again: RIP Malcolm McLaren




I am a product of punk and post-punk, there's no doubt about it. Not in a mohican and leather jacket way, but in a leaving the 2oth century, diy,be reasonable demand the impossible kind of way. 'There is no future in England's dreaming' still seems one of the resonant lines of poetry of my time. (And I still write things like that.) So although Malcolm McLaren has not been important to me in recent years, I was still jealous when Godfrey Worsdale from BALTIC told me of working with him when preparing the recent show and talks there last year, and I wanted to mark his early passing in some way.

There will be lots of obits to get the full story, and his most important work was with the Sex Pistols, injecting the emost intelligent kind of stupidity into a generation - or was it the most simple kind of intelligence, I don't know. But I also loved some of his Duck Rock cultural wanderings, and his restless reinventions - full of bull at times, and usually failures artistically, but somehow inspiring. Why not try and do every kind of idea? So I thought rather than God Save The Queen or Anarchy in the UK, I'd share this joyous bit of African-inspired skipping life advice. Musically you might just as well be listening to the great Mahatini and the Mahatella Queens perhaps, but McLaren does add something extra somehow - perhaps through the power of being absolutely unembarrassed at his relish?

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