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Malcolm McLaren

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London, United Kingdom (1946 – 2010)

Malcolm McLaren (22 January 1946, London, UK – 8 April 2010, Switzerland) had a varied career starting from Art School dropout to Kings Road merchant, moving into band manager, socio-political instigator, quasi-musician himself, wry social commentator & influential media manipulator. In the late 1960s he started designing clothes and by 1972 he opened a clothing boutique in London with his then girlfriend, Vivienne Westwood.

In 1975, after a failed stint at managing & relaunching the image of the notoriously hard living and chaotic band The New York Dolls, Malcolm nurtured the formation of one of the most infamous punk bands in history, The Sex Pistols. He became their manager, and controlled their contracts, as well as most importantly to him, their image in the media. The venture ended in a disastrous US tour, and a film called “The Great Rock And Roll Swindle” that featured McLaren, and glorified his untraditional Situationist PR approach and manipulative Svengali-esque role in the band’s career.

In the ’80s, after the Sex Pistols had long broken up, Malcolm became the manager of another band, Adam and the Ants which veered away from punk’s coarse format via new romantic pirate garb and poly rhythmic African style drumming. When Adam Ant rebelled and left the band, Malcolm repackaged the musicians with a 14 year old Anglo/Burmese girl named Annabella Lwin to form the band Bow Wow Wow. He soon used his headline making skills to propel the band and their underage lead singer to the top of the charts with a nude album cover scandal.

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