Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

He Was a King of Spin and a Genius Lord of Misrule; OBITUARY

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

He Was a King of Spin and a Genius Lord of Misrule; OBITUARY

Article excerpt

Byline: David Smyth Music critic

MALCOLM MCLAREN might have preferred to write his own obituary. A professional myth-maker, he could have spun a case for his being at the epicentre of many of the 20th century's musical movements, most of all the rise of punk rock.

As suggested by the title of the 1980 film, The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle, nothing was quite as it seemed. The Sex Pistols, particularly John Lydon, spent much time since their split refuting McLaren's claims to have been their all-powerful puppeteer. But if he didn't personally invent punk, he did give it an unforgettable image. From the cover of Never Mind the Bollocks, designed by his art school pal Jamie Reid, to the bondage trousers sold in the King's Road shop, Sex, that he ran with his then-partner Vivienne Westwood, to his addition of the musically incompetent but visually iconic Sid Vicious to the group, it was the look of punk even more than its sound that made it such a brutal break from everything that had gone before. …

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