It was quite a shock to hear of Malcolm Maclarens death. He was always so rude I imagined that rudeness to extend to his health. As they say. I never knew him of course. Just his public face. That was not exactly loveable He was pretty brilliant as a character. And in the story of the Sex Pistols, that was an amazing cast of characters. Resonant and powerful and capable of bending and twisting time and its perception so old things became new and new became old. The Sex Pistols made everything seem old all of a sudden but at the same time brought out adjectives like “Dickensian” in regard to the look and deportment of the main players . There you had the 19th and 20th centuries in harmony all of a sudden. Before them it was all just a bit sad and faded denim- like as rock music started to slow down to check itself out in the shop windows all the time. The first seasons of nostalgia. Maclaren was there when the brilliant flash of punk happened.
His greatest role as an irritant was what gave punk its mad spark which still carries a charge today.
To all the cries of “its a scam!” and “its a fake” he rudely agreed and put more kero on the kindling. No one could ever get teary and sad about punk while he was standing near the grave site, selling t shirts. He stamped it with that great duality that it was probably all a load of bullshit and flammery as well as being an amazing moment of illumination. Thats what made it so great! Punk Dies!
He kept saying he made the band up and hinted he wrote some of the songs. He seemed to try to claim Sid - up to the point of the MURDER and SUICIDE. Parts of the story were all too real and uncontrollable. He tried to control some of the story. it all got so out of hand though.
The other players in the story rebelled and walked out of the theatre. Their story was told thrillingly in the Julien Temple film “The filth and the fury”. Malcolms presence in that story was a figure in a complete body and head bondage gimp outfit.
Julien Temple had also, with Malcolm, painted his very different side of the story in the earlier film , “the great rock’n’roll swindle”.
So many contradictions.
Others have pointed out the effect on Johnny of an intelligent, cultured older mans attention and the encouragement he must have given them all. Young, inarticulate, poor, thieving, skiving, powerless dudes. Perhaps he resonated them first? I mean he was the first audient? The believer? And then he turned from Johnny to his friend Sid and tried to work a new smudged area into the picture himself! And claim it all as his own work! The story will go on forever.
I have a dvd of a “rock n roll revival “ concert from London in the early 70s. In the crowd scenes you see Malcolm and Vivienne selling t shirts outside the arena.
He practiced his dark arts on the New York Dolls. And fumbled it (Red leather with hammer and sickle flags) and ruined them.
Some say he saw Richard Hell in a torn t shirt and stole a generation.
He crushed Adam Ant and took his band to make Bow Wow Wow. They were great too. So was Adam when he picked himself up again.
Later he tried Opera and hip hop and square dancing and a film about the great shops along Oxford street.
What could you compare him to? Suge Knight? L Ron Hubbard? Gourdjieff? Ouspensky , Master P? Franz Mesmer? Colonel Tom Parker? Dick Clark? John Dee? Alan Freed? Lee Gordon? Don Lane? Graham Kennedy?
Like I said, I did not know the man and I am no expert.
He is to be buried in Highgate cemetary, near where he was apparently born. Thats real.
- dave graney
- WORKSHY - 2017 memoir out on Affirm Press. Let's get Tight - 2017 CD with Clare Moore. Moodists - Coral Snakes - mistLY. I don’t know what I am and don’t want to know any more than I already know. I aspire, in my music , to 40s B Movie (voice and presence) and wish I could play guitar like Charlie Christian or Grant Green -but not in this lifetime, I know.
2014 solo album from Dave Graney. *****"If I've learnt anything in my years of writing about music it's that if you are going to do anything of worth in this tough game, you better have your own thing. Today's generic is easily replaced by tomorrow's. And yet you need to be flexible, to follow wherever the songs demand. In the case of this, only the second credited as a solo album among 30 or so Graney releases, it's a curious yet welcoming lane he walks you down, with acoustic guitars, not much percussion, vibes, smooth sounds. At the end of it you feel like you've awoken from a strange yet pleasant summer's dream. As shot by Luis Bunuel. It ranges from off-kilter reveries (A Woman Skinnies Up a Man, The Old Docklands Wheel) through to the softly seductive (How Can You Get Out of London) and the downright arch (Look Into My Shades, Everything Is Great In The Beginning.) This is music that is neither folk, nor blues, nor country, but it's all Graney, somewhere out to the left field beyond Lee Hazlewood's raised eyebrow. It's astringent on the tongue but sweetens in the telling." Noel Mengel Brisbane Courier Mail
you've been in my mind
June 2012 super high energy pop rock album - blazing electric 12 strings - total 70s rock drive. Greatest yet! available via paypal - $20 pp
SUPERMODIFIED - August 2010 remixed/re-sung/re-strung//remastered/replayed comp via PAYPAL
also available as a digital album
Knock yourself (2009)-first ever dg solo set-filthy electro r&b-available via Paypal- $20
available as a digital album too
We Wuz Curious (2008)-blazing R&B jazz pop album available via paypal-$20
UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
AVAILABLE AS A DIGITAL album
Hashish and Liquor (2005 double disc by Dave Graney and Clare Moore) available via Paypal $25
UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
Single album HASHISH available as a digital release