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Blog: Malcolm McClaren

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I'm always a bit LOATH to make comment here on The Blogosphere when famous people die because, to be honest, I doubt that anyone really gives a toss what I think about it.

YES ALL RIGHT I know that that argument, taken to its logical conclusion, would be a FATAL DEATH BLOW to the whole enterprise, for me and pretty much everyone else, but STILL. I am almost always BEMUSED when people get all publicly worked up about people they have never met and feel DUTY BOUND to go on about it.

HOWEVER, I am now going to get pubicly worked up and GO ON about Malcolm McClaren because he had a HUGE effect on my life and, without him, I would not be here hassling you with all this now.

"Oh right", you are doubtless thinking "Because he invented punk, right?" NO. Malcolm McClaren DID NOT INVENT PUNK. It was invented by Various Humans In Punk Bands, but unfortunately Journalists and the man himself seem to have made the classic Fashion Industry mistake of confusing "Actually Inventing Something New" with "Seeing Other People Doing Something, Copying It, Selling It, And Persuading Similar Idiots To Do The Same." It happens ALL the time.

No, the reason Malcolm McClaren SHAPED MY LIFE is that I read an interview with him where he said, basically, "Nobody wants the truth when the truth is boring. If you haven't got something interesting to tell people, make it up, and the more ludicrous the better." On reading these [massively paraphrased] words a whole FLOODLIGHT SYSTEM went on in my BRANE. "Of course!" I thought, "THAT is the answer!" and so began a whole series of ADVENTURES with the band VOON where I set to concocting an increasingly ridiculous set of stories about us to feed to other bands, local newspapers and magazines.

The CLASSIC of the GENRE is of course the time that Simon couldn't do a couple of gigs because he had to revise for his exams, and believing, correctly, that this was TOO DULL I instead told everybody he was IN PRISON. Certain people (who may or may not be drumming now in The Validators) believed this for YEARS. There was also the story of us BLOWING UP the stage at a gig in Peterborough, using a drum machine as tribute to a dead percussionist, and of course nipping over to Australia FOR THE WEEKEND to record a single, on the behest of our AUSTRALIAN TRIBUTE BAND.

ALL of these stories were lapped up not necessarily because they were believable but because they were ENJOYABLE. I don't, OF COURSE, do that sort of thing these days (not hardly ever anyway) because I actually have some TRUE Ludicrous Stories to tell people, but I'm always massively disappointed when I see people in other bands EITHER peddling The Dull Truth ("We are a professional, competent band of 16-18 year olds who met at school") OR making up the same TIRESOMELY UNINTERESTING fake biographies ("On keyboards, Rama-Zul, the reincarnation of an Hawaiian Wizard who "... OH PISS OFF!) OR, worst of all, making up DREARY and OBVIOUS untruths that everyone goes along with because they can't even be bothered to challenge them.

Funnily enough, I saw Sandi Thom trying to relaunch her career this morning. You remember Sandi Thom - she'd supposedly been discovered doing "secret webcasts" from her video but even the TINIEST bit of digging showed that she'd been signed to a massive corporation before they were supposed to start and the videos hadn't even been in her house. Yet still this gets trotted out and she happily agrees with it.

It's PATHETIC - couldn't they have at least TRIED to make it interesting? Would it have hurt anybody to involve an ALLIGATOR at some point, or make it happen on a pirate ship, or involve a GRISLY MURDER along the way? The music would still have been rubbish, it might all have fallen apart within seconds, but at least it would have been a bit FUN.

And that, then, is the reason I am very very sad indeed to find out that Malcolm McClaren has died. He was wrong about lots of things, he promoted tons of old rubbish, but he created extra FUN in the world, and that is a precious thing to do.

posted 9/4/2010 by MJ Hibbett

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Quite agree. Tony Wilson was of a similar ilk ("if in doubt about truth or myth - go with the myth") Name me a band these days who have a manager whose name is as well known as the band they manage? Sadly the answer is Louis Walsh or Simon Cowell - what does that tell you?
posted 9/4/2010 by Rob

Its sickening that we now have the likes of Sandi Thom and her bland warbling pretending to be independant and a "real" musician who said she was glad her record company dumped her because now she could do her own thing when in fact if you look at her website there are thre managers and Four PR companies listed to promote her!....waste of money if you ask me! she is still shit
posted 11/4/2010 by Tommy

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