Malcolm McLaren, Vivienne Westwood and Jamie Reid's Journal|
[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 18 most recent journal entries recorded in
Malcolm McLaren, Vivienne Westwood and Jamie Reid's LiveJournal:
|Friday, April 23rd, 2010|
Malcolm McLaren's funeral - Ripping it up
Yesterday was one and extraordinary day for the reason being it was the day of Malcolm McLaren's funeral.
The funeral procession was to make its way through Camden High Street, towards Kentish Town and then onto Highgate Cemetery. I wondered where would be the best place to go to soak up the vibe and I plumped for Camden what with it being the mecca worldwide for the strange and the unusual, well, before it got taken over by tourists and shiny glass fronted empires. But enough of that, it was a day to pay respects to the Byron of modern times who once fooled his school mates into meeting him at a rubbish tip where he had prepared a cardboard box so they could be his 'Box Gang'. Sounds like a punk band name to me, the early seeds of what was to come perhaps. I decided to wear the tits top as a mark of respect, or disrespect, and wasn't fully expecting the attention it would garner - I thought there would be loads of people sporting 'Sex' and 'Seditionary' garb but I didn't see anyone except for one. Poor show! Still, my early arrival outside Camden tube station enabled me to see the beginnings of a tame media scrum that were photographing a bunch of Camden punks, one notably bearing a fuller figured resemblance to Sid Vicious. I wasn't really sure what to do with myself but noticed that a few people were beginning to stand by the side of the road, just absorbing an atmosphere of what was yet to realise some sort of form. Some friends who work round the corner joined me on their lunch break and as they arrived a camera man asked me some questions about why I was there and referred me to his journalist colleague. They asked if I'd like to say a few words infront of a blooming big telly camera. I said yes and then asked them where they were from. Channel 4. However, I'm not sure if it got shown, the amount of bumbling and whiffling on I was doing likely saw to that. Still it was fun. Then, sure enough, other microphones started popping up, the BBC and Radio 5 Live. The BBC article is here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8635771.stm. I felt quite privileged to be part of a little bit of history and to be quoted. All my reading up of Vivienne, Malcolm and punk started to come into my head snippet by snippet, I could have chatted all day about them.
The arrival of the cortege was running late and as the minutes rolled by, more people began to line the streets. Cameras were snapping, journalists were starting to gather their pace darting inbetween a mixed crowd of punks, rockabillies, mods and office workers with their digital dictaphones in hand. Then the expectation increased as the sound of horses clopped their way towards us. The black cars drove past, one with Vivienne Westwood wearing a 'Chaos' headband. Then a carriage pulled by two plumed black horses went by with the coffin that had 'Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die' stencilled on the sides surrounded by 'Cash From Chaos' T Shirts. It was a very moving sight and I could feel my eyes beginning to well up. Then a big green bus carrying a load of 'punks' (Ed Tudor Pole, John Cooper Clarke and Bob Geldof to name a few) bound for 'Nowhere' appeared, with 'The Daily Terror' emblazoned across the advertising panel and 'Malcolm Was Here' on the back. Then, as it went past Camden tube someone turned the music on really LOUDLY! It was Sic Vicious' 'My Way'! It went insane after that as the Camden punks clung to the back of the bus in the face of excited photographers. Some of the crowd joined in and followed the bus up the High Street and beyond - it was like a street party. A punk one! I decided to follow - it's not often you get to experience something like that, it was almost like liberation in someone else's death - the spirit of punk weedling its way through a part of North London. In addition to my tits top which was beginning to make passers by smile knowlingly at this stage, I was wearing the most humongous shoes with a heal, which made running after the bus, literally, quite hard! I was talking to a girl with pink hair who looked about 16 who was wearing a jacked with the Anarchy symbol on the back and we were trying to work out the best way to get to the cemetery as we'd eventually lost sight of the bus, except for when it was getting stuck in traffic intermittently. It was like following the pied piper to the party. Eventually, I lost sight of her too and saw a police officer who I thought I would ask directions from, thinking he wouldn't find the tits top 'challenging'. He said, "My young lady that's a very interesting top you are wearing." I smiled to him and said, "You're not going to arrest me are you?" and he said, "I might do!" whilst shaking his head in a knowing nonchalent fashion. I told him it was in honour of Malcolm, the name he was unaware of until I mentioned the Sex Pistols and he then asked if that really was a "real funeral"? He let me on my way with directions.
The sun was now beginning to beat down a bit and I felt tired, the top of my leather skirt tightening around my expanding abdomen with breaths of exhaustion. My feet were beginning to pinch too. I wondered what had made me follow that bus, I was only intending to pay my respects but I suppose it was the experience that I wanted to remember. As I hit Swains Lane I chatted to a woman who was heading for the cemetery and she told me that her dad was a big McLaren fan and had pictures of him all over the house when he died, so she felt she had to go to the cemetery. There weren't many people outside the cemetery so it felt like the right time to leave which is bizarre seeing as I'd followed the bus there. Still, I suppose it was some sort of pilgrimage that you have no real understanding of other than being caught up in the spirit of something quite special. I started to make my way through the entrance of Waterlow Park, where a man in a black suit asked me if he could go in to the cemetery, to which I answered that I was unsure. He seemed to know an awful lot about an awful lot of things and we chatted for a while. Then I started to head off again and then headed back with friend in tow. A nice smiley policeman told us that it would be best to go down the road by the Holly Village side to see the departing cortege, so we went down there and hung about outside the place that was featured in the Rock and Roll Swindle. The big green bus, minus its passengers went past and some of the Camden punks clung onto the back of it as if to hitch a lift. Then, a black car went by carrying Vivienne and Adam Ant who was wearing an unusual top hat with pictures of himself when he was younger stuffed into the headband. They acknowledged us which was nice.
It then came to an end and the most appropriate thing was to go for a drink to toast the man who encouraged us to "be a flamboyant failure rather than a benign success."
|Monday, April 26th, 2010|
R.I.P. Malcolm McLaren.
I'm sorry I didn't participate more often in this tiny community.
But I'm also surprised no one updated with this sad news yet.
|Sunday, March 23rd, 2008|
McLaren and the BBC
Two items that might be of interest.
First, a short audio clip
from "Malcolm McLaren's Musical Map of London" broadcast on the BBC sometime in 2007.
Second, an interview from "Radio Times" (2-8 December 2006).ONE FINAL QUESTIONCongratulations! It's the 30th anniversary of the Sex Pistols' single Anarchy in the UK, punk's original anthem. Does it feel like only yesterday?
No. So much has happened in the world since then. Technology has changed so dramatically that it's very difficult even to recall how one used to go to a telephone box! But what I achieved back then, as an entrepreneur or as the Sex Pistols' manager, still impacts today.How? I don't see safety-pinned T-shirts on the high street.
First and foremost, in the boom of contemporary British art, which was virtually non-existent in the 70s. Most of it has been created by the children of punk, like Damien Hirst. And in movie-making, music and fashion too. People remember punk from a musical perspective, but to me it was an artistic movement. Punk's DIY aesthetic helped a generation feel it could be creative. What I specifically taught was to embrace failure, so that you had no fear, and could do, and risk, anything.You could reasonably claim to have invented punk, but you say your late grandmother Rose, was responsible!
I was brought up in the most dysfunctional manner. Rose kept me at home and tutored me until I was nine. She felt her life was ruined by never being able to be in showbiz, as she came from an upper-class Jewish family, so she lived vicariously through me. She used to say "far better to be bad than to be good", because "being good" to her was to be conformist and boring. Bad things are always done by creative people, who change things. She persuaded me to be dismissive of orthodox views, like an outlaw, and rock'n'roll fitted into that perfectly.Johnny Rotten called you "the most evil man on Earth"...
Which is virtually what my mother said about Rose! I must have played my part so very well.Aren't you the most unlikely pop star of all time?
Johnny Rotten is an alter ego of mine. Sid Vicious was another. I enjoy coming out from behind the curtain, but I do love to be the puppeteer.What's your view on The X Factor and American Idol?
I hardly watch any TV because Rose brought me up to believe it was fake, and propaganda. She especially hated Dixon of Dock Green
because she said it was Scotland Yard and the BBC conspiring to get everyone to like policemen! Shows like X Factor
are karaoke experiences. It's all about a music industry using television as a way of trying desperately to regain control, which everyone knows is now in the hands of the new internet generation.You've just turned down I'm a Celebrity...I hear you were offered £100,000.
I wanted ten times more than that! They offered me £500,000 and still I said no.* I don't think my girlfriend would ever let me set foot in there, let alone fall out of a plane to begin with. But out of courtesy, I did have a meeting. I'd read Johnny Rotten was on a couple of years ago, but I hadn't seen the show until they gave me a tape. It didn't look hat horrible, but what I didn't understand was who these celebrities were. I didn't know Carol Thatcher was a celebrity; only the daughter of one. If you're cast in a movie you want it to be a great cast and they refused to tell me who would be in it beforehand.One final question: in recent years, you've tried, and failed, to launch two all-girl bands, Junqk from Asia and Wild Strawberries from China. Are you losing your touch?
The music industry is notoriously unintelligent and conservative; they just didn't get it. but the world has moved with such speed. Today's intellectual vanguard is not about joining a corporate force and making product. The future for this young laptop generation is that no-one will be famous for 15 minutes because everyone is famous through the internet. And that's very close to the punk spirit.Malcolm McLaren was talking to Mrtin Aston
* Malcolm's resistence weakened the next year, at least for a short while, as he joined and almost immediately left the programme. He gives his version of the reasons behind this decision here
|Monday, July 16th, 2007|
|Saturday, June 16th, 2007|
Malcolm's personal website disappeared into a permanent stage of "will return shortly" back in 2002. However, up until that time it was updated quite regularly.
Shortly before it ceased to update there was a link added to an article by Malcolm on the subject of the 1977 Queen's Jubilee. Please find it here
|Monday, March 5th, 2007|
|Saturday, March 3rd, 2007|
|Friday, February 10th, 2006|
|Monday, January 30th, 2006|
|Saturday, January 21st, 2006|
Malcolm's favourite books
Interviewed by the Guardian newspaper during his attempt to become London mayor.
"My favourite books of the moment
Malcolm McLaren is an impresario and style guru. He plans to stand for the post of London's mayor.
1. Peter Pan by JM Barrie
The best sex story I ever read.
2. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
The toughest, bitchiest indictment of a dishonest society by the best writer England has ever produced.
3. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
An unforgettable journey into criminal behaviour that takes me back to my own childhood fantasies. A book I read when I was extremely young, and one that justified all my desires to create an environment in which I could truthfully run wild, forever recreating those artful dodgers/Sex Pistols.
4. Christian Dior by Francoise Giroud
Does passion end in fashion? The ultimate luxury item to be browsed over in the bath.
5. The Private Case by Patrick Kearney
The dirtiest list of rudery ever published in England or elsewhere, all its contents available on request to the British Library's chief librarian. Information Hitler's spies were desperate to get their hands on during the war.
6. Out of Control by Kevin Kelly
This is a wonderful, inspirational 21st-century thinking man's guide to the new culture - how machines are becoming more human and how humans, in turn, are becoming more like machines.
7. Lady Chatterley's Lover by DH Lawrence
The most melancholic and blissfully romantic novel I have recently re-read.
8. Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte
The allure of the digital revolution, with all the necessary roadmaps so that you cannot help but fall in love with it.
9. The Story of O by Pauline Reage
A strange and adorable journey into the sublime world of a girl's bad, mad and crazed sexual misadventures. Happiness in slavery; the laughter of genius in the bathroom of our mind.
10. Essays by Gore Vidal
If you want to know how America thinks, read this."
|Sunday, January 15th, 2006|
|Monday, December 26th, 2005|
|Friday, October 28th, 2005|
Ben Kelly outside Westwood's King's Road shop Sex.
Who knows, who is it?
|Thursday, October 27th, 2005|
|Thursday, September 1st, 2005|
Vivienne Westwood in Taipei
By Susan Kendzulak
Thursday, Sep 01, 2005http://www.taipeitimes.com/
If you're familiar with the 1970s punk band the Sex Pistols, then you also know the punk fashion look of bondage, latex, and safety pins. These outfits were created by London fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and she is currently in Taipei for the opening of her 30-year retrospective at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, which opens today to the public and runs to Oct. 19. Last night was the gala preview party with a special performance by local artist Mr Eyeball.
The Vivienne Westwood exhibition features her provocative fashion designs over the last 30 years. Organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the exhibition provides a chronological view of her work divided into two sections.
"The Early Years" starts with the subversive punk outfits from the 1970s that led to the pirate-inspired gear of the 1980s. "Maturity" features the later work of bustles and bustiers, from the 1990s up to the present, including beautifully-crafted suits, flamboyant knits and ball gowns.
Over 500 designs are on view. In addition to the fashion, there is a series of British cultural activities organized by the British Council to show the link between pop culture, design, music and how the influence of politics and social issues comes into play.
Westwood is a big-time designer and her influence has reached Taiwan where many of the local designers have studied her work. So this exhibition has been highly anticipated in the local fashion world.
In the early 1970s, Westwood who was born in 1941, opened up a trendy clothing shop called "Let it Rock" with her partner Malcolm McLaren who was the Sex Pistol's manager. Westwood's designs included leather jackets, bondage clothing with straps and buckles, and printed T-shirts. They all became part of the punk frenzy.
By the 1980s, however, fashion had changed drastically and Westwood, who was inspired by history and culture, changed her design style in many ways too.
One of the underlying themes in her work over the past 30 years is appropriating bits and pieces of British history to include into her designs, such as flouncy crinoline skirts, whale-boned corsets, tartan plaids and elements from ornately-designed Rococo paintings.
One thing the exhibition will show is that Westwood is not a stagnant designer repeating the tried and true, but that she remains a true iconoclast: inventing and reinventing new fashions while keeping her finger on the pulse of the moment.
Her fascination with 18th century French art is evident in many of her later designs, where the constructions distort and hide the body.
By seeing the Westwood retrospective, the viewer will get a crash course in art history and see how the influence of history and pop culture merge effortlessly in her work.
As Westwood said, "I'm not trying to do something different, I'm trying to do the same thing but in a different way."
Westwood is also a strong believer in how appearance plays a deep role in one's life. You'll be convinced too of the importance of fashion, upon seeing the exhibition.
|Wednesday, August 24th, 2005|
|Thursday, July 28th, 2005|