Music lost a pioneering force today with the death of Malcolm McLaren, the British musician, promoter and manager most famous as the mastermind behind the Sex Pistols. A life-long Londoner, McLaren got his start with a little shop called SEX along with partner Vivienne Westwood. Located in the fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, SEX (later Seditionaries) became the official HQ of the Bromley Contingent–London’s early punk scene, made up of the teenaged Pistols fans, including Billy Idol, Siouxsie Sioux, Adam Ant. And of course, the Sex Pistols.
As the man behind the Pistols, McLaren created the image of the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll bad boys. He created spectacles to amp up the band’s reputation, including a floating concert on the River Thames intended parodying the Queen’s Jubilee. And to this day, McLaren’s role in the meteoric rise and fall is debated: Was he an evil genius, a mastermind, or simply a good manager? To find out more about McLaren’s role in creating the band, check out the 1980 mockumentary, ‘The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle,’ in its entirety, after the jump.
While SEX is long gone, today the shop lives on as Vivienne Westwood’s World’s End boutique, a collection of frilly goodies with a little bit of punk-rock spirit. Stop by and tell them Malcolm sent you.
Vivienne Westwood’s Land’s End
430 Kings Road
+44 (0) 20 7352 6551