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[UPDATE] Rest in peace, Malcolm McLaren: Former Sex Pistols manager, 'Buffalo Gals' rapper

Malcolm McLaren, the former Sex Pistols manager who, along with designer Vivienne Westwood, helped create the look and feel of first-wave British punk, has died in New York. The polarizing figure, who got his start as the New York Dolls' manager in the early 1970s, cut a wide swath through the 1970s and '80s. When Johnny Rotten uttered the famous final words of the Pistols' career, "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" he was directing his ire at McLaren.

[Updated 1:27 p.m.: There were conflicting reports on where McLaren died. His agent had said that McLaren died in New York, although his son, Joe Corre, has confirmed that he died of cancer in Switzerland.]

Packaging the Sex Pistols for the world would have been enough to earn his place in the rock 'n' roll pantheon, but McLaren continued to offer ideas that made an impact -- though never again to the extent that he did with the Pistols. He discovered Bow Wow Wow singer Annabella Lwin, helped deliver the look and feel of the New Romantic movement, and, as an artist, created one of the great left-field hits of early rap, "Buffalo Gals," in which he merged a hip-hop beat with square dancing to create a curious, oft-sampled classic, most notably used in Eminem's "Without Me." (McLaren's later attempt at merging rap and opera proved less successful.)

The Times will have a full obituary in Friday's paper.

-- Randall Roberts

Comments () | Archives (9)

RIP to a great artist, Malcolm McLaren.

What a wonderful era! RIP Malcolm we'll miss your light.

RIP Malcolm.

A true original! Loved this and his Paris album....he did Vogue before Madonna made it mainstream!

Malcolm without any doubt was a Punk/New Wave Rock Pioneer. The obvious manager of the Sex Pistols and Bow Wow Wow is already well known, however the depth of his vision is far more reaching then that. Malcolm's single "Buffalo Gals" was ground breaking, right up there with BLONDIE'S "Rapture" both in Hip Hop-Rap Genre. What Malcolm did with "Madame Butterfly" fusing Opera with hints of Hip Hop-Dance was nothing short of Brillance. He also scored several big dance clubs hits with songs like "Deep in Vogue" and "Waltz Darling". In fact it was Malcolm that was responsible for the whole Vogue Dance movement years before Madonna stole and revamped that concept. Deep in Vogue was a Billboard #1 Dance single 2 years before her Vogue was released.

Good riddance. They guy is a putz who leeched off the talent of others.

What an underrated genius.Buffalo girls was the cut back in the day.RIP Mr McLAREN

I totally reject the notion that McLaren & Westwood had anything to do with creating anything to do with Punk. They were there, and managed to make an impressionable, ignorant media believe they were an integral part of something that was already happening. One or two people don't create a sub-culture, especially when they aren't even a part of the social group that culture came from.

Nothing but a conman. Punk would have existed without his shameless self promotion. Rot in Hell!


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