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The Wicked Ways of Malcolm McLaren Paperback – 1 Nov 1989
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Although Malcolm McLaren was involved with far more than just the Sex Pistols, it is with the Pistols that the book begins and most of the substance comes from McLaren and his involvement with both the Pistols and its aftermath. The prologue opens with the infamous Bill Grundy interview and sets the tone for the Malcolm that we will meet further in the book. From then on in, it develops its theme-- Malcolm as manipulator who sabotages his own success and the man who would invest much of his career in the succès de scandale.
There is more to the book than the Sex Pistols. Fans of music will enjoy hearing the stories and anecdotes about the New York Dolls, Boy George, Adam Ant, Bow Wow Wow, Afrikaa Bambaata and Vivienne Westwood. Throughout the book, the theme develops of Malcolm McLaren and ways that would really be hard to describe in any way except wicked.
As a long-time fan of punk from way back, I was a little bit shocked at how absolutely unlikable McLaren is in the book. He is depicted as having none of the innocence that made his charges so great and there is nothing particularly roguish or charming about how he is portrayed. Unsurprising that this is an unauthorized biography.
As a writer Bromberg has his little unsteadinesses. I was not in love with the structure of the book-- I found it unnecessarily awkward. Still, there are enough great anecdotes to keep the pages turning and I was pretty much hooked from beginning to end.
This book would make a great gift for people interested in the Sex Pistols, music history, early punk or just as a companion piece for sitting down to read Lipstick Traces. Too bad Bromberg has never gotten around to updating the volume with what McLaren has been up to for the 15 years since publication.
Malcom has used and abused many people along the way. He makes no qualms about it either. Be it the New York Dolls, the Sex Pistols, Adam Ant or Bow Wow Wow, everyone he's meet has something to say about the man.
An intersting look at one of the biggest names in the entertainment business. A fine good read and one of my sources for information.
Knowing what would be fashionable and creating it and selling it.
Highly recommend it for the insight it uncovers in two calculating minds.