Friday, 9 April 2010

Sad day for us proud old punk rockers....

So farewell then Mr McClaren.

As many of the people reading this will know, I am very much a child of the punk revolution. I was a babe-in-arms (well 13ish) when punk really took off in 1977 and it is fair to say it truly changed my life. The music excited and inspired me (it still does incidentally) and it put me on a musical journey that has never ended to this day. I may not look as 'punky' as I used to but in my heart that is what I still am.

Therefore I was sad to hear yesterday of the death of Malcolm McClaren, the svengali manager of the pioneering punks The Sex Pistols.

He may have been a bit of a wide boy and a player (although to be fair he never pretended to be anything else) but this guy had a massive influence on all the lives of those of us who believe punk truly changed our lives forever.

My own favourite band, The Stranglers, may have pre-dated them (and American heroes The Ramones certainly did) but it was The Sex Pistols that propelled punk to the surface and as a result many of the bands we all know and love got deals, made records and the rest as they say is history. Glorious, unpredictable history.

This sad death has also prompted some great punk nostalgia. Nicky Campbell on Radio Five this morning was talking about his punk days (he called himself Nic-O-Tine in 1977) and he talked about his first 'pogo'. I can still remember mine – I was on holiday with a friend, Nigel, in Prestatyn in 1978 and I bounced up and down on the spot to Five Minutes by The Stranglers and Ca Plane Pour Moi by Belgian pop-punkster Plastic Betrand. Bouncing up and down on the spot..yep, we called that dancing. Happy days.

To be honest I would never list The Sex Pistols in my 'best ever' bands list (when I saw them again a couple of years ago on their comeback tour I realised they had made four killer singles and a couple of cracking album tracks but there was a lot of 'filler' too) but, like every pop fan who acknowledges The Beatles I know the debt I owe to those boys. And they simply wouldn't have broken through without Malcolm's guiding (manipulating?) hand.

So farwell Mr C. A genuine original. A genuine character. A genuine loss.

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