Impresario. Malcolm McLaren & the British New Wave

Malcolm McLaren didn’t invent Punk. All he did was envisage it, design it, clothe it, publicize it, and sell it. In the film, “The Great Rock’n Roll Swindle,” he appears in a black rubber garment and mask of his own design and whispers the above in a conspiratorial voice. Thus begins the story of how he went on to swindle a fortune from the British music industry. Impresario takes a lively and provocative look at the interface between popular culture as orchestrated by the controversial figure of Malcolm McLaren, the arena of High Culture, and the ever increasing public for both. Essays by Paul Taylor, Jane Withers, Jon Savage, and Dan Graham trace McLaren’s career as a pop entrepreneur at 430 Kings Road (the London boutique also known as Let It Rock SEX, and Seditionaries), as the mastermind behind the Sex Pistols, Adam and the Ants, and Bow Wow Wow, which earned him the title, “Svengali of Punk” and as the manipulator of media who turned himself into his own product with the launching of the prescient album Duck Rock and the brilliant pastiche, Fans. The more than 50 illustrations comprise a visual biography of McLaren, encompassing the full range of his work as designer, filmmaker, musician, and cultural theorist. By focusing on McLaren’s career as well as on the collaborative and crossover character of his work Impresario challenges and ultimately broadens our accepted notions of art.

Text: Graham Dan, Withers Jane et al. pp. 80; 28 ill. BW ills. e 10 Col; paperback. Publisher: M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, 1988.

ISBN: 9780262700351| 0262700352

ID: AM-0587

Product Description

Malcolm McLaren didn’t invent Punk. All he did was envisage it, design it, clothe it, publicize it, and sell it. In the film, “The Great Rock’n Roll Swindle,” he appears in a black rubber garment and mask of his own design and whispers the above in a conspiratorial voice. Thus begins the story of how he went on to swindle a fortune from the British music industry. Impresario takes a lively and provocative look at the interface between popular culture as orchestrated by the controversial figure of Malcolm McLaren, the arena of High Culture, and the ever increasing public for both. Essays by Paul Taylor, Jane Withers, Jon Savage, and Dan Graham trace McLaren’s career as a pop entrepreneur at 430 Kings Road (the London boutique also known as Let It Rock SEX, and Seditionaries), as the mastermind behind the Sex Pistols, Adam and the Ants, and Bow Wow Wow, which earned him the title, “Svengali of Punk” and as the manipulator of media who turned himself into his own product with the launching of the prescient album Duck Rock and the brilliant pastiche, Fans. The more than 50 illustrations comprise a visual biography of McLaren, encompassing the full range of his work as designer, filmmaker, musician, and cultural theorist. By focusing on McLaren’s career as well as on the collaborative and crossover character of his work Impresario challenges and ultimately broadens our accepted notions of art.

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