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 Everett True

Song of the day – 55: Bow Wow Wow

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Guess you all know why this is here.

By some distance, Bow Wow Wow were my favourite of all the bands Malcolm McLaren was involved in. Sure, I liked Adam And The Ants, but I never really understood his solo records – they mostly seemed to be his reaction to the post-Sex Pistols world Sex Pistols: cynically-released lowest common denominator songs to prove that, with a little astute marketing, anything sells. ‘Duck Rock’ is like Rednex 20 years ahead of schedule. Jive Bunny was preferable to most of his solo offerings.

It’s also obvious that if The Sex Pistols still have resonance 35 years on, it’s down to Lydon not McLaren – despite McLaren’s best efforts to the contrary in The Great Rock’N’Roll Swindle. (With reference to that video link – clearly, anyone couldn’t be a Sex Pistol.) There again, I never gave a shit about how I looked.

Still, leaving personal taste out of this, McLaren was obviously great at causing mischief – and the world always seems a little duller when folk like him die. (Or, as Tom Ewing succinctly put it on Twitter, “RIP Malcolm McLaren. Best troll ever.”)

I wonder how Annabella feels about the news?

P.S. I would post the video to the following song directly here, but – ironies piled upon ironies – the embedding code on this has been “disabled by request” (a record company worried about the copyright on a song they’re promoting that extols the virtues of home recording). So I’ve had to make do with the link instead.

Bow Wow Wow – C-30 C-60 C-90 Go

P.P.S. Fuck it. Here’s the video to ‘I Want Candy’.

3 Responses to Song of the day – 55: Bow Wow Wow

  1. didier April 11, 2010 at 12:33 am

    The death of Malcolm left me with a thought.
    If you read thousands of biogs, all bands claim to be influenced by Sex Pistols.
    I am sure some say this because they think it's a sort of must thing to do….
    But imagine if Malcolm wasn't around and that Sex Pistols would have been totally obscure, then perhaps punk never reached a big audience and perhaps the musicscene would have been totally different.
    Malcolm surely was a commercial charlatan but I like it when people shout it out, it's stupid to love something and try to hide it for a bigger audience.

  2. Jerry April 18, 2010 at 9:38 am

    (from Facebook)
    Deniz Martinez and Jeff Campagna like this.

    Deniz Martinez
    liking the song, not the passing of Malcolm McLaren 🙁
    09 April at 12:10 ·

    Sarah Guinevere Heald
    "best troll ever". thank God. starting to get a complex I'm the only that thinks "yes a loss to pop culture, but he was also a complete c*nt".
    09 April at 12:16 ·

    Everett True
    my thoughts precisely, Sarah. Although not having ever met him, I would like to hold back on the "complete" part of that last assertion.
    09 April at 12:17 ·

    Keir Hardie
    What a great loss to pop culture – who will spearhead the double dutch revival now?
    09 April at 12:20 ·

    Sarah Guinevere Heald
    Salient point. I'm very influenced by Lydon's views on him (who I have met and found extremely thoughtful and articulate when not 'in character').. But the onslaught of revisionist eulogising today is making me feel like there's an elephant in the room so it's comforting to read I'm not alone. As I just said to someone earlier today "one of the greatest trend scouts of our time, with absolutely no loyalty".
    09 April at 12:26 ·

    Everett True
    Well, he predicted the rise of Rednex, if nothing else.
    09 April at 12:29 ·

    Sarah Guinevere Heald
    christ. I was working at Mushroom here when that came out. You've just given me post-traumatic stress flashbacks. I need a shower.
    09 April at 12:32 ·

    Keir Hardie
    I've very influenced by Lydon's story in my views on McLaren too – although I've lost a lot of faith in Lydon in recent years, with him waffling on about England all the time and stuff, although I had my belief in him restored considerably by watching footage of PiL playing The Flowers Of Romance last year, when he seemed on wonderful form. It seems undeniable though, that his fame and reputation was based almost entirely on dishonestly spinning the Sex Pistols' story to take all the credit, and it also seems undeniable that much of what he did as their manager at the time was a real great loss to pop culture. If it wasn't for his shitty revisionist film, however, I might not have got into PiL so young, for it did serve as a childish shortcut, do he inadvertently did some good there. Alan McGee was fond of him, wasn't he? Silly sod!
    09 April at 12:36 ·

  3. Jerry April 18, 2010 at 9:39 am

    (from Facebook)

    Everett True
    Actually, I was trying to rack my brain about that. McGee was more influenced by Tony Wilson, Dan Treacy and Alan Horne from what I can (very vaguely) recall
    09 April at 12:37 ·

    Keir Hardie
    Oh, and Adam And The Ants, he destroyed a great band there too. But we did get two great pop bands out of it.
    09 April at 12:40 ·

    Keir Hardie
    He gave him quite a bit of money for his mayoral bit though.
    09 April at 12:46 ·

    Keir Hardie
    Bid, not bit. But it was Creation's money, and it was 2000, so perhaps he had his reasons.
    09 April at 12:49 ·

    Everett True
    Perhaps McGee fancied himself as a McLaren later on? I don't really know. I would've though their world-views were poles apart… aside from making money…
    09 April at 12:51 ·

    Sarah Guinevere Heald
    I think you're bang on there Everett re: Tony Wilson. And McGee attempting to brand himself as a McLaren later in life when he'd – ironically – run out of decent signings. and money.
    09 April at 12:54 ·

    Sarah Guinevere Heald
    And Keir yes I'm a tad concerned that John's jumped the shark of "late life moderateness" of recent. Yes eventually he had to stop being a caricature but the 'oh i don't mind the monarchy' comments etc are starting to make him sound like he's eaten out of too many aluminium saucepans and/or is going to buy a Volvo.
    09 April at 12:57 ·

    Everett True
    Run out of money? Not sure that's true. The one communication I've had with McGee in over 20 years was on Twitter a few months back when he memorably boasted, "the main difference between you and me is 30 million pounds".
    09 April at 12:58 ·

    Keir Hardie
    McGee was always passionate about music though, ridiculously so, probably still is. I don't see much sign that McLaren ever even liked music.
    09 April at 12:58 ·

    Everett True
    Plus, no one ever died on McGee's watch… um… did they? And he never stooped so low as to exploiting shop-girls for publicity… oh wait. He did.
    09 April at 12:59 ·

    Sarah Guinevere Heald
    For some reason I thought McGee was near broke in the late 90's? Circa the great US/Oasis debacle? But yes 30 million pounds may beg to differ and much has changed in that time. That said I always think people who actually put a figure on how loaded they are smell of Loadsamoney 'he who shouts the loudest' bullshitters too.
    09 April at 13:02 ·

    Seaneen Molloy
    McGee is an utter, utter cunt. Much like McLaren. But McLaren was still influential and interesting, which is worth enough to mourn.
    09 April at 13:07 ·

    Keir Hardie
    I wouldn't mind so much if John became moderate… I fear something much worse… I smell… PATRIOTISM… *shudder*

    Ev, that shop-girls remark, is that a reference to Baby Amphetamine? No-one's going to get that.
    09 April at 13:12 ·

    Everett True
    You did. (Looks smug)
    09 April at 13:13 ·

    Keir Hardie
    Yeah, but I'm talking about Earthlings.

    I wouldn't call McGee an utter utter cunt. He can be fickle and nasty, certainly. But he has his good points too.
    09 April at 13:19 ·

    Keir Hardie
    "For me, Malc was always entertaining and I hope you remember that.
    Above all else, he was an entertainer and I will miss him—and so should you." —John Lydon

    That's exactly the sort of thing I was afraid he'd say.
    10 April at 07:03 ·

    Sarah Guinevere Heald
    Yes it's the only quote I've read, albeit it was on an obscure website. What a load of cop-out diplomatic horseshit if it's true. I can almost forgive him for diverting attention away from himself, but really why can't he just tell the truth and say "I piss on his grave"?
    10 April at 09:30 ·

    Keir Hardie
    Wishful thinking makes me think "he's got a sentimental streak, that's not the worst thing in the world".
    10 April at 09:38 ·

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