You don't create me. I am me. There is a difference... There was never a relationship with the manager, for me, other than he would always try to steal my ideas and claim them to be his own. I had to accept that he was the manager, because he was their manager before I joined the band.Here's the first of 11 segments of the movie, sliced and diced via YouTube:
He was a nonpareil orchestrator of outrage during their early career, but proved incapable of dealing with its consequences. McLaren knew exactly what buttons to press, but seemed to have no idea what to do once he'd pressed them: fatally so in the case of Sid Vicious, who was only too willing to play the monster role that McLaren wrote for him right up to a suitably grim conclusion.Even Lydon had a few kind words for the manager as he shuffled off this mortal coil: "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."
...It wasn't until after the band split up that McLaren attempted to reassert his authority over the Sex Pistols: rewriting their story in the film The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle as a masterplan he had controlled all along, the band merely his stooges. It wasn't a terribly convincing argument, nor was it a terribly good film.
Understandably outraged, Johnny Rotten has spent the subsequent years airbrushing McLaren from the Sex Pistols story, pointing out that the music had nothing to do with him, reinventing the band as autodidacts who would have been even more successful without his interference.
But that seems reductive too: without McLaren's ideas, his art-school grounding in Situationism, without the clothes he and Vivienne Westwood designed for them, the Sex Pistols wouldn't have been the same band, nor would they have had the same impact. Neither party would ever admit it, but they needed each other.
Still, if nothing else, the ongoing argument meant Malcolm McLaren remained a controversial figure up to his death, and will remain a controversial figure beyond it – which is presumably just what he wanted.
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