Equal parts visionary artist, tireless promoter, exploitative control freak and cold fish, McLaren managed a slew of bands in the 70s and 80s, including Adam and the Ants, New York Dolls, Bow Wow Wow and, most famously, The Sex Pistols--a band he not only created but also helped to destroy.
For many of us who watched McLaren's shameless and powerful dance of Life As Art, his uncanny ability to utilize provocation as a means to shock and scam The Man, attracting the disenfranchised and angry youth of a crumbling Western society, and somehow making it pay, well, we simply stood in awe.
But the ruthless and callous methods he sometimes employed to achieve this art, operating as if unaware that the players he directed were actual human beings, could not be ignored and made us feel hollow and empty.
There is no doubt that McLaren's influence and impact on the music and entertainment world was monumental, but his death leaves us no less conflicted and no closer to a satisfactory understanding of the artist or the man.
(via NPR's Morning Edition)Related:
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