Monday, April 19, 2010


"The Death of Innovation Only Screams For More...."
Goodbye Malcom McLaren - UK Innovator of Style, Viciousness, and Grace

The mad genius who brought you the Sex Pistols is dead. In a simple one page blurb and a two second plug on CNN he exited our psyche. Malcom McLaren is now in some other world. But he was always in some other distant world. Often called the creator of the Punk Rock movement - McLaren had an eye for fashion, pop culture, and utter and complete mayhem.

In his short 64 years he brought the world many things including sex and bondage wear, topical and headline stealing rock and roll acts including Sid Vicious, Johnny Rotten and Bow Wow Wow. Malcom was also responsible for one Adam Ant and for the oncoming BBC inspired.... MTV.

There is a great misconception in this country that MTV and the USA experienced a British Invasion in the early 80's. But nothing of that was the truth. American's were behind in the video market so early New York based MTV had nothing to show except European based rock music including INXS, Depeche Mode, Adam Ant, Human League, PIL and many more... Without that proper planning the entire "Alternative movement" would have never happened. Michael Hutchence and crew would have never seen the light of day.

Malcom disappeared from the music scene as major record labels latched onto the punk sound and other genres of rock music emerged. The ten years surrounding punk rock has scared collegiate psychologists, socialogists and other academics for creating an entire generation that thinks for itself.

"You Don't Need Permission For Anything!"

MTV did not hold onto that fiery vision for very long. Long after it had established itself. The powers of Viacom slacked off to a less confrontational vision that included rap music and reality based television. It opted for the lowest common denominator to keep the advertising dollars flowing in. And this was how Americans lost their vision for new music, bold culture, and confrontational entertainment. Eventually over time, the shocking new vision that was once MTV has subsided into a low grade commodity.

The record labels that came forth from the days of McLaren have included Slash, Virgin, Twin Tone, Two Tone, IRS, and many more. Oddly, the initial shock of the mock British Invasion has left an indelible presence on the radio networks. Many of them still pay homage to that innovative sound decades after its debut. Notice how many of these stations are slow to bring forth any new sounds. They are still warbling in past glories and early hits. Worse, many corporate office parties will still hold "80's night" as if it was just a phase.

It was in a sense. It was a corporate phase and later this music was passed over in a corporate decision. The BBC and the UK pop movement is something that has not shown any signs of slowing down. It is still going on to this day. The only thing that is different is that the American market is just not as plugged into it as it once was. Bye bye Buggles, so long Buzzcocks.

Hello Toby Keith.

Posted by Ted Cantu, STILL AN INNOVATOR - in Metro Detroit, Michigan, 2010.

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