His father left when he was two and he and his brother Stuart were raised in Stoke Newington by his maternal grandmother, Rose Corre Isaacs, the formerly wealthy daughter of Portuguese Sephardic Jewish diamond dealers.
When he was six, McLaren's mother married Martin Levi, a rag trade entrepreneur; together they operated women's-wear business Eve Edwards with a factory in London's East End.
McLaren left home in his teens. After trying a series of jobs including one as a wine taster , he attended several art colleges , including Goldsmiths , Central Saint Martins  and Harrow School of Art. In the late s, McLaren was attracted to the Situationist movement, particularly the UK wing King Mob , which promoted absurdist and provocative actions as a way of enacting social change.
In McLaren tried unsuccessfully to travel to Paris to join the demonstrations there. Instead, with fellow student Jamie Reid , he took part in a student occupation of Croydon Art School. McLaren later grafted some of the movement's ideas into promotion of pop and rock groups. With the assistance of art-school friend Patrick Casey, McLaren converted the entire ground floor into Let It Rock, with his girlfriend Vivienne Westwood repairing original clothing and making facsimiles.
In , new designs in leather with studding inaugurated a new manifestation at the site with the name Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die; among commissions were costumes for Ken Russell 's film Mahler. In October , the store was renamed SEX to reflect a growing preoccupation with fetishwear and provocation. In January , McLaren and Westwood designed red patent leather costumes for the New York Dolls and used a Soviet -style hammer and sickle motif for their stage show as a provocative means of promoting the band.
This ploy was not successful and the Dolls soon broke up. In April , McLaren returned to Britain. It has been reported that McLaren's associate Bernie Rhodes later manager of The Clash spotted a replacement frontman in another customer, John Lydon , then sporting green hair and torn clothes with the words "I hate" scribbled on his Pink Floyd T-shirt. Lydon, dubbed "Johnny Rotten", joined and McLaren provided the name Sex Pistols McLaren stated that he wanted them to sound like "sexy young assassins".
And a lot of kids feel cheated. They feel that the music's been taken away from them by that whole over audience. McLaren organised a boat trip down the Thames in which the Sex Pistols would perform their music outside the Houses of Parliament.
The boat was raided by the police and McLaren was arrested, thus achieving his goal to obtain publicity. During his time managing the band, McLaren was accused by band members most notably by Lydon of mismanaging them and refusing to pay them when they asked him for money. McLaren kept the Sex Pistols' contract rights until Lydon took him to court in the s to win the rights and unpaid revenues from McLaren.
Lydon won and gained complete control from McLaren in McLaren and Lydon refused to speak to each other after the band split. In the film The Filth and the Fury , the surviving members of the Sex Pistols put their version of events on film. Other artists[ edit ] McLaren was approached by Adam Ant to manage Adam and the Ants following their debut album release in late McLaren continued to manage Ant as he found new band members for Adam and the Ants and worked on a new sound and also advised such groups as The Slits and Jimmy The Hoover.
The members of Bow Wow Wow also promoted clothing designed by McLaren and Westwood, and he embroiled the group in such controversies as plans to publish a magazine to be titled Chicken, to celebrate sex between individuals under the age of consent. The album helped bring hip hop to a wider audience.
In McLaren turned to electronic music and opera on the single " Madame Butterfly ", which reached No. Waltz Darling incorporated elements of his former albums, i. The singles, "Waltz Darling" and "Something's Jumpin' in Your Shirt" became top radio hits in Europe, with the single " Deep in Vogue " bringing voguing to the attention of the world.
The song plays over the end credits of the film. That year, he also created a band called Jungk. This project was not a commercial success. Around this time he released a track called "The Bell Song" as a single available in a variety of remixes.
Louis Blues " by looping the phrase "My man's got a heart like a rock cast in the sea. In , author Paul Gorman published his book The Look: Other projects[ edit ] During the s, McLaren attempted to make a film called Fashion Beast from a script by comic-book writer Alan Moore. Avenue Pictures recommended screenwriter Steve Means to rewrite Moore's script. Several drafts were written, but the process slowed down with the physical deterioration of Boykin, who died in The film was never made, and McLaren declared the project "an orphan".
In , the film was adapted and serialised into a issue comic book published by Avatar Press. McLaren was involved with other film and television projects, including The Ghosts of Oxford Street, made for Channel 4 in McLaren approached the Red Hot Chili Peppers in , early in their career, expressing interest in managing them.
After hearing a short live set, McLaren was "clearly unimpressed" according to frontman Anthony Kiedis. Although Kiedis was flattered to be considered, he and the band rejected the offer. Kiedis recalled the event, saying "It was like the Wizard of Oz had spoken, and what he had said was too ludicrous to take seriously".
An article in the New Statesman , published on 20 December , titled "My Vision for London", included the "McLaren Manifesto",  and there was speculation that McLaren might stand to be elected as Mayor of London ,  although ultimately he did not run.
In , McLaren wrote the article "8-Bit Punk" championing 8-bit music. The series was due to be shown in August , but was postponed owing to the death of fellow contestant actor Mike Reid shortly after filming was completed. It was eventually broadcast starting on 24 April During filming McLaren was seen urinating into the harbour and loudly telling assembled inhabitants of the famously devout town, "Jesus is a sausage", at which point he was physically assaulted by a resident.
Get Me Out of Here! He told press "it is fake", that he didn't know any of the other celebrities and quite frankly, "he didn't have the time". He was replaced by Katie Hopkins. Celebrity Hijack , which was broadcast on E4. In his hijack, he encouraged the housemates to remove their clothes, daub themselves in paint and produce an artwork using only their bodies and a bicycle.
About his contribution to music, McLaren has said about himself: This is my chance to prove that these accusations are true. In the afterword, publisher Lionel Bovier wrote, "Malcolm McLaren is and has been artist in the purest sense for his entire adult life. Photography, ephemera and images from a student art show were displayed, as well as a painting from the mid-'80s entitled "I Will Be So Bad". She moved in with him in ,  and they lived together in Paris and New York.
Above all else he was an entertainer and I will miss him, and so should you," he said in a statement as Johnny Rotten. The funeral was held at One Marylebone , a deconsecrated church in central London. I mean, the man's dead — what are you people doing? And hearing this, and the way Bob told it — so Irish and brilliant, so full of humour — I felt really, really sorry for Malcolm at that point.
That these sods couldn't even let him die in peace. They were out for their own little angles.