Malcolm Maclaren passed away Thursday in Switzerland after a short battle with mesothelioma cancer.
Many said Malcolm was a visionary. He was many things, recording artist, fashion designer with then wife, Vivienne Westwood, and manager to the Sex Pistols and New York Dolls. Many credit Malcolm with starting the British Punk rock movement. In my eyes, he was a true renaissance man...
Malcolm floated into my life on the tracks of his remixed MADAME BUTTERFLY and his baby faced rocker BOW WOW WOW in the early eighties.
I remember seeing Malcolm when he lived with Lauren Hutton near Bond Street in New York city circa 1983-84. My friends and I thought them to be such a funny looking couple. Lauren was absolutely gorgeous walking hand in hand with Malcolm with his white pale skin and flaming red hair.
In 1985, I moved to Los Angeles and lived in a downtown loft while starting my career in film editing. One evening my friends and I went to some kind of music/club happening in downtown LA and who do I see? Malcolm having a smoke outside. I do not remember saying anything to him considering I may have been slightly enhanced myself that night. It was the 80's. We were all trying to have fun while being completely broke. My friends and I would hang out at art openings to abuse the free drinks and hors d'eouvres. Then, we would drive to the next art gallery and do the same thing...I guess I can say, I am lucky to still be alive after all that alcohol induced driving!
Fast forward to 2003, Fall Fashion show for Martine Sitbon in Paris, France. My husband and I are seated in the front row next to who? Malcolm Maclaren and his American girl friend, Young Kim. This time the tables had turned. I finally had a chance to talk to the man that floated in and out of my life. Malcolm introduced himself to Jean Pierre and said he would love to work for him. Wow, Malcolm Maclaren doing the music for JP! I do not know if Jp would appreciate Malcolm's cutting edge taste but I was completely giddy with excitement thinking about all the creative possibilities.
Then a year and a half ago, I was hanging outside the Parisian club, Le Baron, in the wee hours of the morning waiting for a taxi, and who do I bump into talking to Martine Sitbon? Malcolm McLaren. This time I went up to him and told him that I had just written about him and Lauren Hutton in my blog.
Malcolm started to tell me that that period was the end of his relationship with Lauren Hutton. Steven Spielberg had called Malcolm in the early 80's to come to LA and help him with the music with his new film, THE EMPEROR OF THE SUN.
Now cut to St Barth's this past July. We get a call from Young Kim to come over for dinner at their beach house up in the hills over looking the bay. We drive up the long winding hills finally arriving at Young and Malcolm's home away from home. They had a rented a Bali inspired villa which was totally open revealing an indoor wading pool and living area with spectacular views. Malcolm had cooked for us. It was totally touching that he cooked so well...Mostly vegetarian style which really impressed me. We hung out for 3-4 hours after talking on the sofa and sipping chilled French wine. Malcolm was talking about his next projects at the same time letting Young know it was time to change the playlist. He never let a minute go by without the right beat.
I get sad thinking about the passing of Malcolm. I will no longer have the opportunity to talk to this curious man.
My heart is heavy for Young, his beautiful companion and partner in crime for many years.
Death sucks. Malcolm was one of the cool ones.