EXPIRED: 04/08/10 – Malcolm McLaren, 64, was born to a teenage war deserter and his girlfriend and was brought up by his rich grandmother and nasty step-dad. He hated school so he quit to become a wine taster.
Realizing that would lead to nothing more than lots of hangovers and stained teeth, McLaren took to designing clothes with the rags left over from his family’s schmatte factory. Eventually, he and his girlfriend, the designer Vivienne Westwood, opened a London clothing shop called Let It Rock on the Kings Road.
While successful, McLaren wasn’t too taken with the clientele – mostly London’s Teddy Boy rockers – and decided to rename the store Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die, inspired by the glam-punk look of the NYC-based rock band, the New York Dolls, who he met in 1972.
He started designing outfits for the band and in no time began designing promotional costuming and materials for all sorts of acts.
Another turn, this time in 1975, came when he changed the name of the store to SEX and began selling S&M clothing and paraphernalia.
He hired a kid to stock shelves named John Lydon. He christened him Johnny Rotten because of his rotten dental work. Then he formed a band around the guttersnipe, and called them the Sex Pistols.
Rock music never was the same again.