NOSTALGIA FOR ANTI-NOSTALGIA

godsavesexpistolsrizzoli

Most things that are given a punk prefix are pretty terrible. Right now — in an era of carefully curated nihilism — brands and contemporary culture seem to be trying to poorly resurrecting a packaged version of the spirit that inspired Malcolm McLaren all those years ago. They want to be GG Allin but most seem to be coming off more like the moody kid from the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie wearing his Sid Vicious tee in the bad guys’ warehouse with the ramp and video games. Given that this year will mark 40 years since the Sex Pistols signed the EMI deal and next year will be a big anniversary for Never Mind the Bollocks… we can expect the nostalgia for safety pins, spitting and smackheads to be in full force. Beyond the picture postcard punk aspect, that culture shift shouldn’t be treated flippantly, but I want to get the insight beyond the same old filth and fury. That wish was partially fulfilled by a great McLaren homage in the new Man About Town, which celebrates his work over 50 pages with an agreeable amount of anti-nostalgia. Rizzoli are set to drop a Sex Pistols book in October that, with Johan Kugelberg and Jon Savage behind it (whose Punk: An Aesthetic for Rizzoli four years ago was tremendous), is likely to dig beyond the same-old iconography to bring something more to their documentation. Pistols guitarist, raconteur and former cat burglar Steve Jones’ memoir Sex and Thievery is set for release in January 2017 and Paul Gorman’s Malcolm McLaren: The Authorised Biography will be published in March that year. Getting to the root of McLaren’s complicated, contrarian mindset is a challenge, and it’s matched by the great Bad Brains frontman Paul “H.R” Hudson in the problematic antics stakes. Coinciding with James Lathos’s Kickstarter funded Finding Joseph I, a book of the same title will be another January arrival. If Finding Joseph I: The Journey from Bad Brains Through My Mysterious Mind: An Oral History explores the many contradictory sides to one of the greatest frontmen of all time, plus the hard drug and mental health problems, it could be a good read and a useful tool in understanding just how this man has managed to self-sabotage his career.

findingjosephi