Andy Seven, former rock star/male model/bon vivant, the man with the action-packed expense account, the fabulous free-lance creator of stories and images is available for your entertainment NOW! on Blogger.
It's been said that people get the fever as early as childhood, and it can certainly be said that was the case with me and creating clothes. When I was ten years old I would show pictures of the cool psychedelic clothes The Beatles wore to my mother and ask her how much they would cost. "I don't know, Andy, but I bet I could make them for you", my mother smirked, one eyebrow cocked. Wow, that was pretty exciting. I could barely sleep! Fast forward to the next weekend and there we were at "Home Silk Shop" on Third and La Cienega (it's now a Borders). First we'd look at all the cool mod and psych prints available, the more colorful the better. The material was a nice cotton with a little dab of poly blend, remember, polyester wasn't real big yet, thank God. After we'd get the cool material we'd look for a pattern on a cool Nehru shirt, just like the ones The Beatles wore in "Magical Mystery Tour". We looked through Simplicity, Buttericks, McCalls - it was tough because they didn't make Nehru shirt patterns for little boys yet, so my mom bought an adult shirt pattern and scaled it down for a little psych squirt like me. I carried everything all the way home, I was so happy I could burst. My mom adjusted the pattern after measuring me and applying the alterations to the pattern. After sewing and slaving for a few weeks I had my brilliant shirt. I wish I had a picture taken of myself wearing it. Take my word for it, it looked amazing, and needless to say, I still managed to bug my mother to make me some more cool styles. Thirty years later I married Rebecca, and even before the marriage certificate ink was dry she was already sewing me bags, jackets, hats, pants, underwear, belts, jeans, and club clothes, especially club clothes. In between jobs for Motley Crue, Raquel Welch, KISS, The Osbournes and a cast of thousands, Rebecca makes pants for work and pants for play. Leather pants for play. Pictured here are the two most recent play pants: oxblood waxed leather pants (pictured here) and a great olive green distressed leather pair of trousers (also pictured here). The only difference between then and now is that in addition to buying material for myself I've also bought material for Rebecca and designed dresses for her, sketching and sewing them, too. Rebecca's taught me everything I know about tracing and cutting material, working out the bugs in patterns, and even getting me to operate a sewing machine. I can even operate a serger; I love the revving motorcycle sounds it makes. Eventually I'd like to work with Rebecca full-time like I did in the early Nineties but with more hands-on sewing and designing involved. I've always loved clothes and while I don't plan on being a big designer I think men need a real cool rock 'n roll tailor. My calling is calling me again.
Last week Malcolm Maclaren, controversial manager of The Sex Pistols, The New York Dolls, and mentor to Adam & The Ants passed away at age 64 from cancer due to asbestos poisoning.
I first met Malcolm Maclaren in the summer of 1976 when I went to England to see The Sex Pistols. I was completely sold on them after reading a tiny review of them in the New Music Express. The Sex Pistols did a show at The 100 Club and I approached Malcolm and talked to him for awhile about possibly managing a band I knew in Hollywood (don't ask, they were horrible). He was friendly, polite, more than any other music industry nimrod I ever met, actually. He even gave me a Sex Pistols press kit which I didn't ask for, and still treasure to this day. His girlfriend at the time, the soon to be Dame Vivienne Westwood, was equally friendly and cool. I bought a leather t-shirt and rubber t-shirt from their clothes store on Kings Row, Sex. When I got back to Hollywood I told Rodney Bingenheimer about a great band from England called The Sex Pistols. He thought I was putting him on and laughed in my face. Dickhead.
A year later The Sex Pistols were the biggest thing in the United Kingdom and Malcolm Maclaren was a bit of a monster, advocating the beating of rock writers like Nick Kent. There were constant anti-Semitic remarks coming out of his mouth. Charming guy.
A year later my band Arthur J. and The Gold Cups played The Whiskey A Go-Go and Maclaren was in town with various Sex Pistols (Jones and Cook, but Vicious was hovering around somewhere). Our band played punk rock versions of silly oldies. Malcolm was in the audience and thought we were very funny. As soon as he got back to the UK he recorded what was to become "The Great Rock 'N Roll Swindle", featuring, yes, punk rock versions of old crummy covers. What an original guy.
"The Great Rock 'N Roll Swindle", purely Maclaren's creation, was disgusting, vile, a film that took a band that stole all its ideas from the New York scene (yes, he managed The Dolls but he pirated everything from Television and The Ramones), revitalized a decaying music scene and turned it all into an ugly cartoon. The only problem was thousands of kids still believed even if he didn't. The fucking hack.
By the early Eighties he made a string of bad hip-hop records (catch the wave!) and the first one sold but the rest of them tanked. People aren't half as stupid as the man that thinks he has everyone conned. The difference between Vivienne Westwood and him was that she truly believed in innovation and he simply used it as a device to put people down.
My memory of Malcolm is rooted in that first meeting when he was cool. It makes me sad to see people corrupted by their egotistical delusions and the destruction they create in their path. And that's why rock music is just a memory to me.