Malcolm McLaren in his Own Words

As a publisher I'm privileged to work with great authors writing amazing words about some truly great acts, musicians and genres. But working with Barry Cain on publishing Malcolm McLaren's only autobiography has been an extraordinary journey. Barry first showed me the manuscript in 2008 when we published Barry's amazing account of punk 77 Sulphate Strip in its original Never Mind the Bollocks-style yellow cover. I was blown away by what I read. I wanted to publish there and then. "We need to get hold of Malcolm to conform to the agreement and I just can't get hold of him," said Barry. A couple of years passed and then came the news that Malcolm had died. We both thought "Well let's see what the estate has to say". As with everything in this saga, it wasn't that simple. In a deathbed will Malcolm had left all his assets (and debts) to his last partner, Young Kim. His and Vivienne (Westwood's) son challenged the will and it wasn't for another year that probate was granted. At this point Barry contacted Young Kim – who had been granted probate and so began a 10 year battle to get the manuscript published. The estate has used every conceivable means to stop publication – to stop Malcolm's own words being published. Now we have one last step to take and then we can legally publish this amazing story, written in 1980 that covers Malcolm's life, the Sex Pistols and his attempts to save Sid Vicious from himself (and life in prison). Every word in the book is backed up by audio recording made by Barry at the time. Barry is the editor of the book but that meant interviewing Malcolm and extracting from him the stories, often going back when Malcolm's butterfly mind tripped forwards or sideways. Barry captured Malcolm on the page so accurately that when you read the book it's like being in the room him. We're publishing Malcolm McLaren Autobiography in the autumn and publishing this book is a really important milestone for me – and a labour of love – in the face of implacable opposition. We believe this is a book you should be able to read.

Mark Neeter, Publisher, Red Planet Books Ltd.

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