malcolm, bobby sid'n'me

Sid and Nancy lie on a matress. Sid is sleeping. Nancy is smoking. Nancy balances a white, open Laptop on her belly. She is murmuring softly to herself, humming pieces of radiohits from time to time.
Isn't he sweet, sleeping, my Sid. Is tired, my Sid. It’s exhausting, always being on tour. Is a star, my Sid. A real star. Many stars are sleeping. They have to. Because of being on tour. The exhaustion. I'm always sleeping, too, not being a star. The whole week I've been staying in bed, sleepig, playing playstation, watching movies. In black and white. With hairdos from the Sixties. Nice looking they were back then, the girls, also the boys. Great hairdos. And so polite. Talking nice things to each other. Seems nice to me. Sid always says: 'Nancy, you are so intelligent. So intelligent and smart. Always grabbing stuff.' He thinks that's great. He is great, too. Is grabbing a lot of stuff, too, just differently. He always says, I've got the brains and he's got the looks. It's true, I guess. Just the opposite as with Kate and Pete. They are friends of us, too. We meet them at parties. Sid doesn’t want to go to the parties. 'I'd rather like to stay home and cuddle with you, Nancy', he always says. But in the end we always go. I usually tell him, in the taxi or before we go, when he is in a bad mood: 'Sid, my love, it is important though. People have to see you. You are their star. You are so famous. And my love!' And I get really happy, when I tell myself 'this is my Sid.' I’m always saying it to myself, too, whenever I'm unhappy: 'Nancy, look, this is your Sid. He's so famous and good looking, your Sid, look at him. Isn't he great?'
Well, yes, and sometimes the parties are really stupid somehow. Everybody is getting at Sid then. And he is getting angry and getting into trouble. But he is not really like that, Sid. He always says, he got to make trouble, to get out straight. I don't understand this. He must be smarter than me. But I'm never angry with him, because he’s an artist, a real artist, and my Sid. Well.
And sometimes it's really funny. Everything, whole life. Even the parties. There’s great food and drink, really fine food, like the hairdos in the movies, such fine food, some things I never ate before, not in my whole life, such fine things they are. And everybody is drinking a lot and laughing a lot and people are happy, even on the toilets, and real nice people are there! Everybody is soo nice! Real friends. And we have fun, Sid and me. But afterwards Sid is very tired and me, too. I've been only sleeping, the whole week long.

Bobby Orlando and Malcolm McLaren sit in a Starbucks Coffee place in Berlin, talking nothing. 80's music is playing softly in the background. After some time, both have already smoked several cigarettes, Bobby breaks the silence:
'I've got to say, the fact you managed the NewYorkDolls back then, I can really understand very well. You made yourself a dream come true, like Eminem, letting Kim Basinger play his mother in his movie 8Mile. Yes, I can relate to that, having been a total Dolls fan myself. Glamrock was the real thing for me - I was a real bad hippy. It wasn't my thing at all, I tried for a short period, but I had a chequebook, damn, no real hippy got a chequebook! It condemmed myself to be a real failure as a hippy. But Glam! I was a real Glitterboy. I had really long hair and was extremely good looking, I was really handsome, honestly. And with Glam, you needn't take drugs and it was ok to be a capitalist- plateaushoes are really expensive, you know.
M: But you never put on make-up, did you?
B: No way, I am no homo! No fag!
M: We always let ourself dress up in women’s clothes by Vivien and I thought we looked much better.
B: Can be, as long as you weren't gay, it was surely only fashion. As I said, I had long hair and was good looking, still am, but am I gay? No way! And the Dolls weren't gay either, even if they wore lipstick, their lipstick didn't matter to the fans, they liked it as a style, but when you guys started putting the Dolls into 'Hammer'n'Sichel' costumes - that was too much.
M: Yeah, they quit soon after that.
B: The concept with the Swastikas a little later worked out much better... M: (silence)
B: The former manager of T.atu, Shapowalov, tried the same with his second project, the singer N.ato: in her first video clip she is wearing the classic 'black widow' outfit of the chechenian terrorists. Her debut-concert in Moskau on September 11th 2004 was announced as: 'Terroract-Concert- a musical terroroperation without any coquettery with the audience'- of course she was not allowed to perform.
M: Marketing is not art.
B: Art is marketing.
M: Marketing is not art.
B: Right. You only have to look at it from the right angle: I for instance used to be a boxer. And producing records to me is just like boxing. Or boxing is like producing records. Both are sleazy businesses. In boxing you deal with sleazy characters but they have a certain charm to them. Most people in the record business aren’t as charming, so going from one to the other was a relatively simple thing for me. The only difference is that with records you take the aggression you would normallly use beating the hell out of a guy by punching beats. And my beats are extraordinary aggressive, my bass is fat, and my punchlines are good. I believe in beats.
M: I believe in art. B: Really now? I am convinced, that every record I ever released, and they have been thousands, is as worthless and usless as any other. Anybody who thinks that for example their music is something special is worshipping a false doctrine. There is nothing that any artist can do or say that is of any importance.
M: It’s about fighting, about failing, about being a failure. You try, you fight, but you never reach the goal, you are never satisfied, because the moment you are satisfied, you stop trying, you are dead. Our whole culture, capitalism, is shallow and dead. That's why you regarde all these records you have released as junk - because that's what they are: Junk. Punk. That's why I wanted to make clothes that looked somewhat wrong. I wanted the anti-commercial. A manifestation that would transgress culture, a culture that wasn't about need anymore, but about wishes and desires that could be bought. We didn't want to only participate any longer, no, we wanted to be part of something. We wanted to declare ourselves as non-sellable - we rather wanted to be genuine losers, brilliant failures, anything other than being a stupid, nice benign success! For a short moment we obviously hit a nerve, with our shop 'Sex' an the 'Sex Pistols', a concept that was designated to fail: the Pistols were small suicide torpedos, we were culture terrorists, if you like. And it worked, it marked a real cultural moment, very artistic, very satisfying.
B: Sure, you injected new fresh, cool, innovating blood into the veins of the capitalistic circumstances...
M: And that was it. After that I was not able to move anymore. I couldn't surprize anyone any longer. I fled to Paris, at the time the french liked the britsh punks. Back in London I hooked myself onto music and fashion again. Adam and the Ants, BowWowWow, Boy George, but nothing had the energy anymore. The naivity was gone.
B: Sid Vicius was dead...
M: And I felt like a mercenary, like an idiotic manager, a foolish architect. Everything was ordinary, it wasn't about alchemy, not about magic. Great artists are always magicians. But with me, it was always about selling, about products, totally fragmentated. In contradiction I wanted to become a traditional artist again. But how to place myself? How to get into the artworld? This was in the the 80's. I ended in Hollywood, worked for a lot of different cinema-producers as a muse, idea-producer, scriptwriter, sound-conceptor. I could take it for four years. In Europe I had no plan but many offers: Malcolm, do TV, do adverts, compose lovely music for our product. Gilette, American Express, British Airways. I did it all. But there's nothing more unsatisfying than making an orange-juice spot. No feedback, no giving and taking, just crap. After a year I got depressive. I thrust myself into affairs and thought life was shit. But I learned a lot about myself.
B: What is so bad about having affairs then? You could have started taking drugs like Sid Vicious did and you would have died 30 years before...all my songs are about sex. Phone sex, mind sex, 'I'm in love with a married man' was a big hit.
M: In the gay community you must say. They bought everything you produced, every single 12'' that came out, queer people are still your best costumers!
B: I don't know anything about that, people just like my fat bass drum, damn, I invented HighEnergy!
M: Come on, Bobby, don't fool yourself, Disco was gay- and you knew perfecly when you hooked up with Divine. The queerness of Divine was a tsunami!
B: We had a business relationship that was paying off quite well, we didn't talk about private stuff. I had in fact much more contact with Divines manager. Divine was already quite famous and liked my work so he asked to be produced by me. I supported Divine till she left me for Stock, Aitken and Watermann in 1984, she died soon after.
M: Divine represented for you what the Sex Pistols represented for me.
B: No, I would rather say, that the PetShopBoys were in fact my Sex Pistols. This production of punk was your great artistic moment and if I got you right before, your downfall began right after ... M: Yes, my naivity was gone. My believe in art had been attacked. I had understood the art-marked and I managed to use it, but it misused me a lot more. Vivien brought it to the point in her fashion: we were indeed savages, kids, raging, yes, but incredible naive, cute. We were used. We were stupid. I was stupid. I thought I could take the piss on the system but it took the piss on me. We let ourselves be exploited. I mean, we had really worked hard, really got into this topic, we knew we were living in this commercial world, it was a challenge. So, how were we going to be in a commercial world? And we failed.
B: Weird, with me it was quite the opposite. I had always belived in nothing, maybe in god who gave me an order - to produce and reproduce - which I did: I released 30 records a month. I played every single instrument on the records myself, but I never believed in art or such. Artist take themselves far too serious, they have nothing to say, there is no creativity, just shares on the market, this is was what I thought - till I met Neil and Chris, the PetShopBoys.
M: They broke your heart, uh?
B: It wasn't about them going to EMI, right after I made WestEndGirls a major hit, made them a hit, made them famous, you know, they were nothing but shy, insecure boys when we first met...I wanted to protect them from all this dirt...
M: And they just used you...
B: I have no bitter feelings, never had, I would still be a better producer for them, even nowadays, they have bad advisors now. They went to EMI, who first refused to sign them, back in '83, when I comforted them: if the major labels refuse you, you have to be good, they always refuse the good stuff. Well, anyways, of course I didn't like their leaving, but what was worse: I believed in them. I had suddenly started to believe in art, in creativity, that you can actually say something, that not everything is junk. Is money. M: Because it is more than a product. And art should always be more then a product. Otherwise it doesn't work. It’s not magic.
B: Andy Warhol tried to convert art into a mere product. He painted dollarsigns.
M: But his output was always art, art, art. Andy was a magician. But in most cases today only another product is created.
B: And you have tried to create music...
M: ...but what came out was always fashion. The Sex Pistols were planned as an art thing. I wanted to print a picture, but at the time painting was totally out, it wasn't possible anymore, nobody was brave enough to just paint. So I took a detour and created the band, but it was never about music. I created a painting.

Sid and Nancy lie on a matress. Sid is sleeping. Nancy is smoking. Nancy balances a white, furry cat on her belly. The cat lies on her back, her legs spread. Nancy is murmuring softly to herself, humming pieces of radiohits from time to time. Nancy is bleeding out of her stomach. The blood forms a pool in her lap, expands onto the bed, leaving red smears on the white cat. If you brought the white cat to a cat show now, she probably wouldn’t be as valuable as she used to anymore, but looks much more interesting.
It was Ottos idea, in fact, he brought a lot of blood back here after the making of the movie ended - he was suddenly generally hyper-motivated. In a freaky workaholic-way. Every mornig he used to endlessly ring our doorbell - we were of course still sleeping, but Otto had been out the whole night long, dancing to Italodisco or Eurotrash, in these kind of so-called clubs that are packed with heterosexual tourists from Spain or Italy who come to Berlin in search of the 'real gay clubs'. Why on earth, I honestly don't know. They are always packed with people. Anyways, Otto felt alive again, despite the fact he had been dead just as long as we have: he started writing his blog every morning, filled it up with polaroids, he wearing feathers here, high-heels there and sometimes a beard, and every time with a different bloke. 'I'm Otto and I live now' he had printed on his T-Shirt, with this kind of 'I-love-New-York' heart-shape-logo beneath. There are a lot of screen-print collectives in Berlin. Most of them make their living by selling cute cuddle-cushions to tourists in Mauerpark. Otto was totally on energy, on the beat of time, he was the time. How it sometimes matches. For ten years Otto had been out, always wearing striped-shirts, tight jeans and black spiked hair, totally retarded, but Otto had been a huge fan of Sid ages ago and he had just stuck to the style. And now in the Wild Berlin Nights, originally he's from Passau, he has sold himsef, just a little piece though. What I mean, I’m convinced he will remain Otto, and that even when he's out again, he will continue the way he does now and has been doing. I am positive he will continue. It is his thing now, smearing blood onto everything, all over the place. He has been payed in blood too, at the movie works, heart-blood, nothing else.

B: Let me play my newest piece to you, brandnew, the record just came out, pass me your laptop, I'll copy it quickly from my stick. (plays the music loudly)
M: Hm, sounds just as I know it, like every other piece you ever did. Never mind though, anyways I believe you can sum up culture by forming two words, authenticity and karaoke. And most artists, also musicians, spend their time trying to authenticate the karaoke.
B: Of course they do, because all that's left for them is quoting. Tons of quotes. And right, if everything already exists, why not use it. These people trying to put out so-called ‚brand new stuff’ all the time are so much more disgusting, anyways. Being innovative, creative, trying to fulfill themselves, these people are the worst. You are right, attempting to turn karaoke into something authentic surely is disgusting. It only keeps things going. I don't try to be authentic, 'real'. I became a lawyer and I know my rights. I buy myself rights, karaokepieces, if I must. Hiphop artists in the beginning, they tried to take what they wanted, black history, white upper-culture, Punkrock, everything, but today only people who can pay millions can afford this, only people like P.Diddy or Michael Jackson.
M: That's a reminder: I really wanted to show you my newest video, but unfortunately I am dead.

Sid and Nancy lie on a matress. Sid is sleeping. Nancy is smoking. Nancy balances a white, portable recordplayer in her lap, she is murmuring softly to herself, humming pieces of radiohits from time to time.
Nancy: Sid met Malcolm the day before yesterday. He had been waiting for him, in front of the Finnish sauna. He knew that Malcolm would go to the sauna first thing on arrival, because that's where all the important people always hang out and sweat. They sit next to each other, red in the face and touch each other from time to time withouth looking each other in the face. They use nettles to beat each other on the penis. Why, I don't have a clue. Women don't go, there is no cloak room, so you would have to ask someone to hold you coat. I have a lovely white fake-fur, I resemble Divine when I wear it, but maybe Divine rather resembles me, it's because of the lipstick. My mum always used to say, I look like a transvestite, with that whole dirt in the face. I never knew what a transvestite was and where my mother knew one from.
Anyways, Sid went there, to the sauna, a little shakey in the legs, he was scared. Malcolm had told a lot of nasty crap about Sid and Johnny did so, too. They fought about it and Sid didn't get out looking good. He came to see me and said he does not agree. He said, Malcolm is sitting in the sauna, playing off people against each other. Gossiping about Sid not being Punk enough and Bobby being not gay and Divine being not gay enough, because she didn't want to have sex with him at her time and me not being a lesbian, which is true. Bobby is a music producer for this certain quite hip ItaloDisco-sound. Otto is really into his stuff. It is said, Bobby only goes to the sauna to do business. Sid said, he only wanted to play music, but Vivien put him into these rags for publicity reasons and threatend to hand him in to the cops if he didn't wear them. That's because Johnny and Sid stole their guitars off David Bowie, which is really true, but it happend ages ago. I told Sid he really is a poor sod. Then Otto walked in and said to me, 'Gosh, Nancy, you know what, I just met Bruce (Bruce is looking a little like Andy Warhol, thats why Otto adores him) and he promised me a part in his new movie, in fact the main part! He needs zombies like me, he said.' Sid started yelling at Otto, 'Otto is no zombie and Otto is out of his mind because he took too many pills in the club. Otto should believe in himself and in Punk, Otto, you are a Punk but! Punk is not dead but Malcolm is dead. We should shit on Malcolm, Malcolm sitting in the sauna and stinkig, that is.'.

B: I am neither dead nor alive, I am a zombie.
M: Doing nothing.
B: Yes, I can afford to do nothing. My money sits in the bank and works for me, I don't have to do anything, yes, I can afford to keep myself out of business. Because to do nothing, to work worse, is of course really about keepig out of business, out of capitalism. I haven't produced a thing for nearly ten years, nothing, after the PetShopBoys left me for EMI.
M: You have been licking your wounds, studying law and been writing a book, titled 'Darwin Destroyed', in which you refuse the theory of evolution. Now you release a new Bobby-O record about every five years, a disco zombie, disco karaoke.
B: Indeed. I am a zombie, because I refuse to produce anything new.
M: And refusing to produce anything new is already good enough? In a sense that you don't get your hands dirty?
B: In contrary to yourself, who has sacrificed real people, who thought he could reallly change something, destroy the system but just managed to restore it on other peoples back; in contrary to yourself, who always and only managed to offer alternatives that went down really well; in contrary to yourself: yes, I'm sitting in the cupboard. I'm not inventing anything, I am slow, back-dated and stubborn.
M: You just go with the flow, let yourself wash over by the waves, you don't try anything, it's simply boring! B: Yes, and it is supposed to be boring. You have studied art for eight years, read theory, studied circumstances, and then you got caught in the first best trap: you thought you could do your thing, be your own manager, you got it. But then you realize you've ben sucked out dry and you get a crisis. You cry, cry about the 'art gone'. No, no, you have to become a zombie. Don't get dragged in by so-called self-fulfillment. Zombiism is the real self-management! M: Gee, you can only afford your zombiism, because you have money - suddenly acting as zombie-bohéme, because you were good in business, in zombiemode, too, by the way, what a joke! You never tried something individual, never tried hard, but at the first notion of love and passion towards a thing that could possibly be dangerous for you 'cause it makes you vulnerable, you get scared, pull back and turn into a hyper-christian. But the queer kids you don't like, never liked, still dance to your music. It doesn't bother you at all, because you claim to be only responsible for your actions as long as you are active. Therefore, as you are a zombie, you are not responsible for anything. Great!
B: Should I rather walk out into the dancing crowd, and shout: 'Who wants to die for art?', then shoot a couple of queer kids, randomly dancing to my music, just because I dislike them? I don't care what people actually do with my output. I just observe what's going down well, is sellable and that's what I produce.

Sid and Nancy lie on a matress. Sid is sleeping. Nancy is smoking. Nancy balances a white, open Laptop, she is murmuring softly to herself, humming pieces of radiohits from time to time.
And then Sid became depressive. He really thought he was stupid. 'Nancy' he said, 'people regard us as stupid, as retards.' 'Sid is stupid and Nancy is stupid anyways.' That's what they say. I can see it in their faces, at night during the posh parties and at daytime in the supermarket. They think we are morons, we are being twitted. They think Malcolm is our boss, he created us. They think we sleep in the basement at daytime and at nighttime we are released by Malcolm, to make publicity for him. But we have existed before Malcolm showed up, maybe we have even created Malcolm in the first place. He needs us, without us there wouldn't be any Punk movement. Sure, Malcolm is a great talker and he supported me, helped me, when he said to me back then, when we first met, that I wasn't crazy, that it's not crazy to be filled with such anger as I am from time to time, and you are so angry sometimes, too. No, he said to me we're right and it is important to be angry and that I shouldn't let other people get at me and that you are looking fine with your lipstick, even after thirty years and thats true. You look nothing but great.'
I think he is right. And that's what I told him. 'Sid', I said, 'I think you look great, too. And you are my Sid.'
And then I had to cry a little and Sid did cry a little, too and then he wanted to leave again, to the sauna. To tell Malcolm what he thinks and also tell Bruce, while he is at it, starting trouble, 'because you have to get out straight, that's the most important thing', that's what he said. But I said, 'Sid, I think Malcolm and Bruce are not the same, you have to differ between them.' But Sid couldn't differ nothing, because he was so high on depression. I started crying and tried to hold him back, but I only tore a massive hole into his T-shirt and then Otto walked in and he was totally hysteric, he wanted to go to the sauna, too, because of all the famous people he could possibly meet there, that's why he was so crazy. He started splashing fake blood all over the place, all the while laughing hysterically. And he started dancing and Sid became more and more angry, because noone took him seriously and that was when he took a knife. We all danced in circles, Otto splashing heart-blood everywhere and Sid scratching his bass with the knife and I was trampeling on the floor with my high-heels, thrusting out loud, shrill cries. No idea, if it made a change.
I've only been sleeping, the whole week long.


German version here