Timing is everything and it's probably no coincidence that we scheduled our interview right before Halloween, which has its centuries-old roots in Gaelic and Celtic regions, like Scotland where we meet.
It was winter, 1971, my last semester as a philosophy major at Bucknell University. Studying Plato, Kant, Sartre and company had been invaluable for its own sake; that it had taught me to think critically and act decisively was a bonus.
Five years after the "Golden Age of Vinyl" came to a close, the MTV invasion established the dominance of the music video. A few years later came CDs, with their tiny art and microscopic liner notes. The generation of great art representing great music was over.
I don't know if Shane MacGowan, the rock star who became very, very famous 30 years ago for taking traditional Irish music and giving it a wild, punk twist, is a "genius," but he has produced some bloody good work.
"We were part of the anger of the culture. ... When you look at the Occupy movement and a lot of the anger that's out there now, I think our music still holds. I wouldn't doubt if you found some of them listening to our old LPs." -- John Lydon
"I think the culture today is very, very different from what it was in the '60s, and I feel lucky that I grew up at a time when I had these very strong female role models. They were strong women, but their power was very much connected to their creativity and their voice."
The way Malcolm talked, the emphasis he placed on ideas, his joy in spectacle, the relish with which he provoked society, was fraught with difficulty. But he was never boring. And how many people can you say that about?