Former Sex Pistols manager McLaren dead at 64

LONDON, Sam Reeves - Malcolm McLaren, the punk rock mogul best known as the manager of the Sex Pistols, died Thursday after a struggle with cancer, his girlfriend Young Kim said. He was 64.
McLaren passed away in a hospital in Switzerland following a fight against mesothelioma, a cancer that most commonly affects the lungs, Kim told AFP by telephone.

Malcolm McLaren in 2006. (AFP/File/Pascal Guyot)
Malcolm McLaren in 2006. (AFP/File/Pascal Guyot)
"Everything he did -- his shop on the King's Road (in London), his fashion, the music he created, the bands he managed... were expressions of his art," she added in an statement.
"He was a great artist who changed the world."
Les Molloy, a music industry figure in London who was described by British news media as McLaren's spokesman, had earlier Thursday said that McLaren had died in New York.
McLaren was a leading figure in the punk rock scene. As well as the Sex Pistols, the seminal British punk rock band of the 1970s, he managed other acts including the New York Dolls and Bow Wow Wow.
Molloy called him "one of the 10 most important figures in world music," in an interview with Sky News television.
News reports said McClaren's remains would be flown back to his native London for burial in Highgate cemetery, in the north of the capital.
McLaren was a former partner of British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, with whom he set up a boutique on the King's Road in London's hip Chelsea district which they renamed Sex, selling fetish-inspired outfits.
Westwood -- who said she had not been in touch with McLaren for a long time -- remembered him on Thursday as "a very charismatic, special and talented person."
"When we were young and I fell in love with Malcolm, I thought he was beautiful and I still do," she told the Daily Mail newspaper. "The thought of him dead is really something very sad."
McLaren, a one-time art school student, began to manage the Sex Pistols in 1975, bringing John Lydon -- alias Johnny Rotten -- on board as frontman after spotting him on a London street in a torn Pink Floyd T-shirt and green hair.
The band released "God Save the Queen" in 1977, the year of Queen Elizabeth II's silver jubilee. Its provocative lyrics ("God save the queen/her facist regime (and) there's no future/in England's dreaming") propelled it to the top of the pop charts, despite the BBC banning it from its airwaves.
It was followed later in the year by the quartet's only official studio album, "Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols."
The Sex Pistols embarked on a US tour in 1978, only to split up after a gig in San Francisco, with the band accusing McLaren of mismanaging them.
Veteran music journalist Jon Savage, author of "England's Dreaming", a history of the Sex Pistols and punk, said: "Without Malcolm McLaren there would not have been any British punk.
"He's one of the rare individuals who had a huge impact on the cultural and social life of this nation."

Friday, April 9th 2010
Sam Reeves

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