Friday, 9 April 2010

Malcolm McLaren dies at age 64

The man most famous for his role in managing the Sex Pistols has died from cancer at the age of 64 in Switzerland . He was said to have been suffereing from Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer since his diagnosis in late 2009 and died due to a sudden worsening of his condition.

Although McLaren was most well known for having solidified the role of the Sex Pistols in the punk rock history books, he managed ( and disbanded) several other groups before and after them, most notably the New York Dolls, Adam and the Ants and after disbanding them, with the musicians that made up the Ants, he put together and managed new wave one hit wonders Bow Wow Wow, best known for their cover of "I Want Candy".

His foray into music management flourished from opportunities he saw arise from running his own shop on the Kings Road with designer and former partner Vivienne Westwood beginning with Let it Rock, which led to Sex and then to Seditionaries - all influencing and changing the look of an entire sub culture.

McLaren himself was a musician, releasing the critically acclaimed Duck Rock in 1983 which featured a number of new wave musicians of the time, from Trevor Horn to Thomas Dolby. The album had two major hits, Double Dutch which featured African and South American inspired instrumentation and Buffalo Gals, of which parts are taken from an traditional folk song from the 19th century. He would continue to release albums until 2009, with Shallow- Musical Paintings.

Whether you call him the godfather of punk or an opportunistic capitalist, McLaren will be remembered for his enthusiasm for cutting edge entertainment and of always bringing something new to the forefront. McLaren's body is said to be returning to the United Kingdom very soon and he is to be buried at Highgate Cemetry in North London.


  1. hi, if you're interested in owning a copy of Malcolm McLaren - not For Sale, contact me.. we made the film for his almost election to london mayor!someone put a clip on youtube!
    nancy Cohen

  2. When he mentions the "hoi polloi" didn't he really mean to say "hoiti toiti" instead??

  3. Josef K: I believe ''hoi polloi" means ''the people'' like sort of like proletariat. I think he was talking about common people in that sense.

    Nancy : Thanks so much for commenting. We will definitely be in touch, that sounds wonderful and could really work in the exhibit.