vivienne westwood

vivienne westwood

Malcolm McLaren Invented British Punk.

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MALCOLM McLaren, the punk rock mogul best known as the manager of the Sex Pistols, died overnight after a battle 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. "Everything he did -- his shop on King's Road (in London), his fashion, the music he created, the bands he managed ... were expressions of his art," she added in a 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, 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. Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon issued a tribute signed Johnny Rotten, his stage name when he was with the band. "For me Malc was always entertaining, and I hope you remember that," he said. "Above all else he was an entertainer and I will miss him, and so should you." News reports said McLaren's remains would be flown back to his native London for burial in Highgate cemetery, in the north of the capital city. McLaren was a former partner of British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, with whom he set up a boutique on King's Road in London's hip Chelsea district, selling fetish-inspired outfits. Westwood -- who said she had not been in touch with McLaren for a long time -- remembered him today 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 Lydon 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 fascist 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. The band fell out with McLaren, and he later lost a court case over royalties. After his time with the Sex Pistols, McLaren continued to work on music, film and art projects. Later work included composing a theme tune for airline British Airways, BBC radio projects and last year he exhibited his art in Britain and the US. He split his final years living between New York and Paris, according to his girlfriend. 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." French fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, a friend of McLaren's since the early 1970s, paid tribute to the music mogul as a "brilliant visionary."