RIP: Former Sex Pistols Manager Malcolm McLaren


According to the Independent, Malcolm McLaren, who had been battling cancer for some time, died this morning in New York at the age of 64. The official statement from his spokesperson:

“He had been suffering from cancer for some time, but recently had been full of health, which then rapidly deteroriated. He died in New York this morning. We are expecting his body to be brought back to London and buried in Highgate Cemetery.”

McLaren, an art school dropout/clothing designer who co-owned a clothing boutique with Vivienne Westwood in the ’70s, first made a name for himself as the manager of the Sex Pistols; he had previously both outfitted and managed the New York Dolls before they split up. McLaren was the one who brought frontman Johnny Rotten into the band after he was impressed by his “I hate Pink Floyd” t-shirt. He allegedly wanted the group — who up until that point had been calling themselves The Strand — to sound like “sexy young assassins.”

In 1983 McLaren teamed up with the World’s Famous Supreme Team and released Duck Rock, an album of his own music, which ultimately helped bring the hip hop sound to the UK. Tracks from his debut, particularly “Buffalo Gals,” were later sampled by everyone from Mariah Carey to Eminem. The solo albums that followed were all over the place genre-wise — from opera to electronic to a French concept album. The punk impresario also dabbled in reality TV (he was a contestant on The Baron and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!), film (he was a producer of Fast Food Nation), and “musical paintings.”