Malcolm McLaren, RIP (1 Viewer)

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Baby, It's Cold Outside
Dec 22, 2005
Front Range, Colorado
Former Sex Pistols manager McLaren dead at 64 -

(CNN) -- Malcolm McLaren, the London boutique owner who unleashed punk-rock pioneers the Sex Pistols on an unsuspecting world, has died of cancer at age 64, his girlfriend said Thursday.

Young Kim, McLaren's girlfriend, told CNN he died Thursday in Switzerland after a battle with mesothelioma. Kim, McLaren's son Joe Corre and Corre's half-brother, Ben Westwood, were with him when he died, she said. Both men are the sons of McLaren's onetime partner and lover, designer Vivienne Westwood.

"When we were young and I fell in love with Malcolm, I thought he was beautiful and I still do," Vivienne Westwood said in a written statement. "I thought he is a very charismatic, special and talented person. The thought of him dead is really something very sad."

The rakish McLaren opened a boutique with Westwood called "Let it Rock" in 1971. By the mid-'70s, he had renamed the boutique Sex and taken on a band called the Strand. McLaren drafted a new lead singer, John Lydon, who had been spotted wearing a Pink Floyd T-shirt with the words "I hate" added to it. And he renamed the group the Sex Pistols, while Lydon became better known as Johnny Rotten.

The Sex Pistols' raucous public appearances and raging lyrics on songs like "Anarchy in the UK" and the sneering "God Save the Queen" -- which became a hit despite the BBC's refusal to play it -- made the band notorious on both sides of the Atlantic by 1977.

The Sex Pistols broke up in 1978 after one studio album, in large part because of a feud between McLaren and Rotten, who walked off stage at the end of the band's last show declaring, "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" The band's surviving members have regrouped for periodic tours since 1996, but its official Web site still refers to McLaren as its "(mis)manager."

McLaren went on to assemble the pop act Bow Wow Wow and record several albums of his own in the 1980s and '90s. Though the Sex Pistols took McLaren to court after their band split, Rotten issued a statement Thursday praising him.

"For me, Malc was always entertaining, and I hope you remember that," Rotten said. "Above all else, he was an entertainer, and I will miss him, and so should you."
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