Page last updated at 11:04 GMT, Friday, 9 April 2010 12:04 UK

Tributes for Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren

Malcolm McLaren (file pic: 2004)
Malcolm McLaren was at the forefront of the punk movement

Sex Pistol John Lydon and designer Vivienne Westwood have led the tributes to the punk band's former manager Malcolm McLaren, who has died aged 64.

Lydon's tribute, signed using his band name Johnny Rotten, said McLaren was "above all else ... an entertainer".

McLaren's ex-partner Dame Vivienne described him as a "very charismatic, special and talented person".

McLaren died in a Swiss hospital on Thursday, after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer last October.

When we were young and I fell in love with Malcolm, I thought he was beautiful and I still do
Vivienne Westwood

McLaren and Dame Vivienne's son, Joseph Corre, said his father was "the original punk rocker" who "revolutionised the world".

"He's somebody I'm incredibly proud of. He's a real beacon of a man for people to look up to," he added.

Mr Corre, who founded the lingerie brand Agent Provocateur, said funeral arrangements were not yet made but his father had wanted to be buried in Highgate Cemetery, north London.

McLaren had been diagnosed with mesothelioma in October.

Young Kim, 38, McLaren's partner of 12 years, said the family were "devastated" by his death and he would be "sorely missed".

"He was a great artist who changed the world," she added.

Westwood paid tribute to her former partner and said Joe and her other son Ben were with McLaren when he died.

Malcolm McLaren
What he did with fashion and music was extraordinary. He was a revolutionary
Jon Savage

"When we were young and I fell in love with Malcolm, I thought he was beautiful and I still do.

"The thought of him dead is really something very sad."

Lydon said: "I will miss him, and so should you."

The music industry has been vocal in its tributes, with Creation Records founder Alan McGee describing his late friend as a "visionary".

Music journalist Jon Savage 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."


Savage, who wrote a definitive history of the Sex Pistols and punk, England's Dreaming, said McLaren was a "complex" and "contradictory" character who had influenced British culture in many ways.

"What he did with fashion and music was extraordinary. He was a revolutionary."

Lizo Mzimba
Lizo Mzimba, Entertainment correspondent, BBC News

Malcolm McLaren will be remembered as a figure who had a tremendous influence on British culture.

In terms of music, punk was one of the most important developments of modern times. And without Malcolm McLaren, punk may never have exploded in the way that it did.

He was instrumental in selling the idea and image of punk to the public, especially through the Sex Pistols. He helped to create the band's unique look as well as their publicity-attracting attitude.

McLaren famously organised a boat trip down London's River Thames so the Sex Pistols could perform their single God Save The Queen outside the Houses of Parliament, during the week that the Queen was celebrating her Silver Jubilee.

The boat was raided by the police, and McLaren was arrested. The headlines that inevitably followed helped to fortify his and the band's controversial reputation.

For many artists he embodied the idea they could successfully challenge the musical establishment. It is an idea that inspired a generation of musicians, and still endures today.

The BBC's creative director Alan Yentob said: "Without Malcolm, despite what people say, the punk era would never have been the kind of focus that it did become.

"Malcolm loved the idea of it and it was he, who, in a way, sold the idea to the public and understood what it meant."

He said: "He was always ready to say something provocative.

"I think he famously said that his grandmother told him you needed to be a bad boy to survive - it was good to be bad. He wanted to shock and surprise you."

McLaren emerged from art school in the 1960s and, with Westwood, set up Let It Rock - a fashion store in London specialising in rubber and leather fetish gear.

It was later, infamously, renamed "Sex" and he and Westwood defined punk fashion.

McLaren was involved in putting the Sex Pistols together in 1975 and under his management the band courted controversy.

After their debut single Anarchy in the UK was released in December 1976, the band gained notoriety when they swore on Bill Grundy's TV show.

Their concerts faced difficulties with promoters and authorities and they were fired by both EMI and A&M record companies.

In 1977, their single God Save the Queen was banned by the BBC. The band broke up at the end of a US tour in January 1978 and McLaren then created his disputed film version of the Sex Pistols' story, the Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle.

But there was a falling out with the band members and he later lost a court case over royalties.

McLaren also managed a number of other bands, including the New York Dolls and Bow Wow Wow, before producing his own records including the much-sampled track Double Dutch from the 1983 album Duck Rock.

Sylvain Sylvain, founder member of New York Dolls, said McLaren "really was a piece of sugar" who would be remembered as a "cool guy".

The band's singer David Johansen described McLaren as "such a marvellous amalgam of exuberation, sensuality, culture and literacy".

After retreating from the music scene, McLaren dabbled in politics and at one point toyed with the idea of entering the race to be mayor of London.

In 2007, he pulled out of an appearance on the reality show I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here, after changing his mind about the show.

Between December last year and this January, the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead hosted an exhibition by McLaren of "musical paintings" on the issue of sex.

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