Sex shop entrepreneur, artist, Sex Pistols Svengali, and new wave child pornographer Malcom McLaren has died, reports the UK’s Independent. He was 64; cancer was the cause of death.
Alongside Vivienne Westwood, McLaren was responsible for the early look and feel of punk rock, managing the New York Dolls, the Sex Pistols, Adam and the Ants, and Bow Wow Wow–whose underaged frontwoman/child, Annabella Lwin, McLaren posed naked on the cover of the group’s 1981 debut LP.
McLaren’s many fights with the Sex Pistols since the dissolution of the band have both obscured or heightened his crucial role in shaping the drugged-out, sex-fashion vibe and sound that you can still spot and hear on St. Marks and every other street on the planet like it. On the list of people who matter in the annals of 20th century pop music, his name ranks very, very high. He was also an unrepentantly caustic man who alienated almost everyone he ever worked with, though he seemed to mellow later in life, again becoming the prankster and raconteur he was back before anyone had heard the words “Sex Pistols.” He died in New York. “We are expecting his body to be brought back to London,” his spokesman told the Independent, “and buried in Highgate Cemetery.” Farewell.