Malcolm McLaren - music's rebel to the last

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The architect of punk, Malcolm McLaren, remained a rebel to the last as mourners said farewell today to a soundtrack of Sid Vicious's My Way.

Hundreds of people lined the streets of north London in tribute as he was carried by horse-drawn carriage in a spray-painted coffin bearing the words "Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die".

Family, friends, musicians, fashionistas and punk legends saw off the Sex Pistols manager who was laid to rest in Highgate Cemetery - the scene of an infamous performance by him in punk movie The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle.

McLaren - who died from cancer earlier this month aged 64 - was buried close to other important cultural figures at the historic cemetery including Karl Marx and sculptor Henry Moore.

Mourners - including McLaren's former partner Dame Vivienne Westwood, Adam Ant, Bob Geldof and Sex Pistols' drummer Paul Cook - sang along to McLaren's recording of the Max Bygraves song You Need Hands, which had featured in the film.

Pupils from the Tiffin Boys School in Kingston upon Thames also performed the song.

The 200-strong funeral party at a de-consecrated church, One Marylebone, was encouraged to dance around and throw up their hands, which many of them did - as well as shedding a tear.

The coffin was carried from the Sir John Sloane-designed church to the strains of Vicious' raucous version of Frank Sinatra's My Way.

The slogan on McLaren's coffin was the original name of the influential clothes shop he and Dame Vivienne ran in King's Road - later renamed Sex and the nucleus of what became the punk movement in the mid 1970s.

Fashion designer Dame Vivienne paid tribute to her former partner's spirit of rebellion - and urged others to keep it alive.

"I am very, very sad that unbelievably Malcolm is dead and I just wanted to say on this cruel, cruel day - get a life, do something with it."

Her and McLaren's son Joseph Corre - who created the Agent Provocateur lingerie firm - read out tributes to his father from those who could not attend, including one from Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones.

Joking about McLaren's fall-out with the band over royalties, the letter said: "Dear Malcolm, did you take the money with you? Is it in the coffin? Do you mind if I come back tomorrow and dig you up?

"I always had a soft spot for you. You showed me a lot when I was 17 ... and I owe you a lot for showing me a different side to life."

Also among mourners was McLaren's long-time friend David Johansen of the New York Dolls, the pre-punk US band McLaren managed in the early 1970s.

Punk poet John Cooper-Clarke and artists Dinos Chapman and Tracy Emin were also paid their respects.

Boy George, who encountered McLaren when he tried out for the band Bow Wow Wow as a teenager, sent a floral tribute in an A-shaped anarchy symbol. The card said: "To Malcolm, Rest In Peace, Boy George."

To laughter, Corre recalled how his father inspired those around him - but "was never there when you needed a hand-out".

But as emotion got the better of him, he added: "I love him and I'm really proud of him."

His half-brother Ben Westwood, who was three when his mother and McLaren began a relationship, told how he had fostered their spirit of mischief.

McLaren encouraged him and Corre to make water bombs from plastic bags and throw them from the roof of his grandmother's house. And they once cycled to Devon without telling anyone - on McLaren's suggestion.

He said McLaren "made my life interesting" and his rarely finished bedtime stories had them "in stitches".

"He started off the story, this colourful story, this great story," Westwood said.

"He left us to fill in the second half so I think that's what I would say: his legacy is for me and for many people. He started something off and it's not for him to finish."

McLaren's partner Young Kim - who was with him when he died in a Swiss Clinic from mesothelioma - said he had been working right up to his death.

Other speakers included McLaren's brother Stuart and the TV executive and film producer Andy Harries.

As well as formulating the loose philosophy of punk and managing the Pistols and Bow Wow Wow, McLaren had chart hits of his own with tracks such as Buffalo Gals and Double Dutch.

A blue and white floral tribute at the service spelled out one of his favourite phrases "cash from chaos".

A green double-decker bus which ferried mourners to Highgate carried the same slogan and had seats appropriately decorated with tartan, a material he and his ex-wife championed with their punk fashions. The destination written on the front of the bus was "Nowhere".

Fans had been encouraged to take part in a "minute of mayhem" at midday as the service was taking place - playing loud music to recall his spirit.

Others who had been touched by his death and achievements lined the streets as the cortege wound through Camden, with mourners throwing leaflets from the top of the bus, which also carried a pink and yellow banner with the simple message "Malcolm was here."

Among those paying tribute were ex-punk Beverley Gardener, 47, from Camden, who said: "It's sad but he was a beautiful man - the king of punk. That is all I can say about him.

"It was nice to just be around at that time, be part of it all.

"I grew up with it, I didn't know anything else."

Many mourners remained in Camden for a private wake this afternoon.

Other prominent figures among mourners at the service today included former Clash manager Bernie Rhodes, film-maker Don Letts, Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie and fashion designer Bella Freud.

Those on the guest list included artist Jamie Reid, who was responsible for the eye-catching imagery for the Pistols, and Siouxsie Sioux who was part of the original punk contingent which grew up around the band in their early days. She featured as one of the Sex Pistols' hangers-on when they made a notorious appearance on live TV with Bill Grundy, and was also briefly in a band with Vicious before she formed her chart act The Banshees and he went on to join the Pistols as bassist.

Vicious died of a heroin overdose in 1979.

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
Yaphett Kotto with Julius W Harris and Jane Seymour in 1973 Bond movie Live and Let Die

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

    The secret CIA Starbucks

    The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
    Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

    How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

    The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
    One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

    One million Britons using food banks

    Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

    The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
    Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
    Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

    Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

    They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
    Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
    The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

    The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

    Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
    How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

    How to run a restaurant

    As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
    Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

    Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

    For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
    Usher, Mary J Blige and to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

    Mary J Blige and to give free concert

    The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
    10 best tote bags

    Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

    We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
    Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

    Paul Scholes column

    I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...