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
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy

tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special

tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Transformers: Age of Extinction was the most searched for movie in the UK in 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Ronson has had two UK number two singles but never a number one...yet

Arts and Entertainment
Clara Amfo will take over from Jameela Jamil on 25 January

Arts and Entertainment
This is New England: Ken Cheeseman, Ann Dowd, Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins in Olive Kitteridge

The most magnificently miserable show on television in a long timeTV
Arts and Entertainment
Andrea Faustini looks triumphant after hearing he has not made it through to Sunday's live final

Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Shenaz Treasurywala
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
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.

    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
    Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

    Finally, a diet that works

    Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
    Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

    Say it with... lyrics

    The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
    Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

    The joys of 'thinkering'

    Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
    Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

    Monique Roffey interview

    The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
    DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
    Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

    How we met

    Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

    Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

    Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
    Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

    Who does your club need in the transfer window?

    Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
    The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015