Music mourns godfather of punk Malcolm McLaren

Impresario who made the Sex Pistols infamous dies in Switzerland at the age of 64 after a long battle with cancer
  • @tompeck

Malcolm McLaren, the former manager of the Sex Pistols and impresario, has died from cancer, aged 64.

He died in hospital in Switzerland with his partner, 37-year-old Korean- American Young Kim by his bedside, along with his son Joe Corre. Ms Kim told The Independent: "We were there with him when he passed away. He was diagnosed with cancer in October. He was very active until the end of February when his tumour became very aggressive. He just went very quickly. He said he wanted to be buried at Highgate cemetery. We are now taking steps to try to make that happen."

McLaren had kept his illness quiet. In February he had travelled to New York in February for the launch of an art book before returning to Switzerland to be treated at a clinic.

Best-known as the manager of the punk band the Sex Pistols, he achieved the notoriety he sought – and which never left him – when the band's anti-establishment single "God Save The Queen", released during the Queen's Silver Jubilee, was banned from the airwaves by the BBC and the Independent Broadcasting Authority.

He was raised by his grandmother in Newington Green, north London, after his war-deserter father left home when he was two. After having been expelled from several art colleges, he opened a clothes shop on the King's Road, with his then girlfriend Vivienne Westwood in 1971. The couple's son, Joe Corre, went on found the lingerie company Agent Provocateur.

Last night Miss Westwood said: "When we were young and I fell in love with Malcolm, I thought he was beautiful and I still do. I thought he was a very charismatic, special and talented person. We hadn't been in touch for a long time. The thought of him dead is really something very sad."

The shop became a focal point of the fledgling punk movement. It was here that he first encountered a young John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols. Last night Mr Lydon said: "For me Malc was always entertaining, and I hope you remember that. Above all else he was an entertainer and I will miss him, and so should you."