April 8th, 2010
03:21 PM ET

Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren dies at 64

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Malcolm McLaren, best known for managing the Sex Pistols and for helping kick off the '70s punk revolution, has died, CNN has confirmed. He was 64.

McLaren's death was confirmed by his longtime girlfriend, Young Kim.

The rakish McLaren was an art college graduate and clothing designer who opened a boutique, Let It Rock, with his partner, the designer Vivienne Westwood. By the mid-'70s, he had renamed the boutique Sex and taken on a band called the Strand.

McLaren drafted a new frontman - John Lydon, who had been spotted wearing a Pink Floyd T-shirt with the words "I hate" added to it - and renamed the group the Sex Pistols. (Lydon became better known as Johnny Rotten.)

McLaren's penchant for notoriety, combined with the Pistols' blunt lyrics ("I am the anti-Christ/I am an anarchist") and raucous power chords and performances, helped the group hit the top in Britain in 1977. They weren't the only punk rockers - a number of acts had been inspired by a Ramones performance on July 4, 1976, at London's Roundhouse - but they quickly became the most infamous.

The group's "God Save the Queen" was a huge hit despite the BBC's refusal to play the song.

The group crumbled amid arguments and accusations - some aimed at McLaren - and McLaren went on to manage Bow Wow Wow. He also created a handful of well-reviewed albums, notably the mixed-genre works "Duck Rock" and "Fans."


soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Matt McIntosh

    Buffalo Gals...brings back memories of Jr. High.

    April 11, 2010 at 3:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. Frank

    I don't see why everyone is acting so upset. He was a thief, he ripped off and exploited the pistols and sid's death.

    April 11, 2010 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sid & Nancy

    "Too much of that snow white."

    April 10, 2010 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. newarknj4life

    who?

    April 9, 2010 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. wilson

    Surely he had his faults (who doesn't?) but he did some great music and gave punk its Situationist stance (as he had been a Situationist) – he taught us the politics of boredom. I am saddened. RIP .Mr McLaren.

    April 9, 2010 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    RIP To A True Music Pioneer

    April 8, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Killa Face

    Are you guys crazy???!! The guy was a dick!!

    April 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Daramola Gbenga

    May his soul rest in peace.

    April 8, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. drink fight thugs

    sid's going to kick your ass when you see him!

    April 8, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. nick

    RIP Malc,anouska will know every about you!!! long live her God Father!!!!!!!

    April 8, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. k-yo

    Dear MM,

    Rot in Hell. You never had an ounce of talent. bloodsucker.

    April 8, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JLD

    Chaos! Anarchy!! Rebellion!!! Revolution!!!! Ahhhh, the good old days!
    Rot In Pieces, Malcolm! Punk saved Rock 'n' Roll in the seventies and we could sure use a boat load of that spirit now!!!!!!!

    April 8, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sid Rotten

    Somethings no longer Jumping in His Shirt... RIP you rule!

    April 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Baron von Tollbooth

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    April 8, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. T

    No, wait, never mind...

    April 8, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  16. T

    "Liar" was about David Bowie

    April 8, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  17. dj esla

    With out Malcolm we probably wouldn’t have Afrika Bambaataa and many more artist that he helped bring out for all of us to enjoy, Thank you Malcolm Thank you RIP!!!!!!

    April 8, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Deas

    Oh, another pioneer of our youth, gone! RIP Malcolm. (And thanks to those who mentioned Madame Butterfly, I'd forgotten that. Where ARE my records??)

    April 8, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  19. PaulE Louisville

    He also had a #1 Dance Club Play (Billboard) hit in the late 80s with "Deep In Vogue".

    April 8, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Peter from NZ

    Rock In Peace Malcolm

    April 8, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Britt

    He also briefly managed New York Dolls before the Pistols. Dressed the band in red patent leather and hung commie flags behind them, a lame idea that killed off a dying group. He saw early punks in New York with short hair and ripped shirts, took the look back to London and the rest is history. RIP

    April 8, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Clay

    Thank you Malcolm...we've enjoyed the mark you left on us. R.I.P.

    April 8, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Steven

    Won't miss him a bit. I won't decry his memory too much, but I won't shed a tear for him. Look at the history – perhaps the greatest enabler of all time. RIP, SID, hope you take a swing at Malcolm when you see him.

    April 8, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Mike L, Westlake Village, Ca

    Bloody Hell. RIP Malcolm.

    April 8, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  25. James

    DUCK ROCK is one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all-time!!!! During the spring/summer of 1983, that album got parties jumpin'!!!!!!

    Going home to play it now!!!!!!

    RIP Malcolm!!!!!!

    April 8, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Robert

    Dude I will be listening to your album Paris for the rest of my life – thanks for that! Best wishes on your journey.

    April 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  27. dave

    Didn't Johnny write "Liar" about MM? Now that's a dedication!

    April 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  28. badger

    I can almost hear Sid's version of My Way whilst reflecting. RIP! Gonna spin some vinyl tonight!

    April 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  29. evangelicide

    RIP ya f****** c***!

    April 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  30. leavelaw

    Sad to hear. Much too soon for him to go. He will always be held in high esteem.

    April 8, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Normal Guy in Thousand Oaks

    One more god of my youth, gone. Sad. What a visionary.

    April 8, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  32. William

    I always liked the song: Hey DJ, great bass line!! RIP

    April 8, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Linda

    A month ago I re-discovered my old cd's; The World Famous Supreme Team Show, Fans, MM and The Bootzilla Orchestra-Waltz Darling and Duck Rock and they all still remain current! His music lives!

    April 8, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Dean Bekken

    Welcome back to the US, Johnny and PiL . . . as a gift, we've killed Malcolm McLaren!!

    April 8, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Radiok

    Let's not forget that he also assisted in bringing the New York Dolls to the masses. The man mastered the art of marketing. RIP

    April 8, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  36. dave

    He'll be manipulating and ripping off angels in no time. Or will it be demons?

    April 8, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Loud Mouthed Yob

    Party at Lydon's house, everyones invited!

    April 8, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Chuck Anahem, Ca

    Thanks Malcom you will be missed.

    April 8, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Dr. X

    Bollocks.......... RIP

    April 8, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  40. T

    A bit of stuff missing in that obit

    April 8, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  41. betterskills

    The correct lyric is "I am AN Antichrist..."

    April 8, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Punk Rock War Lord (fan of)

    "The great Rock n Roll swindle!!" The guy was a genius!! He made history and his legend will live on.

    April 8, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Mike

    "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"

    April 8, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  44. mark vargas

    You will be missed here los angeles.buffalo girls was the first breakdanc song I've ever heard you will be missed rip.

    April 8, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Oi

    Oi ! Oi ! Oi !

    / / //\\ \
    8\ – – /8
    \ ~ /

    April 8, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Kev in the PB

    After the S.P . and prior to Buffalo Gals, he made Madame Butterfly and Glover Garden in Nagasaki very, very cool:

    Call me fool, call me stupid
    Bend my arrow, kill this cupid.

    The man who wrote that is/was a freaking genius.

    April 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Citizen Val

    Ummm .. he's dead ... he can't actually hear you.

    April 8, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  48. SHORESLADY

    Even middle-aged ladies in rusting Motown knew the man, what Brian Epstein started McLaren took to the greatest lengths to proclaim what punk grandfather Neil Young knew, hey hey, my my, rock and roll will never die. May his memory rock on...

    April 8, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  49. mc

    I remember him most for "Madame Butterfly". awesome stuff. RIP.

    April 8, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Daren

    Apparently he died from Mesothelioma – a type of cancer usually attributed to exposure to asbestos. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100408/people_nm/us_mclaren

    April 8, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  51. aliennetwork

    Twit!

    April 8, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  52. LagoutinЪ

    Rest in peace Mr. Malcolm

    April 8, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  53. jukeboy

    all that scratchin' is makin' me itch

    rip

    April 8, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  54. modelsupplies

    Hope he's raising some hell in heaven. Heart goes out to his family.

    Anita @ModelSupplies

    April 8, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Jack Gusto

    Life is full of uncertainties like that fateful day back in 77 when the King sat on his throne and took that last huge movement. RIP

    April 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Andrea M

    RIP Malcolm! Thanks for all you did in so many genres.

    April 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Patrick

    Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.

    You scoundrel, you carpetbagger, you charlatan, you genius.

    We're worse off without you.

    April 8, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Louweezy

    According to the Daily Mail, he had cancer. Shame.

    April 8, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  59. laura TJ

    Rest in peace....the music lives on

    April 8, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Roy

    We'll miss you Malcom, you old sod!

    April 8, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  61. John

    "want some pizza johnny?"

    April 8, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  62. markus yessiree

    buffalo gals go 'round the outside, 'round the outside!!

    RIP

    April 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  63. KenFromCalifornia

    dude! if you remember when mtv first started out and the new wave music was in full effect, malcolm was the man!

    "buffalo gals" and his stunning recreation of "madame butterfly" had no peer. and bow wow wow was on everyone's cassette walkman, too!

    those were great days. the 2nd british invasion of the 80's influenced music, clothes, movies, television production styles (miami vice) and so much more.

    malcolm was a pioneer. he will be missed by an entire generation of us who grew up listening to, and being shaped by, the music he created.

    April 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  64. TedLinguini

    Sad day. One of the true fathers of punk.

    April 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Carmelo

    Perpetrator of the Great Rock and Roll swindle...he changed us forever.

    April 8, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  66. JSinPhilly

    RIP

    April 8, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  67. garc

    Wow. Of what?! Crikey.

    April 8, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  68. evan

    RIP Malcolm!

    April 8, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Wade

    RIP Malcolm. Say hello to Sid for me.

    April 8, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  70. FM Talks

    Malcolm also delved into hip-hop most notably with the World Famous Supreme Team of "Buffalo Gals" fame.

    April 8, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |

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