Showy send-off for British punk king McLaren

22nd April 2010, Comments 0 comments

Punk legend and ex-Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren had a showy send-off Thursday, with a spray-painted coffin, "too fast to live too young to die" and Sid Vicious vocals marking his funeral.

McLaren, 64, who died on April 8 in Switzerland after suffering from a rare form of cancer, was taken through the streets of London in a traditional horse-drawn carriage.

Friends and family danced and sang at his funeral, and among the mourners was fashion designer Vivienne Westwood -- his former partner -- Live Aid organiser Bob Geldof and singer Adam Ant.

His coffin was carried out of the church to the Sid Vicious version of Frank Sinatra's "My Way".

His final resting place is Highgate Cemetery, in north London.

As well as the Sex Pistols, the seminal British punk rock band of the 1970s, McLaren managed other acts including the New York Dolls and Bow Wow Wow.

The slogan on McLaren's coffin was the name of the fashion shop he set up with Westwood on the King's Road in London's hip Chelsea district, which was at the heart of the capital's punk scene.

They renamed the punk boutique Sex, and sold fetish-inspired outfits.

A one-time art school student, McLaren began to manage the Sex Pistols in 1975, bringing John Lydon on board as frontman after spotting him in a torn Pink Floyd T-shirt and green hair.

The band released "God Save the Queen" in 1977, the year of Queen Elizabeth II's silver jubilee. Its provocative lyrics propelled it to the top of the pop charts, despite the BBC banning it from its airwaves.

It was followed later in the year by the quartet's only official studio album.

The band fell out with McLaren, and he later lost a court case over royalties.

After his time with the Sex Pistols, McLaren continued to work on music, film and art.

Later projects included composing a theme tune for airline British Airways, BBC radio shows and last year he exhibited his art in Britain and the US.

He split his final years living between New York and Paris, according to his girlfriend.

© 2010 AFP

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