Sex Pistols' manager Malcolm McLaren dies

April 9, 2010

Jewish punk pioneer Malcolm McLaren has died in a Swiss hospital where he was being treated for cancer.

McLaren, 64, who launched the Sex Pistols in the late seventies, was born to Scottish-Jewish parents but raised by his maternal grandmother, Rose Isaacs, a diamond dealer's daughter, in Stoke Newington's Sephardi community. He once told the JC one of his fondest memories was reading the paper at her home on Friday nights.

His mother remarried and later, she and her new husband Martin Levi, ran a shmatte factory in London's East End called Eve Edwards London Limited.

He studied art and graphic design before opening a clothes shop in Kings Road called Let It Rock. He ran it with his then-girlfriend, designer Vivienne Westwood, and provided the vintage clothing for the 1972 film That'll Be the Day.

Three years later, he briefly managed the glam-rock New York Dolls before taking charge of the Sex Pistols. The group split in 1978 and he spent the next decade fighting legal challenges over ownership of the music and the name.

McLaren backed other bands and recorded music himself, dabbling in early experiments with hip-hop and techno.

He later renamed his boutique SEX and began selling S&M clothes. The shop also became notorious for selling shirts bearing swastikas and other Nazi regalia.

Last updated: 10:59am, April 12 2010