Former Sex Pistols manager and London punk pioneer Malcolm McLaren has died at the age 64 after a battle with mesothelioma.

McLaren worked as an artist, clothing designer, and boutique shop owner before getting involved with music. In the mid ’70s, he and others ran a shop called Sex in London. It became a haven for young punks and bohemians, many of whom were inspired by the early N.Y.C. punk stylings of The Ramones and the New York Dolls. It was in Sex where McLaren first assembled the four members of the Sex Pistols as a proper lineup.

British author Jon Savage’s England’s Dreaming,: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond provides a terrifically detailed account of McLaren’s early artistic and flamboyant managerial career with the Sex Pistols and others in the London scenes (Bow Wow Wow, Adam & The Ants, and others).

McLaren’s earned a mixed reputation for his style and actions. Controversy still hangs over his dealings with the Sex Pistols in the late ’70s. He remained active in the music business, international media, and visual arts through recent years.

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