April 10, 2010 11:13

Sex Pistols' Steve Jones: 'Malcolm McLaren was the Brian Epstein of punk'

Plus the punk legend's final words are revealed

Sex Pistols' Steve Jones: 'Malcolm McLaren was the Brian Epstein of punk'
Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones has paid tribute to his former manager Malcolm McLaren following his death after a battle with cancer.

In a statement, Jones said he always had a "soft spot" for McLaren and he described him as the "Brian Epstein of punk".

"I had a soft spot for Malcolm," his statement added. "I knew him since I was 17, before the Pistols formed. I used to drive him around in [McLaren's former partner] Vivienne Westwood's car, to the tailors in London.

"Malcolm was definitely the Brian Epstein (former Beatles manager) of punk - without him it wouldn’t have happened the way it did. I stayed friends with him throughout the years, despite some of our differences.

"My fondest memory of Malcolm, and I loved the guy, was his birthday gift to me when I turned 21 - he got me a hooker and some heroin."

His words follow lead singer John Lydon and Westwood's tributes plus a host of musicians including former Clash guitarist Mick Jones.

McLaren was key in forming the band and helped to mastermind many of their most successful publicity stunts, including signing a record contract in front of Buckingham Palace and the band's launch party on a boat travelling down the Thames, which ended in arrests.

Meanwhile, McLaren's son Joe Corre has revealed that his last words were an appeal to free US prisoner Leonard Peltier.

Peltier, an American Indian, is serving life for the murder of two FBI agents in 1975.

"His last words were 'Free Leonard Peltier'," Corre, who was at McLaren's bedside with his half brother Ben Westwood, told the Daily Telegraph.

"Ben had a T-shirt with the slogan on and my father saw this and admired it," he added. "He was proud of Ben for this and he had a sense of humour to the end. He smiled."

His final wish was that he be buried, wearing a new suit, in Highgate Cemetery, north London, close to where he grew up.

"He has an affinity with that place. I have spoken to them and they have some room, fortunately," Corre added.

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