Malcolm McLaren given flamboyant send-off at London funeral

Vivienne Westwood among mourners at Highgate Cemetery

The funeral procession for punk impresario Malcolm McLaren has taken place through the streets of Camden, north London today (April 22), as the former Sex Pistols manager’s cortege made its way to Highgate Cemetery following his funeral.

The manager-turned artist in his own right passed away on April 8 in Switzerland after suffering from cancer.

McClaren‘s coffin – which was stenciled with the legend “Too fast to live too young to die” – was drawn by four black horses in full funeral regalia and arrived at Camden Town tube station this afternoon.


The main part of Camden High Street was lined by hundreds of fans paying their respects, while shopkeepers and market traders paused from their work to view the procession.

In front of the coffin was a car filled with flowers spelling out “Cash from chaos”. Following the hearse – on the back of which was an anarchy symbol made of red and white roses – were four cars and a dark green Routemaster bus, its destination billed as “Nowhere”.

A soundsystem on the back of the bus, full of revelling mourners, played tracks including Sid Vicious‘ version of ‘My Way’, the cover of ‘Rock Around The Clock’ from ‘The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle’ movie and other punk anthems. The bus was followed by crowds of people, while leather-clad punks jumped on the back of the vechicle and sang along as it made its way down the high street.

Stopping on the corner of Ferdinand Street and Chalk Farm Road at the Monarch music venue, the mourners left the bus and it sped off around the corner, punks still clinging onto it, before playing out the strains of ‘Something Else’.

A private funeral service took place prior to the procession.

Earlier the manager’s family had encouraged the public to take part in a “minute of mayhem” at noon encouraging the public to stop and play “their favourite records”.


Speaking to NME.COM about the funeral, Ben Westwood – son of Vivienne, who was McLaren‘s partner in the 70s – remembered him fondly.

“He was a really good friend. He was a really nice person. My brother [Joseph Corre, McLaren‘s son with Vivienne Westwood] said ‘travel well’ to him when he died. And that’s what I’d like to say as well. Travel well Malcolm, you’re a star.”

Westwood added that he hopes McLaren‘s grave at Highgate Cemetery becomes a shrine in the future. “He’s [to be] buried in Highgate Cemetery, and I hope his grave becomes like Jim Morrison‘s or Serge Gainsburg‘s and all those others.”

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