He promoted spread of punk rock in U.K. and U.S.
stages with Communist iconography. He also witnessed the early spasms of the New York punk scene at shows by Patti Smith and Television at CBGBs. He subsequently returned to London, where he assembled a ramshackle group from the patrons at his Kings Road boutique, now rechristened Sex and dealing in bondage gear and other outrageous fashion. The group, the Sex Pistols, attained unprecedented notoriety during their three-year existence, and sparked the spread of punk in the U.K. and the U.S. (Other habitues of McLaren’s shop who gained punk fame included Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie and the Banshees and Adam Ant of Adam and the Ants.) McLaren engineered and quickly jettisoned deals for the Pistols with EMI and A&M before the band landed at Richard Branson’s fledgling Virgin Records. McLaren managed the band through its dissolution in 1978; during the group’s last gasp, he enlisted notorious English train robber Ronnie Biggs to replace the dissident John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) as its lead singer. He told his version of the Pistols’ story in director Julien Temple’s 1980 feature “The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle.” The Pistols sued McLaren for rights to their catalog, which they now control. During the ’80s, McLaren recorded the albums “Duck Rock,” “Fans” and “Waltz Darling,” which drew on diverse influences — hip-hop, punk and classical music. His singles “Buffalo Gals” and “Double Dutch” were both U.K. hits. During the same period, he helped develop punk-pop act Bow Wow Wow. Active over the years on U.K. TV, McLaren also produced the 2006 feature “Fast Food Nation.” McLaren is survived by his longtime companion Young Kim and a son. (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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