❚ THE ARCHITECT OF BRITISH PUNK was buried in bright sunshine in London’s Highgate Cemetery this afternoon, not many plots away from that other revolutionary, Karl Marx. For all the cheering and irreverence and mild expressions of anarchy that made this an exuberant funeral for Malcolm McLaren, the former manager of the Sex Pistols, few people beyond the fashion world appear to have discovered his last musical creation, an astonishing romantic soundtrack to a Paris fashion show, aired only the month before he died. It can be heard in part on the fashion video in the post dated April 23 (above) and in full as an mp3 audio stream. The music now assumes near gut-wrenching poignancy.
Music was a constant accompaniment to today’s events. When told the mourners would be asked to sing You Need Hands, which McLaren immortalised in the Sex Pistols film The Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle, his ex-partner, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood said: “It’s actually better when you hear Malcolm’s version. He sang it so well and so beautifully. I’ve been playing that song more than anything since he died. It makes me cry.”
Boy George had sent a wreath of crimson flowers shaped in an A for anarchy sign which sat on the horsedrawn hearse during its four-mile procession from a secular gathering at the deconsecrated church of St Mary Magdalene in Marylebone, central London, northwards through Camden Town. Sex Pistol Sid Vicious’s version of My Way blared from the bus carrying celebrants.
Dozens of punks followed the black coffin sprayed with the mantra “Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die” — the name of the Chelsea shop McLaren opened in 1972 with Westwood. Joseph Corré, McLaren’s son with her, asked that people mark his passing with a “minute of mayhem” at midday. Among the selection of mayhems reported at Guardian Online was one from Gareth100 who wrote: “I managed to shrug my shoulders in apathy for a full minute. Now I’m going for a nap. Will this do?”