Fashion icon Jordan Mooney on how she shaped the Sex Pistols and the punk movement

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WHEN the Sex Pistols came spitting, snarling and swearing on to the music scene in 1976 they shocked the nation.

Now the story of how punk rock changed Britain is being made into a six-part TV drama series by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle.

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Chrissie Hynde, third from left, Vivienne Westwood and punk fashion icon Jordan in Sex – the Kings Road fashion shop run by Westwood and Malcolm McLaren[/caption]

Pistol aims to capture the energy of a grassroots movement started in the mid-1970s by musical outsiders – who were often non-musicians.

It won’t just follow the band’s members, Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious, Steve Jones and Paul Cook, but also the people who helped to mould them and their careers.

One of them is punk fashion icon Jordan Mooney – known simply as Jordan in the movement’s heyday – who worked in the clothes shop of the band’s manager Malcolm McLaren and his then girlfriend, designer Vivienne Westwood.

Jordan, born Pamela Rooke, is portrayed in the series by Game Of Thrones actress Maisie Williams, who was this week spotted shooting a scene in a see-through jacket with nothing underneath.

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The Sex Pistols featuring Sid Vicious after original bassist Glen Matlock left[/caption]

It is just the kind of outfit that Jordan revelled in wearing, declaring that such clothing, widely regarded as outrageous at the time, was in fact empowering.

For Britain’s youth it was an exciting time to be growing up – until drugs spoiled the fun. In 1979, Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious, real name Simon Ritchie, died from a heroin overdose aged just 21.

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A first look at Danny Boyle’s Pistol[/caption]

It came nearly four months after he was charged with murdering his girlfriend Nancy Spungen in New York during another drug-fuelled evening.

Here Jordan, 65, tells Grant Rollings about her punk years, and we update the stories of the Sex Pistols and big names of the punk movement.

JORDAN MOONEY AKA PAMELA ROOKE

FROM a young age I had a clear idea of who I wanted to be and what I wanted to wear.

Society had been released from the drab war years and my generation wanted to do something different. I wanted to remould the strong Fifties women who were voluptuous and powerful.

Alamy

Jordan the punk pioneer in 1976[/caption]

I would go to second-hand shops and find slingback stiletto shoes and redesign other outfits, passionate about looking new and exciting.

In 1974, I spotted a tiny advert in a girly magazine for Malcolm McLaren’s SEX shop on the end of King’s Road in London. Once I was inside I knew this was where I was meant to be. These were clothes like you’d never seen before — and it was an inspiration.

I was 19, had finished my A-levels and hit it off straight away with the manager, Michael Collins, who said I was first on the list for any job vacancy.

That see-through mac Maisie Williams is wearing in Pistol was just like something I bought in a second-hand shop and would have fitted in at SEX.

©2021 Darren Cool

Jordan – or Pamela Rooke – as she is today[/caption]

She has rubber stockings, knickers and suspenders like I wore on the train from Seaford in East Sussex, on my commute into London. Female passengers would say I was obscene, told me to move and one even tried to throw me off. Some people thought wearing clothes with my breasts showing turned me into a sex object, but I was emboldened by it.

One of my favourites was a T-shirt with Venus written in studs, bicycle tyres on the sleeves, a skull and crossbones and two zips going across the breasts, which could be opened or closed.

When I wore the clothes designed by Vivienne Westwood and Jamie Reid it was a serious passion. I felt great.

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The one-time punk fashion icon is now works as a veterinary nurse in East Sussex[/caption]

I have been described as the “first Sex Pistol”, because even the band weren’t wearing these clothes initially.

Drummer Paul Cook and guitarist Steve Jones put them on as a costume. Before that they were simply musicians who wanted to be in a band.

I shared this great flat close to Buckingham Palace and at one point Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen moved in with us.

It was great fun but things took a darker turn.

The drugs started off with people taking speed, but then heroin overtook the punk scene.

I had known Sid throughout that time and when he went to New York I was worried that he would get in a fight by confronting the wrong person, because he could be explosive. I didn’t realise the state Sid and Nancy had got into with the heroin, because they cut themselves off from all their friends over here.

In 1981, I got married to Kevin Mooney, who was the bass player for Adam And The Ants, and both of us got too embroiled in drugs.

PUNK ATTITUDE

I saw that it was costing lives and I decided to come back home to Seaford after leaving my husband in 1984.

I had also started to lose my passion for the work I was doing.

My local vet asked me to work for her, so I trained as a veterinary nurse and it’s a job that I love.

With my sister, I breed Burmese cats and we have twice won Best In Show at the Supreme Cat Show, which is the feline equivalent of Crufts. Burmese cats are the epitome of elegance and are highly intelligent.

‘What shocks me most is that we haven’t moved on and that the sight of Maisie’s nipples still causes offence’ above

I am also a consultant on the Danny Boyle TV series, making sure they get the look just right.

For me, being a punk wasn’t a political statement, but there is no doubt there was a feeling that we were taking on the establishment.

What shocks me most is that we haven’t moved on and that the sight of Maisie’s nipples still causes offence.

I continue to believe in the punk attitude of not conforming to the norms that society sets for us.

Everyone should be themselves.

  • Jordan’s autobiography, Defying Gravity, is available from Omnibus, £20.

VIVIENNE WESTWOOD

Vivienne in the 70s
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THE designer behind punk fashion sold her clothes in Malcolm McLaren’s SEX store in London and knew the Sex Pistols.

Long after punk’s heyday she still shocked, wearing no undies when she collected her OBE from the Queen in 1992.

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Fashion designer Dame Vivienne is now 79[/caption]

Now 79, mum of two Dame Vivienne lives with Austrian husband Andreas Kronthaler, 55, in South London.

In recent years she has campaigned on green issues but was ditched from the 2015 Green Party campaign after her company was revealed to have avoided tax.

JOHNNY ROTTEN

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Johnny Rotten as the Sex Pistols front man[/caption]

THE man who once sang of being an anarchist now lives in sunny California. But to many, John Lydon – formerly Johnny Rotten – had already sold out by going on I’m A Celebrity in 2004 and making an ad for Country Life butter in 2008.

After the Pistols broke up in 1978, John formed his own band, Public Image Limited.

Jeff Rayner/Coleman-Rayner

John Lydon – formerly Johnny Rotten – now live in California[/caption]

Much of his time is now devoted to caring for his wife Nora, 78, who has Alzheimer’s disease.

John, 65, said: “I have really bad eyesight, but I can’t go anywhere to take care of that because I can’t leave her alone.”

GLEN MATLOCK

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Glen Matlock, left, was replaced by Sid Vicious[/caption]

BASSIST Glen, dubbed “the fifth Pistol” by some, is said to have left the band by mutual consent in 1977 after falling out with Johnny Rotten, even though he was one of the main songwriters.

Glen, now 64, who was earning just £25 a week in the band, reckoned he lost out on “low millions” by being forced out.

Crispin Rodwell – The Sun Dublin

Glen rejoined the Pistols when they reformed in 1996, earning a reported £1million[/caption]

However, last week it was revealed that drummer Paul Cook and guitarist Steve Jones were pursuing him and John Lydon for royalties.

Glen rejoined the Pistols when they reformed in 1996, earning a reported £1million.

STEVE JONES

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Heavy boozing with the Pistols turned into heroin addiction which almost cost Jones everything[/caption]

THE guitarist’s 2016 autobiography Lonely Boy forms the basis of the script for Danny Boyle’s six-part series.

It tells of Steve’s obsession with sex, and claims he bedded his bandmates’ girlfriends.

Heavy boozing with the Pistols turned into heroin addiction which almost cost him everything.

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Steve has never married or had kids and lives in Los Angeles, where he has tried acting[/caption]

Having got clean in 1987, he became hooked on exercise, even becoming a spin instructor.

Now 65, he has never married or had kids and lives in Los Angeles, where he has tried acting.

In 2019, he had surgery after a heart attack.

SID VICIOUS

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Sid remains the most notorious Pisto[/caption]

DUE to his fatal relationship with girlfriend Nancy Spungen, below, Sid remains the most notorious Pistol.

He had been picked as bassist Glen Matlock’s replacement because he had the right look and was a pal of John Lydon.

After the band split, Sid and Nancy’s already considerable heroin addiction got even worse.

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Sid was charged with stabbing his girlfriend Nancy Spungen to death in New York’s notorious Chelsea Hotel, but died of a drug heroin overdose just months later[/caption]

In 1978, during a night of excess in New York, he stabbed 20-year-old Nancy to death and was charged with her murder.

Four months later Sid died from a heroin overdose, having previously spoken of his wish to die.

PAUL COOK

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Paul Cook knew Steve Jones from their time bunking off school in West London[/caption]

DRUMMER “Cookie” had been pals with Steve Jones since they bunked off school in West London. They continued their teamwork after the Pistols split, forming a group, The Professionals, and discovering girl group Bananarama.

But unlike his pal, Paul stayed in Britain and continues to live close to where he grew up.

WENN

Paul, 64, has remained in London and played with various music acts including Edwyn Collins[/caption]

His wife Jeni was a backing singer with Culture Club and is now a nutritionist, and their daughter Hollie is a pop star in her own right.

Paul, 64, has played with various music acts including Edwyn Collins.

MALCOLM MCLAREN

News Group Newspapers Ltd

After the Pistols split in 1978, Malcolm McLaren briefly managed Adam And The Ants and launched Bow Wow Wow[/caption]

AT the forefront of the punk explosion, music manager Malcolm brought the Sex Pistols together in the mid-70s.

Operating from SEX, the punk fashion shop he ran with his then-partner Vivienne Westwood in Chelsea, he turned them into household names.

Rex

Malcolm, who had his own hit with Buffalo Gals in 1982, died in New York in April 2010 aged 64, of asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma[/caption]

After the Pistols split in 1978, he briefly managed Adam And The Ants and launched Bow Wow Wow.

Malcolm, who had his own hit with Buffalo Gals in 1982, died in New York in April 2010 aged 64, of asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma, alleged to have come from the ceiling of the SEX shop.


CHRISSIE HYNDE

Rex

After failed auditions for several punk bands, she formed The Pretenders, who hit No1 with Brass In Pocket in 1979[/caption]

OHIO-born guitarist Chrissie worked at Malcolm McLaren’s SEX clothes shop and once asked John Lydon to marry her, just so she could get a work permit.

After failed auditions for several punk bands, she formed The Pretenders, who hit No1 with Brass In Pocket in 1979.

PA:Press Association

She now splits her time between London and Ohio, where she runs a restaurant[/caption]

Chrissie, 69, has two daughters, with Kinks star Ray Davies, and Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr, who she divorced in 1990.

She now splits her time between London and Ohio, where she runs a restaurant.

She released her second solo album in 2019.

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