Yesterday after posting, I read the sad news that Punk style icon Jordan Mooney [a.k.a. Pamela Rooke] had succumbed to a rare bile duct cancer on Sunday evening. The story of her entering into the orbit of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s clothing store, Sex, in the protopunk era where they had made their crust selling to specialist niches like Teddy Boys and rubber fetishists, may be well known but there’s more to her story than selling clothes. Today, one of my favorite blogs, PunkGirlDiaries, have published a lengthy interview with her from 1988 as conducted by Jon Savage for his excellent “England’s Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond” [Faber and Faber, 1991]. The points that made it into the book were edited from this and it’s quite an informative and inspiring read.
Click below to read it in full
After reading it, you can marvel at how this woman, who was determined to live her life as a work of art, was destined to be a huge catalyst for this scene. The story of how she gravitated to the Sex boutique, laid bare the kismet involved. We can also ask, that had she not been such an style inspiration to the movement, would Punk have managed to come to a flashpoint without her important contribution? All the sound in the world won’t reach an audience without a corresponding look. I learned much from the article…not the least was that she was also involved with the music in more traditional ways, such as managing bands like Adam + The Ants. Amazing.
We salute the bold life of Ms. Rooke and extend our condolences to her friends, family, and numerous admirers.
What an interview and what a life! Wild that she wished she’d been in a “Star Trek” movie! Thanks for pointing us to this interview! RIP, Jordan.
Syev Shafer – Right? Like with all that she was a part of and influenced, she wanted to be in Star Trek? It boggles the mind, but what a story that was. And that was only up to 1988. I was struck as well by her integrity in not selling herself out. She was wrong about Malcolm McLaren. She was right to carry herself with integrity and not to try to cash in. Malc was wrong.
Sad news indeed, but what an incredible interview and insight into an inspiring individual, nay, icon. It had kind of slipped off of my radar, but Defying Gravity: Jordan’s Story is firmly back on my must read book list. Thanks for sharing, PPM.
Very few walk it like they talk it but Jordan certainly did. The right person in the right place at the right time can change the course of history and Jordan was one of those people. Thank you Jordan. Rest in peace.
Hugh Hall – The thing that impressed me most in reading that in depth interview was that her emotional intelligence was highly developed. She had a way of evaluating people that was very perceptive. Making of her an invaluable observer of history
from the NY Times (if you can access):
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schwenko – Fanx! Yes, we have an account. An excellent piece.