A little over a month away from Danny Boyle‘s long-awaited series about the Sex Pistols, the muse and Queen of Punk, Jordan Mooney passed away in London, aged 66. In the Pistol series, she will be played by Maisie Williams and the impersonation – from the photos and trailer – looks perfect. The two talked and the actress had the muse’s blessing to create the role.
Jordan, whose real name was Pamela Rooke, was a creative and nonconformist young woman, credited by many, including Adam Ant, with “inventing punk rock”. Paradoxes have always formed her personality. She grew up near London, enjoying classical ballet and captaining a hockey team until, at 18, she “discovered punk”.
Founder, along with Siouxsie Sioux and Billy Idol, of the group that became known as the Bromley Contigent, Jordan also flirted with a fast acting career, appearing in Derek Jarman‘s Jubilee. To escape the addiction that claimed the lives of friends like Sid Vicious, she spent much of her adult life away from the hustle and bustle, working as a nurse at a veterinary clinic and raising cats. Very different from the teenager who was almost arrested for her transparent clothes (considered an attack on indecency), as well as her heavy consumption of drugs.
The stage name was chosen by Pamela because she was a fan of the character in The Great Gatsby, golfer Jordan Baker. Her original, daring and non-conformist style soon caught the attention of another woman who stood out for being different, Vivienne Westwood. Jordan was creative in clothes, which mixed leather and chains, and also in makeup, always imaginative. For many, her pieces and attitude helped define punk’s aesthetic and style. “People were afraid of me,” she acknowledged in an interview.
Another who was enchanted by her was Andy Warhol, who was responsible for including her in Jubilee, a film about the punk movement. With Vivienne, he worked at King Road’s Sex Shop, which will appear in the Pistol series.
“I didn’t care what others thought,” she acknowledged years later in an interview about her fashion choices. Until the end of his life he remained with the punk look. “I never wanted to belong, since I left school I knew I would do something different with my life”, he explained. According to Jordan, his passion for fashion was born at home, watching his mother, a seamstress. Another influence was David Bowie, whose avant garde style inspired her to cut her hair and bleach it. When she got the job as a saleswoman at the Sex Shop, she found herself.
When she married, at 26 (although she always said she was against marriage) to musician Kevin Mooney, from the group Adam and the Ants, she was fired by Vivienne precisely for the inconsistency of her modern speech and against the rules of society.
In the early 1980s, trying to break the pattern of chemical dependency, she left London to live a simpler life on the farm, eating better and avoiding parties. That’s when he started raising cats and working in a veterinary clinic. “I know it sounds corny, but normalcy saved my life,” she confessed.
According to her partner Nick, Jordan had been ill for some time with a rare cancer and died surrounded by her family. Her memory will certainly be immortalized in the work of Danny Boyle.
Maisie paid her an homage this week. “Your image and your essence will transcend your time here. there will never be anyone like you again, but many will try”, she wrote.
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