4 April 2022

Punk icon Jordan, aka Pamela Rooke, dies aged 66

Pamela Rooke, an icon of the British punk rock scene, has passed away, her family confirmed.

In a statement, her family revealed that Rooke — who often used the stage name Jordan — died on April 3. “[Rooke died peacefully a stone’s throw away from the sea in her home town of Seaford, East Sussex in the company of her loving family at 9 pm [last night].”

Known for her daring sartorialism and makeup looks, Rooke was a key figure in the King’s Road scene that saw the rise of the Sex Pistols,  Vivienne Westwood, Johnny Rotten and Siouxsie Sioux. Having snagged a job at Westwood and McLaren’s infamous SEX boutique in her teenage years, she went on to manage Adam and the Ants — whom she performed with — as well as Wide Boy Awake. Most notably perhaps, she was a muse to visionary filmmaker Derek Jarman, who cast her as one of the leads in Jubilee, where she played Amyl Nitrate.

“Jordan (Pamela Rooke) has left her mark on this planet, whether it be as ‘The Queen of Punk’, or for her veterinary work and countless prize winning cats,” her partner Nick continued in the statement. “She lived life to the full and was true to herself and others throughout the whole of her life. She was totally trusted and respected by all those who knew her.

“Jordan was a blessed rare individual indeed. She did not want any speculation regarding her passing, and wished for the world to know that after a short period of illness, she succumbed to a relatively rare form of cancer known as cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer). Jordan was a wonderful woman and will be remembered for countless decades to come.”

Rooke will be portrayed by Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams in Danny Boyle’s upcoming Sex Pistols film, Pistol, which will be released in May of this year. The model, often credited as being the “first Sex Pistol” spoke to the Metro earlier this year about the advice she gave Williams. “What I said to her was, “You’re in a position of playing a role that is very strong, a strong woman, and a woman set apart, really.” I decided that I wanted to be me, like a walking work of art, if you like, and I was totally and utterly unshakeable. So she had to bring that to the role, that nothing would upset her.”

  • Writer Nessa Humayun

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