Today, on her birthday, we are remembering Pamela Rooke, also known as Jordan. We are immensely grateful to Jordan's friends, fans and family who have kindly shared thoughts, memories and photos. The word “icon” is often used rather lightly, but it truly applies to Jordan.
If you would like to contribute a quote or photograph, please could you email Omniinfo@wisemusic.com and we will do our best to add it. Thank you.
Scene from Jubilee. Photo: TCD_Pod.DB
Photo: Jane England
I got to know and love my Auntie Pamela, partly through her many visits up to our family farm in Yorkshire. When I was just a small child she came up every lambing time to help out. Although the work was exhausting she loved these visits. I was often her small assistant, helping to clean out sheep muck, holding the box of lambing gloves in readiness for a difficult birth or generally being naughty by climbing on high stacks of bales.
More recently Pamela was a great supporter of our conservation work on the farm. She was always up for a challenge, so she jumped at the chance to have a go at bee-keeping, she even spotted the queen bee. Last year Pamela and her Partner Nick joined us on one of our weekly butterfly surveys. We formed a long procession as both our dogs and the farm cat joined us for the 2 mile walk round. We spotted 613 butterflies, Pamela, of course, loved the abundance of wildlife, but most especially the chance to be accompanied all the way round by Smeogol the cat!
On her final visit this year, despite being wobbly on her legs, she planted her own memorial tree, a Liquidamber. This tree should put on a spectacular show of red, purple and orange autumn colour every year. A reminder to me of not only a fashion icon, but also a very special Auntie.
A unique trailblazer with a razor-sharp wit and gentle compassion. She appreciated the startling majesty and elegance of Mother Nature as much as the raucous music and laughter of a jumbled night on the town. It is a rare creature who can take a broad swipe at convention and stuffiness whilst expounding the virtues of being British.
Happy Birthday in the sky my darling Jordan.
How sad not to be able to wish my old friend a happy birthday in person today. But we can all celebrate the life of the amazing Jordan Mooney here. Personally, I'll be raising a glass to her in my city of Copenhagen and remembering her in happier times. Like when my misspent rock n roll youth came back, not only to haunt me but to provide a great night out a few years ago. Jordan had invited me to contribute my memories to the book Defying Gravity. Back in the day we were both into outrageous style and hung out with the Pistols etc but I'll always remember her as the cool girl in the 1950s dress who got chatting to me in a seedy nightclub in Brighton and remained a good friend over the years.
I feel blessed to have been able to do an art collaboration with the magnificent JORDAN. I will never forget the times spent with her. She was a rare, always supportive, and wonderfully inspiring INDIVIDUAL.
When I first met Jordan, a few years ago at the Hope and Anchor, I didn't realise who she actually was. I was doing the merch and she came to buy a t-shirt. We had a chat about music and how the band was one of her favourite upcoming bands. She never mentioned anything other than she wanted "Paul" to come and see the band but he was busy. It never clicked. We chatted after the gig, me still not realising who I'd been talking to. Afterwards in the van someone said something about her being "that lass who knocked around with the pistols" I was gobsmacked! I'd just taken money off Jordan for a shirt!! Me being quite a bit older than the band knew her importance.
Flamboyant, funny and fabulous – knowing you, Jordan, was a pleasure; remembering you, a smile. Happy birthday, Sweetie.
I can tell you that Jordan's death came as a horrible shock to me. We had become very close during the two years we spent working on Defying Gravity and the whole experience had been a very intense adventure. We went through a lot together as we interviewed her old comrades, friends and family and the process brought up some heady memories, not all of them good ones for Jordan. But with her typical fearlessness, she faced it all head-on. Looking back on it now is like looking back at a movie, a mad whirl of events that cumulated in the book tour we did on publication. The most beautiful part of the process for me was seeing the reaction of Jordan's fans to the book - we would be signing books, talking and taking pictures long into the night on every occasion and I am so glad she got to feel that love and recognition. I remain honoured that she chose me as her co-pilot, and that we got to make the exact book that she wanted, a record of her life and times with all her favourite - and sometimes even not-so-favourite – people included, all wrapped up in that genius cover by Graham Humphreys.
Photo: Fenris Oswin
Debbie Harris, Bootleg Blondie
We met Jordan in Dingwalls on the last night of our tour with Blondie's drummer Clem Burke back in October 2019. We had our mutant one legged Jordan mascot doll on the tour which we'd found in a skip! Jordan was great and loved the doll, she took a pen and applied the doll's make up and signed her bum!!!!! We kept in touch and even put her in one of our songs! She was a one off, we're so glad we got to meet her.
My first encounter with Jordan, was a photograph in my sister’s magazine of choice (Jackie) in 1977 - Jordan was posing outside ‘Sex’ in King’s Road. I found her appearance thrilling. I would never have guessed that some forty years later I would be painting a cover for her book Defying Gravity. Meeting her for the first time was a joy, as we discussed the imagery. Jordan produced a bottle of champagne from her bag, to assist our creative process. The life of Jordan was a celebration we can all appreciate.
I loved Jordan from the moment I saw a photograph of her in the press. She looked like a girl who many people wanted to know. When she came to Eric’s Club in Liverpool to perform with Adam Ant, I saw her in the flesh singing. Then in Derek Jarman’s Jubilee she astounded with her performance of Rule Brittania. I went to Seditionaries with a friend who bought black bondage trousers and there she was. Simon Barker chatted to us and she arched an eyebrow and said “Simon” as if she thought he was chatting us up, which was hilarious. It wasn’t until years later that I met her properly at the V&A for the Vivienne Westwood exhibition. That was the start of a beautiful friendship. She was loved by so many and will leave a huge gap in the world. Rock On Jordan wherever your spirit is now.
Jordan was such a kind person. I always remember the advice and encouragement she gave me, we spoke about lambing, the downfall of Vogue, but never each other's makeup. When I was first summoned to speak with her, in a cafe on the other side of London, I went barefaced, and wore a suit. I was trying to pass a job interview in order to keep wearing my version of those two black eyes, and my tin roman helmet.
This is our best 'not reacting' faces. Jordan, G+T in leather capped hand, at Adam's gig, Roundhouse, Camden.
From Manchester to Brighton to Düsseldorf and back, Jordan was a true friend of Louder Than Words Festival and an inspirational friend on a personal level - I’ll miss her infectious positivity, her laughter and her incredible insights to life and living X
Jordan was the first Sex Pistol. Before the group, she wore the clothes that Malcolm and Vivienne made like a brandished sword. She was also the inspiration for Derek Jarman’s Jubilee. Then she left - and became a civilian again. Many others would have done well to follow her example.
Pamela/Jordan was my dearest and oldest friend, we met at secondary school and our friendship strengthened after her road accident in 1970. We shared a love of music, films and of course Star Trek. After our school days we went separate ways but when we did get together our conversations always continued from where we had left off. She was loved by me and my family and was the only person who got away with calling my mum 'Shorty'. The love we had for each other was deep and special and I am grateful to have known her and will miss her always.
The term 'Iconic' is massively overused today but the unique Jordan is someone truly deserving of the title.
I had more than a few fun and deeply interesting encounters with Jordan and am sad that these will now be no more.
On what would be her Birthday sending good wishes to Jordan wherever she might be.
Jordan was so very important to a generation of kids growing and wanting to be themselves.. She showed the way to be brave and shine in a world in 1976/77 that was not in a great place in Britain.. I had the pleasure of meeting her a few times when she came to watch Johnny Moped and was always very kind with her words about how much she loved the band and enjoyed my Drumming..
She will always remain an icon to a generation back then and now..
She will be missed by many..
Matthew Worley, professor of modern history
All my roads lead to Jordan. As I discovered music, art, film, style and magazines, so Jordan was there haunting (in the best possible way) my life and imagination. She showed me how you can be your own creation and carve a space. On getting to know her later in life, she made me laugh and was the best company, proof that meeting your idols can be a positive experience. I'll remember her and miss her forever ... xx
I spotted an extraordinary vision of Jordan the very first week she started work at 430. We always said it was like spotting a Unicorn, but probably even rarer!
We were friends of Malcolm and Vivienne and always in and out of the shop, living just down the road so got to see and chat a lot of Jordan in the shop and often in The Roebuck after work. We loved that Jordan drank Port and Lemon which was considered a real old ladies drink at the time.
Friends were always asking us to take them into the shop as they were too terrified to enter and especially scared of confronting the fearsome Jordan.
Jordan came up to London a few years ago for Derek and Simon’s book launch, she caused quite a stir as she had not been seen for years. Many of my younger friends asked if I would introduce them, and came away shaking with excitement to meet such a legend. She never disappointed and I even think she was a little surprised by the adulation she received.
It’s great that Jordan got to experience so much love, respect and attention in the last few years. Her book was so well received and she was having a ball travelling round and meeting fans (and making many new ones).
Jordan was a true Icon and Legend with a unique look and demeanour, she certainly made her mark and her place in history. I was lucky to call her my friend and happy to see how very fondly she is remembered.
Jordan you were an absolute inspiration to everyone that you met. You were honestly one in a million. It was an absolute honour being your partner. You brought so much love, joy, and intellect into my life. You are very sadly missed and you will remain with me until I depart. People will never truly know the real you, but if they did they would be filled with wonderment. Thank you for being you. Bye Sweetie xxx
Jordan is a cultural icon but not iconic to be idolised, she was always a grounded genuine friendly kind person, will miss her presence forever, but her persona is here with us forever.
Jordan as Black swan pirouetting - Unique and beautiful.
Jordan's purpose was to soar and transcend. Her essence lies perhaps, to quote myself a little, in something said by the character Endora in one episode of the TV show Bewitched, ‘We are quicksilver, a fleeting shadow, a distant sound that has no boundaries through which we can’t pass. We are found in music, in a flash of colour, we live in the wind and in a sparkle of star …’ Jordan was disorderly magic, pointing out beyond the lusterlessness to a world where it’s possible to discover both meaning and adventure of various sorts.
Pic: Richard Cabut, Jordan, Cathi Unsworth
Roger K. Burton
I always saw Jordan as a kind of modern day Joan of Arc, a truly triumphant and beautiful individual who paved the way through her sheer courage and unique style in the 70s and 80s to inspire others who will surely follow in her footsteps for generations to come.. a true legend…!
When Jordan left the London Punk Scene, she bred and showed Burmese cats. Her beloved 'Berry' (Supreme UK Imperial Gold Grand Champion and Supreme UK Imperial Gold Premier Mainman Kisschase) achieved the highest ever award. Jordan was dedicated to being the best and will be remembered and loved for her achievements and magnetic personality.
(c) Sean Farrell 2009
(c) Sean Farrell 2009
Birds of a feather - Punk together 💜
I hope you are Queen of wherever you are x
Jordan, Spizz and Luca Comencini at the Dublin Castle in Camden before the book launch and Spizzenergi performance
Jordan was wonderful - and remains so. Her influence continues to reach far and wide, encouraging us to live in our curiosity, live more boldly, live as an artist using the full spectrum of colours, questioning everything. I will always remember her with great affection, respect and admiration. Happy spirit birthday, Jordan.
I never met Jordan but as a teenager I watched from afar in the mid 70s as she was part of the punk vanguard, a social-music revolution that came along and changed the landscape of fashion, pop music, and culture forever. Alongside others such as Rotten and Siouxsie, Jordan showed us that being individual was of paramount importance; uniqueness, and not conformity, being the most valuable commodity to possess. Every generation needs game-changers, and Jordan was surely one for us.
At the British Library
Photo Fenris Oswin - 100 Club Event
Photo Fenris Oswin - 100 Club Event
Photo Fenris Oswin - Book Launch
Photo Fenris Oswin - Book Launch
Photo Fenris Oswin - Book Launch
Photo Fenris Oswin - with Sylvain Sylvain
Photo Tara, with John Robb and Scare Taxi.
- Corrinne Gunn. "Amazing evening watching Idles at Brighton Dome. Jordan asked who the band was I had on my tee. The last time I saw Jordon at a gig at the Hope & Ruin she mentioned that it was me who had got her into Fontaines D.C. As you can imagine I was proud of that. What a compliment 🖤"
The Official Jordan Memorial Charity Concert - Brighton Concorde 2, 29 May 2022
In recent times, Jordan became a familiar face on the Brighton area music scene, frequently attending gigs with an infectious enthusiasm and a broad minded curiosity that endeared her to everyone she met.
In conjunction with Black Rabbit Productions, Jordan's partner Nick Linazasoro organised a Memorial Charity Concert at the Concorde 2 in Brighton on the 29th May, featuring specially selected acts who either were friends of Jordan’s or produced music that she loved.
The proceeds from this all-day event are going to two causes that were special to her: Cats Protection and the Music Venue Trust.
You can read about the event here.
- Captain Sensible performing with Johnny Moped at Concorde 2
- Gary Valentine with Bootleg Blondie live
- Johnny Moped live
- John Robb
- Luca from Spizzenergi live
- Message from Bootleg Blondie
- Cal from DITZ in the crowd
- Ed from AKDK live