A man with familial ties to punk royalty is about to prove just how punk he is by burning millions of dollars worth of punk memorabilia in a protest against… punk?
Joe Corré, the son of late Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, has announced plans to torch his entire punk collection, as a big ol’ Fuck You to the City Of London, which is throwing a series of celebratory events to mark the “40th Anniversary of Punk”.
That’s right. Old mate is well pissed that the punk genre, which was born out of subcultural rebellion against the establishment, is now being celebrated… by the establishment.
“The Queen giving 2016, the Year of Punk, her official blessing is the most frightening thing I’ve ever heard,” Corré said in a statement (via Rolling Stone). “Talk about alternative and punk culture being appropriated by the mainstream. Rather than a movement for change, punk has become like a fucking museum piece or a tribute act.”
And perhaps channelling the late GG Allin, he’s about to take a big old shit on their parade, and then set fire to the shit.
Corré plans to go Salem Witch Trials on his entire punk collection — which he estimates is worth £5 million (that approximately AUD$9.5 million folks) — in London’s Camden district on November 26th, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the release of the Sex Pistols’ debut single, Anarchy in the U.K.
And he’s also urging others to get in on the action, by bringing their own collector’s items to sacrifice to the Red God as well.
As RS reports, the thing that’s pissing the rebellious millionaire off the most is the corporate and state sponsorship of Punk.London, a year-long series of concerts, film screenings, talks and exhibits celebrating punk music.
Among its partners are the British Film Institute, the British Fashion Council, Live Nation, Universal Music, the Museum of London and the British Library, with support from the mayor of London, with a £99,000 funding grant courtesy of the National Lottery.
In his statement justifying the
pointless act of criminal wastefulness bold act of protest, Corré — who followed in his mother’s fashion footsteps and founded the lingerie retailer Agent Provocateur — went on to compare 2016 to 1976, saying that the British public suffers from the same kind of “general malaise” that gave birth to punk in the first place.
“People are feeling numb,” he said. “And with numbness comes complacency. People don’t feel they have a voice anymore. The most dangerous thing is that they have stopped fighting for what they believe in. They have given up the chase. We need to explode all the shit once more.”
Which is a fair call. But somehow I don’t think torching almost $10 million worth of collector’s items – presumably including some rare if not one-of-a-kind Sex Pistols pieces – is going to achieve that, or much else rather than everyone thinking you’re a massive wanker.
Old mate could always sell off the memorabilia and then use the cash to invest in underground music venues or other initiatives to nurture new musical subcultures. Hell, why not invest it in an education program to teach punk musicians how to actually play their instruments?
But I guess that wouldn’t be very punk now, would it.
Watch: Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The UK Live 1976