Joe Corré — spawn of punk icons, social activist, and multimillionaire founder of British lingerie chain Agent Provocateur — has announced plans to burn his $7 million collection of punk memorabilia. He’s calling upon fellow non-posers with money to burn to destroy their punk stuff along with him, in protest of the mainstream appropriation and commodification of the subculture.
Corré, son of punk fashion legend Dame Vivienne Westwood and Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, is particularly outraged by “Punk London,” a citywide series of events celebrating punk history. Taking place later this year, it’s funded by the National Lottery and sponsored by institutions like the British Library and the Museum of London, along with Rough Trade and the BFI. Also on board, Corré says, is the Queen herself, who has apparently forgiven the Sex Pistols for accusing her of running “a fascist regime” in their 1977 track “God Save the Queen.”
“The Queen giving 2016, the Year of Punk, her official blessing is the most frightening thing I’ve ever heard,” Corré said in a press release. “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.”
In protest, Corré plans to ignite his punk stuff in Camden, London on November 26, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Sex Pistols single “Anarchy in the UK.” He hasn’t announced what exactly his collection comprises, but it likely includes lots of his mom’s expensive punk clothing designs.
“A general malaise has now set in amongst the British public,” Corré added. “People are feeling numb. 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.”
If punk wasn’t dead already, “Punk London” might help finish it off, with this multimillionaire punk scion’s bratty protest as a fitting funeral pyre.