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Sex Pistols, “God Save the Queen” (image via Wikimedia Commons)

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.

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Carey Dunne

Carey Dunne is a Brooklyn-based writer covering arts and culture. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Baffler, The Village Voice, and elsewhere.

13 replies on “Fuck the Queen! Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s Son to Burn $7 Million of Punk Memorabilia”

  1. Perhaps it’s about time this stuff was burned. We’ll all know, once the fire is out.

    Hyperbole aside, if “The Queen giving 2016, the Year of Punk, her official blessing is the most frightening thing” he’s ever heard, Corre has certainly led a very sheltered life.

    1. the joke is the queen never said anything about it. it was in the paper and basically Corre has got the wrong end of the stick

      1. Whether it’s true or not, it’s what he said (and one must take it that “most frightening” is what he means).

      1. Yes!

        But just how “punk” is celebrating a 40th anniversary? Sounds rather “mainstream” to me.

  2. Have you read “Society & the Spectacle”. It could be that he would prefer that punk memorabilia and documents of that time remain outside the capitalist norm or museum show. If they are his items it seems he can do as he wishes…

  3. A weird stance to take as punk originally came from NYC and Cleveland. All Malcolm McLaren did was put punk in a uniform and commodify it.

  4. Punk is dead. It is no longer a stance and a mindset but a fashion statement. People have no idea what was behind the movement, only what it looked like. Once the corporations infiltrated the style, the mentality faded away. Let the funeral pyre burn!

  5. Good! Since punk, we’ve had 35 years of Thatcherism, aka global Neoliberalism, resulting in gross inequality that’s reached levels not seen since the gilded age. Our economic policies work well for 1% of us, VERY well for 0.01% of us, and not at all for almost all of us. After the banks took down the global economy in an orgy of fraud, cocaine and prostitutes, our gov pumps the zombie economy full of QE, which does little but drive up asset prices in real estate, art and other fetish objects – like punk memorabilia. The best thing to do is take it these little trinkets of rebellion out of circulation. If there were any rebellion worth celebrating, we’d find it in the streets. Punk fetish rubbish ought to be burned in the streets. Business as usual is suicide. Dead punk is worthless. A new and living punk might save us.

    End perpetual war of terror. End mass surveillance. End the corporate welfare state. Create fully automated luxury communism. Fuck Malcolm McLaren.

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