— Fully Focused (@UKfullyfocused) November 26, 2016
While London was set to host a year of events, gigs, films, talks and exhibits to commemorate “40 years of punk rock heritage and its ongoing influence in London”, something quite unexpected happened. Some of the most valuable items of punk history were set on fire on the Thames river.
Joe Corré, the son of fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren (who largely initiated the punk movement back in the 70s), burned his $6.24 million punk memorabilia collection on Saturday to mark the 40th anniversary of the release of the Sex Pistols’ song Anarchy in the UK.
Corré’s collection consisted of records, clothing and other items from the legendary punk band, which he chose to burn in a protest against Punk.London, an initiative to celebrate the heritage of the genre 40 years after his father’s band’s first release.
On his blog, Corré said that “If Punk is now so firmly a part of British cultural tourism and all that’s left of it is a pose, then it is conformist and we ought to treat it like beefeaters,” and that burning his collection is his way of attacking “the hypocrisy at the core of this hijacking of 40 years of Anarchy in the UK.”
Corré’s organization, Burn Punk London, streamed the event live on YouTube, showing a small fire burning beside a boat on a river in London. Soon enough, a vessel from local fire services arrived and began spraying water on the collection.
Reportedly, Vivienne Westwood supported Corre’s own “protest”.
However the reaction on social media was mixed with some praising his punk attitude and others criticizing him.
— Joe Corré (@realjoecorre) November 25, 2016
— Pate Punk (@RufusCarter) November 26, 2016
— Alexandra Ma (@AlexandraMa15) November 26, 2016
Wish I had a five million collection I could burn. If punk is dead it's clueless privileged tossers like you who have killed it #joecorre
— crywank (@jamescrywank) November 26, 2016
@realjoecorre the point is about value – the spirit of punk is dead leaving nothing but fancy rags flapping in the wind of indifference.
— (((MR RICH.10.4.1))) (@mert_rich) November 26, 2016
— aido (@tpdotp) November 26, 2016
Isn't burning a load of valuable punk stuff cos you're over punk just a bit …. Punk ?
— django django (@thedjangos) November 25, 2016
Malcolm McLaren's son Joe Corre and me after he burned £5 million of collectible Sex Pistols and 70s punk memorabilia. pic.twitter.com/tRYuPTAltg
— Ron Gompertz (@chrismukkah) November 26, 2016