Joe Corré on Burn Punk London Extinction: “It’s about whether punk rock actually meant anything”

Fans have called out Corré for burning £5 million of rare punk memorabilia

Today saw Joe Corré burn £5 million of rare punk memorabilia, beginning with the destruction of an original acetate copy of the Sex Pistols’ ‘Anarchy in the UK’.

Corré, who is the son of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McClaren, made headlines earlier this year when he vowed to burn his expensive collection in protest of Punk.London’s year-long celebration of 40 years of punk music. Corré also claimed that the celebration has been endorsed by the Queen, and criticised institutions like the BFI, Museum of London (where Corré appeared earlier this month for a Punk.London debate), and the Roundhouse for turning punk into “a museum piece.”

Fans have called out Corré on his actions, stating that the memorabilia should instead be placed in a museum or sold to help the homeless. In a new interview with Navaz Batliwalla, Corré has opened up about the stunt, saying; “It’s not about me. It’s about whether punk rock actually meant anything on one level.”

Joe Corre Burn Punk LondonDazed

He continued; “It’s about trying to get people to get their head around the difference between price and value. It’s about drawing attention to the hypocrisy of these establishment institutions now making money out of these pastiche versions. How long’s it going to be before they put a Queen’s jubilee mug with a safety pin through her nose in the palace gift shop? It’s not long is it? Forty years to go from public enemy number one to everyone seeing the UK as the birth of punk, so that’s now a valued tourist attraction item that we can use. Well go ahead but people like me will have something to say about it.”

Asked whether he’s had support for the cause, he replied; “There’s been a hell of a lot of reaction and that’s what’s important,” before adding, “I didn’t start this with a master plan, this is someone giving me an opening goal and saying do you want to be a conformist and join this thing like everybody else and celebrate Punk London?”

Vivienne Westwood also made a speech about climate change at the event, stating; “My job as an activist is to try to make things clear so that we can understand things and find the solution.” You can see footage from the speech below.

Meanwhile, Corré also responded to a rumour that he had been burning fakes. Posting on Twitter, he responded to a tweet accusing him of using fakes, writing “no you will see photos to come and a doc too!”. He has also posted that “Julian Assange is the only punk left.”

Responding to those criticising him for not selling the merchandise to help the homeless, he wrote; “Stay tuned, it’s all to come” as well as “All will be revealed…” You can see those tweets and responses below.