Joe Corré – the son of Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren and designer Vivienne Westwood – is to hold a ceremonial burning of punk memorabilia in Camden, in which he’ll torch a personal collection worth more than £5 million in its entirety.
Corré, who is the founder of lingerie brand Agent Provocateur, is to burn the collection in the London borough on November 26, the 40th anniversary of the release of the Sex Pistols’ ‘Anarchy in the UK’, in part in protest at the establishment-sanctioned nature of Punk London, which takes place later this year.
Punk London is backed by the Queen, who despite the Sex Pistols singing “God save the Queen, she’s ain’t no human being” has given the event her official blessing. Institutions like the British Library and the Museum of London have also backed the event.
In a press release about his plan, Corré said: “The Queen giving 2016, the Year of Punk, her official blessing is the most frightening thing I’ve ever heard. 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.”
“A general malaise has now set in amongst the British public. 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.”
Corré – whose collection presumably includes some fairly rare Sex Pistols pieces – has asked other dissatisfied punks to join him on November 26. The ‘Punk London’ event has received a lottery grant of £99,000, and also involves Rough Trade and The Roundhouse.
In 2015, a story about the Sex Pistols logo appearing on Virgin credit cards was also met with contempt.
In a press release, Virgin Money said it’s “time for consumers to put a little bit of rebellion in their pocket”. Michele Greene, the bank’s director of cards, adds: “In launching these cards, we wanted to celebrate Virgin’s heritage and difference. The Sex Pistols challenged convention and the established ways of thinking – just as we are doing today in our quest to shake up UK banking”.
Corré’s father McLaren passed away in 2010.