vivienne westwood's son is burning $7 million of punk memorabilia to prove punk isn't dead

He's calling on other fans to join him in destroying their merch on November 26.

by Hannah Ongley
15 March 2016, 7:30pm

When the Sex Pistols first recorded their controversial lyrics "God save the queen / The fascist regime... God save the queen / She ain't no human being" in 1976, it's unlikely they would ever have imagined the queen giving her blessing to a year-long celebration of punk. However that's exactly what is happening as London looks forward to the anti-establishment genre's official 40th anniversary on November 26 this year. The BFI, the British Library, the Design Museum, Museum of London, The Photographers' Gallery, Rough Trade, the Roundhouse, and the Mayor of London have also joined forces to give some establishment backing to the event. 

Unsurprisingly, some people think Punk London 2016 is no more punk than Martha Stewart's punk rock party guide or a Sex Pistols diaper bag. One of these people is Joe Corré, founder of Agent Provocateur and son of punk fashion doyenne Vivienne Westwood. Corré plans to commemorate November 26 by burning his entire $7m collection of punk memorabilia.

"The Queen giving 2016, the Year of Punk, her official blessing is the most frightening thing I've ever heard," Corré said in the most punk press release ever. "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."

Corré appears to take particular issue with the $140,000 grant the festival received from the Lottery Fund, and remains convinced that real punk spirit is as necessary as ever. "A general malaise has now set in amongst the British public," he says. "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."

He's calling on other anarchists in the UK to join him in destroying their merch on the sacred date. 


Text Hannah Ongley
Image via Flickr

Vivienne Westwood
Malcolm McLaren
punk london
Joe Corré
punk memorabilia