Joe Corre, the son of Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren and fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood, has set fire to items on the 40th anniversary of the Sex Pistols debut single. The Punk memorabilia said to be worth £5m ($6m) was torched in the middle of the River Thames.
The 48-year-old who threatened to destroy the iconic items last summer told the crowd that “punk was never meant to be nostalgic”. The protest was aimed at official plans to celebrate the movement’s 40th anniversary. Mr. Corre said his collection of clothes, posters, and other music-related items was worth £5m. Effigies of former Prime Minister David Cameron, ex-Chancellor George Osborne, and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson were among those engulfed in flames as part of the protest, on a boat near the Albert Bridge in Chelsea, London.
Joe Corre, who founded lingerie company Agent Provocateur, has been critical of Punk London’s plans to mark 40 years of the sub-culture. The plans, which include events, gigs, and exhibitions, is supported by groups including the Mayor of London, British Library and British Film Institute (BFI). “Punk was never, never meant to be nostalgic – and you can’t learn how to be one at a Museum of London workshop,” said Mr. Corre on Saturday. “Punk has become another marketing tool to sell you something you don’t need.
“The illusion of an alternative choice. Conformity in another uniform.”
The Sex Pistols’ debut single “Anarchy in the UK” was released on November 26, 1976 – exactly four decades ago.
Sex Pistols bass guitarist Glen Matlock told Sky News that Mr Corre’s protest was “dopey”. “I want to paraphrase Monty Python – he’s not the savior, he’s a naughty boy. I think that Joe is not the anti-Christ, I think he’s a nincompoop,” Mr. Matlock said.
Dame Vivienne told the crowd to switch to green energy following her son’s demonstration. Leaning out of the back window on the top of a green double-decker bus, parked on the river bank, she said: “This is the first step towards a free world. It’s the most important thing you could ever do in your life.” Several fire engines, a fire service boat, and police cars attended the protest.
Maybe this was actually the ultimate Punk thing to do!
Photo: Via Joe Corre Twitter