He threatened he’d do it–and yesterday he did.
In a fit of perverse performance art, Joe Corré, the son of Sex Pistols svengali Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, burned £5 million (~$8.5 million CAD) worth of punk memorabilia on a barge in the middle of the Thames. Why? To protest the corporatization of punk rock. To Corré, punk is now nothing more than a commodity to be exploited by the forces of capitalism.
The chosen date–November 26–was deliberate: the 40th anniversary of the release of the Sex Pistols’ first single, “God Save the Queen.” The location–near Albert Bridge in the affluent Chelsea of London–was also carefully chosen. About 100 people turned up.
The Guardian reports:
Corre, who was wearing a top hat and bandana tied around his head, told the crowd before setting the items alight: “Punk was never, never meant to be nostalgic – and you can’t learn how to be one at a Museum of London workshop.
“Punk has become another marketing tool to sell you something you don’t need. The illusion of an alternative choice. Conformity in another uniform.
Dummies of David Cameron, Theresa May and George Osborne were among those engulfed in flames, as well as a chest containing clothes, posters and other memorabilia belonging to Corré.
As Pistols guitarist Glen Matlock put it, the protest was “dopey.”