Tomorrow Millions of Dollars of Rare Punk Memorabilia Will Deliberately Be Set on Fire.

Earlier this year, Joe Corré, the son of Sex Pistols manager/svengali Malcolm McLaren, will set £5 million of rare punk memorabilia alight in protest to what punk has become. This bit of performance art will demonstrate his stance against the commoditization of real punk.

Setting aside the fact that Malcolm created the Sex Pistols and originally exploited punk as a way to advertise his bondage shop in the King’s Road called Sex (Punk began as a commodity!), there must be millions of music fans who are cringing in horror. “Nooooooooo! How can you do this?”  The Guardian picks up the story:

Proclaiming London’s punk scene dead at the turn of the millennium, Malcolm McLaren, the former manager of the Sex Pistols, declared he would enter the race for mayor of the capital, with a manifesto that promised to legalise brothels and sell alcohol in libraries.

Seventeen years may have passed but the cause has, once again, been picked up by his son, Joe Corré. On Saturday, he will set fire to £5m worth of rare punk memorabilia in a protest, saying that punk has become nothing more than a “McDonald’s brand … owned by the state, establishment and corporations”.

According to Corré, “it’s time we threw it all on the fire and started again” – and he believes his father would find the ceremonial burning “hilarious”.

The valuable items that will be set alight include rare Sex Pistols recordings, clothing belonging to Johnny Rotten and Corré’s mother, Vivienne Westwood, and a Sid Vicious doll embossed with a swastika.

Corré said: “I think this is the right opportunity to say: you know what? Punk is dead. Stop conning a younger generation that it somehow has any currency to deal with the issues that they face or has any currency to create the way out of the issues that they face. It’s not and it’s time to think about something else.”

There are three possible locations for the blaze – Chelsea, Camden or Brixton – but the final choice will not be announced until Saturday morning to prevent fans and collectors trying to save the artefacts from the pyre.

Read on.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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