If punk isn’t dead, is it fated to perish in flames? Very possibly, thanks to Joseph Corré, son of fashion designer/punk royalty Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, who helped pioneer punk and managed the Sex Pistols.
Corré, a businessman who fancies himself a bit of an artist, has announced that he’ll set fire to his $7.1 million collection of punk memorabilia in a public ritual burning in Camden, London. The decision seems to have been made in response to the undeniable fact that punk is no longer punk. In a press release, Corré says, “The Queen giving 2016, the Year of Punk, her official blessing is the most frightening thing I’ve ever heard.” He continues, “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.”
Could Corré’s decision have anything to do with the fact that his father, an important figure in punk, wrote him out of his will? Specifically, he wrote, “My son shall not get anything whatsoever, under any circumstances.” Probably not!
As The Cut writer Véronique Hyland points out, Corré’s track record is not entirely “punk,” and has involved helping Westwood in her activism and investing in a cosmetics company, Illamasqua, which, if it matters, was already successful. This dude thinks setting a bunch of stuff on fire is punk? Try investing in a risky business, man.
Anyway, the radical bonfire is set for November 26, the 40th anniversary of the Sex Pistols’ Anarchy in the UK. The blaze will be on public display. It’ll also probably be livestreamed, because the future is now, and punk is, at the very least, misunderstood.