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Watch £5 million in punk memorabilia go up in flames

Photo: Dominic Lipinski / PA Images / Getty Images

Because there’s nothing more punk rock than having £5 million worth of stuff just lying around and the financial means to destroy it to make a point, Joe Corré—the son of Sex Pistols Svengali Malcom McLaren and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood—publicly burned his family’s collection of rare punk memorabilia in London over the weekend. Admittedly, the spectacle was worthy of Corré’s family legacy, preceded by a barrage of publicity and culminating in burning effigies of British politicians, a punk funeral barge on the River Thames, and a flaming trunk full of Sex Pistols paraphernalia launched into the gloomy November afternoon sky.

As the items—including a pair of Johnny Rotten’s pants, live recordings, and rare concert posters, among other anti-establishment miscellany—went up in flames, Corré addressed the assembled crowd, saying,

Some people are very concerned about the price of these artifacts, but the conversation we need to have is about values … 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 alternative choice, conformity in another uniform. If you want to understand the potent values of punk, confront taboos. Do not tolerate hypocrisy. Investigate the truth for yourself.


At the end of the ceremony, Westwood made a surprise appearance, popping out from the back of a bus carrying Corré’s crew to lecture the crowd on the connection between climate change, the European migration crisis, and the Man trying to keep everybody down.

You can watch video of the whole rabble-rousing event below.

[via Pitchfork and The New York Times]


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