Punk is Dead…Long Live Punk

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So I just heard that my brother Joe is going to burn his collection of Punk memorabilia in disgust at the mainstream ‘acceptance’ of the movement, in particular because of the event later this year to ‘celebrate’ 40 years since the single ‘Anarchy in the UK’ was released.
I completely agree with him & think that his act is completely in the spirit of Punk.
The mainstream hated Punk when it happened & it still would hate it if it happened today as it confronted & held up a mirror to its hypocrisy. The hypocrisy that is still here.
Punk was anti-establishment & Joe’s act is to make sure that they know it still is.
Punk is not about the old songs, clothes & look. Punk is an attitude & wherever it exists today it does not look the same. Punk does not have a uniform.
If you want to be a Punk then fight for justice in the world & that is dangerous, like Punk was at the time.
Join Climate Revolution…



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16 thoughts on “Punk is Dead…Long Live Punk

  1. I did wonder whether you would comment on this when I read it on the news.

    I don’t think punk is dead. How can it die? Particularly if you see it as an attitude. It’s not just about the image or the music.
    I do see where Joe is coming from but aside from that, Westwood and Mcclaren’ clothing is obviously a huge and important part of the image of punk and of the culture that was created. He is in a position where this is unnecessary. I know it’s hard to be original now, everything has already been done, but to burn such an important collection of valuable and collectable art/fashion is, I feel is a stupid and flippant excuse for attention. Why would Joe not sell or donate the items? Your family are very wealthy, burning £5million is a ridiculous statement to make, in the name of punk or otherwise. Particularly in the climate in which we unfortunately live. This is a businessman who sold his underwear company for over £50million. I more understand the refusal of an MBE but I can’t see the relevance of this ‘protest’.

    The David Nolan comment “What Joe Corre is doing is brilliant, If he’s going to upset the sort of people who get upset over this sort of thing, great. I wouldn’t be surprised if all this is exposed as a stunt – a way to rouse people’s anger. If that’s the case, it’s even better.” Is fair enough but to band about claiming to burn £5million is going to cause more than just punk upset.

    I would like to know other peoples opinions. Whether they see this as just a rich boy looking for something to do or do they honestly think it’s a true needed statement today and what it will achieve?

    Thanks for the post Ben.

  2. Don’t think this is the right response, destroying £5 millions worth of gear, be more PUNK to give it away

  3. A thank you to anyone who wants to comment about this post as it is rather confrontational:-)
    …I think that none of you are getting the point(& that’s why I said ‘Punk is Dead’).
    5,000,000 pounds is an obscene amount of money & the onus should be on the people who want to pay that much, to instead give it to charity…
    I’m sorry, the stuff was made for a political movement that wanted to wake people up from the role that THEY are playing in the picture of hypocrisy & acquiescence that lets people all over the world suffer in the most horrible way. The people who believe in ‘The Natural Order of Things’(the people at the top or more dangerously the people who want to be at the top because they fuel the system)…(for instance anyone who buys a lottery ticket cause they want to be ‘rich’).
    If Joe doesn’t want to let these people start doing their ‘investing’&'speculating’ in something which fought against this type of thinking, then it is his right & it is a reminder to you all, that Punk demands a change.
    A shirt in a display box is no kind of change.
    …& don’t think that Joe’s decision is easy for him. The stuff is lovely & he kept it for a reason…Trying to make the world to change is Hard & takes a sacrifice.

  4. I can’t believe anyone considers this is some big ‘punk’ statement. Joe will never ever know the feeling of hunger, never feel the cold, never wonder where his next fiver is coming from (or next million even)… the whole lot could be auctioned off and every penny given to people who will experience one or all of those things. If he thinks so little of it why has he kept it all? If he thinks so little of the 40 Years Of Punk events, why hasn’t he used his not inconsiderable influence and wealth to put on counter events that have more significance than people who weren’t there hosting seminars and cosy sofa chats regurgitating the same old stories?
    I sincerely hope this is just some very cleverly orchestrated publicity stunt (the actual announcement) ahead of some new planned venture. Whatever the case, there are far better things that can be done with the stuff or the money its valued at than what is being proposed.

    • What are you on about..Never know hunger?…Never know poverty?
      Our family started from nothing.
      Giving the ‘money’ to charity is a drop in the ocean (George Osbourne wants to cut £1.2 billion off personal independent payments to disabled people just for a start & what about the refugee crisis?)
      Just giving to charity will not correct these issues. A political change is needed & that is what Punk calls for.
      On another point…He IS putting on a counter event…Burn old Punk. It’s got too Safe. Join in.
      Come to an Anti-Fracking Demonstration if you want counter culture…

    Posted on http://crackmagazine.net/
    Mar 16, 2016 10:59am

    He is absolutely right – 100% right. don’t you get it… whether he’s got £5 worth of memorabilia or £5,000,000 what difference does it make to you what he does with, if he feels that the right thing to do is destroy it in light of his beliefs then who are you to say differently. The whole thing about society ‘embracing’ punk rock is nauseating. it’s like Che Guevara’s image being abused and utilised as a symbol of capitalism in order to shift product – something that is so contrary to the spirit of the man is to be literarily absurd and furthermore an abuse of his memory and everything he believed in and set out to do. To see his image so brazenly commercialised would appal and disgust him, it’s absolutely the same with punk. I don’t think anyone can doubt Joe Corre’s credentials, he wasn’t prepared to swill champagne with Tony Blair and thereby add his seal of approval to the murderous and disastrous wars he led us into by accepting his MBE

  6. I see where the idea to destroy punk memorabilia would come from, especially as it would be worth millions in capitalist circles. Anything to stop profit in the wrong hands is brave and progressive. Perhaps the most appropriate response would be to give it all away to a museum, such as the V&A who’s remit is to retain, restore and educate using art and fashion. If one of these pieces inspires someone, surely that is the greatest work of art. Destroying art is a crime, even as a work of art or a protest. It harks back to the darkest days of holocaust and repression in human society, and surely that was what punk was rallying against in the first place?It’s difficult, but essentially its freedom of choice. Agree or disagree, it has raised the question. No one really knows the right answer I guess but personal choice and expression I guess is truly “punk”.

  7. Hi Ben/Joe,
    Can only presume that you’re having a bit of a laugh after reading the last line of your ‘defence’ of Joe’s decision? How else can you make sense of burning £5 million of ‘memorabilia’ whilst urging everyone to join the fight for ‘climate change’? Let’s do the ‘science’ here – you’re ‘burning’ ie reducing to ‘CO2′ what must be a considerable amount of stuff…which in turn will – can you see where this is going yet?? – become yet more ‘man’ made pollution accelerating the problem of…drum-roll please!…CLIMATE CHANGE. Bury it, cut it up, shred it…give it to the students at Central Saint Martin’s to re-purpose into clothes for refugees but PLEASE don’t BURN it!! Burning it will release all those noxious materials – the inks, the dyes – into the atmosphere as toxic CO2!! Ben I urge YOU to join the fight against Joe adding to the issue of climate change.

    Joe it may be your collection but it is – I’m sure your mother would agree – OUR earth, our daughters’ and sons’ planet and climate…FFS don’t burn it and add to the problem.

    Yours respectfully,

    David Dorrell

  8. Who cares what he does with it. Not going to change my life. The only punk band now is Pussy Riot.

  9. A reductive and pointless exercise. Like everything else this family does these days. Endless recycled designs and ideas which were usually somebody else’s. Let’s be really punk and burn 5 million quids worth of the rubbish designed by this company.

    • Perhaps we always forget that vivienne westwood not just the punk but also all he has done since … before speaking, perhaps the better to study to avoid saying stupid things …

      forse ci scordiamo sempre che vivienne westwood non e solo il punk ma e anche tutto quello che ha fatto in seguito…prima di parlare forse e meglio studiare per evitare di dire stupidate…


  10. My first thought to this was WTH!!!! What a waste of a collection, what a waste of money, what an incredibly stupid idea to burn (and loose forever) history to make a point about PUNK. The reactions have been around the value and content of the memorabilia but are these actually important or just a smoke screen to add weight to the action and the point.

    ‘What is it that is actually being destroyed’ (pun intended) and ‘is it actually worth that much’? We (the public) don’t know what’s in the collection; ripped jeans has been mentioned but you can buy these from Primark. It could include posters, fanzines, flyers or something, or it could include original Westwood/McLaren creations but a lot of museums/private collectors probably have loads of this stuff. It could include original Sex Pistols material from the Pistol/McLaren days but Joe wasn’t even a teenager when the Sex Pistols formed, he was about 9/10 years old, so anything in the collection is stuff he has either inherited or collected himself. So it might be that the memorabilia might not be worth that much, or even a great loss in the great scheme of things if burned. For me, the value is in the fact in that is Joe’s collection and him being the son of. Province and a collections coverage can add the 0000 to the £.

    If I put aside the £ and the content I’m left with an action (a PUNK performance art piece possibly) to say fuck off to the establishment, a fuck off to the commercialization of PUNK, a fuck off to its celebration, a fuck off to the normalization of PUNK. But is ‘burning stuff’ (possibly not worth that much and possibly not that unique) worth it to make a point about PUNK being an attitude. Unfortunately I can’t think of anything less PUNK or les important in the current context of the world and its problems. I can’t see how burning memorabilia is PUNK; its only kicking against a couple of exhibitions and a few celebrations. Giving clothes to a refugee and helping them out, and then hopefully seeing one wear a DESTROY t-shirt appearing in a photo in the Daily Mail, to me, would be PUNK, and a huge subversive fuck off action.

    It states above that the mainstream would hate PUNK if it happened again. I’m not sure it would, or even get a chance to hate it as it would be normalised to quickly via social media, instergrammed to death before it could ever become anything as anti-establishment as PUNK. We don’t have youth cultures any more because the mainstream picks up on them and neutralises them before they can form a political/attitude unique to themselves.

    Just a few thoughts (might be a lot of old rubbish) on the subject.

  11. you would burn a picture of Leonardo and Raphael?
    also what Vivienne Westwood has created and art …

    brucereste voi un quadro di Leonardo o Raffaello?
    anche quello che vivienne westwood ha creato e’ arte…


  12. I have been a fan of westwood from the begining ,and when i was in my 20s i could never aford ,to buy any of it ,now i am aproaching 60i have a few very nice pieces ,vivienne and malcome may have ,been the pioneers of amovement ,called punkrock ,and were well aware of the power of an image ,or a slogan ,punk to my generation ,was an energy ,clothing was do it yourself ,fashion did play its part ,as soon as the 1977 jubilee ,was in full swing ,the high street jumped on the bandwagon ,and malcome milked it to death with ,rock n roll swindle propoganda .has llo g been used as a slogan ,and the burning of these artifacts,that we as yooths ,could ill aford ,mr corries disision ,to set fire to his collection is entirly up to him ,but if we were to burn all our culture ,were would you get your ideas ,burn the books burn the clothes burn the pictures ,i suppose it wont be done in some back garden ,and will have a anarchy in the uk playing in the background ,i wanted to make a comment ,because ,i think its a totaly selfish act ,iafter the sacrificial burring ,what will rise from the. Ashes ,?is it all over for all the 50 somethings , that held a idea ,and in some way still ,have a little punk spirit , i dought it .but some one will have five seconds on the news ,a 5 million pounds of history wil have gone up in smoke ,i suppose most of the population will say so what ,,buy less choose well and dont be hoodwinked ,my future dream is not your shopiping sceam !!!!!!!