The son of former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren is to burn his 5 million pound ($7 million) collection of punk memorabilia after saying the subversive music genre had been appropriated by the mainstream.
The anarchic Sex Pistols band popularized punk music through songs such as ‘God Save the Queen’, which attacked the British monarch with lyrics including: “she ain’t no human being, there is no future in England’s dreaming”.
“Rather than a movement for change, punk has become like a museum piece or a tribute act,” Joe Corre, whose mother is fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, said in an emailed statement.
The Sex Pistols formed in 1975 and sparked controversies galore, with their appearances often resulting in chaos. The BBC refused to air the 1977 song “God Save The Queen”, released during Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee.
Punk rock has been increasingly brought into the mainstream over recent years and a series of events under the banner ‘Punk.London’ is being held in London to celebrate its history, backed by the British Library and the National Lottery.
Exhibitions, gigs, films and talks will take place, with organizers describing the genre as “a rallying call for direct action”.
But Corre, who co-founded the lingerie brand Agent Provocateur, said he would burn his entire collection of punk memorabilia on Nov. 26, the 40th anniversary of the release of the Sex Pistols’ debut single “Anarchy in the U.K.”, bemoaning what he called a general “malaise” in Britain.
“People don’t feel they have a voice anymore. The most dangerous thing is that they have stopped fighting for what they believe in,” he said.