Punk memorabilia worth £5million has gone up in smoke in a celebration of the rebellious spirit and attitude which revolutionised music.
The son of designer Vivienne Westwood and Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren burnt his entire collection of punk items.
Businessman Joe Corré’s £5million punk haul included personal items belonging to his father and vintage clothing designed by his mother.
The 48-year-old also set the haul on fire in protest over an event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of the Sex Pistols debut single, Anarchy in the UK.
On Thursday he gave a press conference and said that his father would have been ‘proud’ of him burning the collection and would have found it ‘hilarious’.
Explaining why he was doing it, Corré added that ‘Punk is Dead’ before saying that the genre has ‘lost all of its bite’.
Speaking at Bloomsbury House, London, he said: ‘Punk has been castrated and neutered by the corporate sector and the state. Hung, drawn and quartered.’
He gave his views two days before the 40th anniversary of the release of Anarchy in the UK, which signified the launch of punk.
Corré added: ‘Young people today, angry youth, need real solutions not the now conformist, sanitised and sterilised uniform of punk. It has no currency any more. Punk has lost all of its bite.’
Corré revealed that he would burn a pair of bondage trousers that were made especially for him when he was 10 and a pair of Johnny Rotten’s trousers. He also burnt rare posters and bootlegs of live recordings.
He added that he had once sold his punk collection to raise money to start the lingerie shop Agent Provocateur, only to later buy it back again.
He pointed out he gives a lot of money to charity namely youth causes, and 80 per cent of the proceeds of a documentary about his £5 million punk fire will go to charity.
Corré was asked what his father would think of him burning his punk collection and replied: ‘He would probably have been proud of me and think it’s hilarious.’
Independent experts valued his collection being worth between £5million to £10 million.
However Corre stated museums would not display most of the graphics associated with punk due to their extremity including images of swastikas and pedophilia.
In a post on his personal website in June, Corré wrote: ‘I Hear there is this PUNK LONDON celebration of forty years since the release of ANARCHY IN THE UK!…
‘First of all why forty years? Funny number really, feels just like someone thought it might drum a bit of trade when there’s no Royal wedding to distract us.
He added: ‘Who’s really behind this thing?…Where is all this money going?’
The post also suggests the event will be held outside Buckingham Palace.
However Corré, who co-founded Agent Provocateur in 1994, also had a dysfunctional relationship with his father who left his son nothing in his will when he died of mesothelioma — a form of cancer — in 2010.
Instead McLaren left everything to his long-time girlfriend, Young Kim.
And it seems Corré and his father had a strained relationship.
Just months after his father died, Corré launched a bitter legal battle over his will because he left his fortune to his young girlfriend.
At the time, Corré argued his father – famed for founding the Sex Pistols – was too ill to sign.
But the pair had a complicated friendship and had fallen out which resulted in them not speaking for a while.
McLaren said in 2008: ‘My son and his family don’t like me.’ He suggested this was because Corré knew he should have been aborted after McLaren and Westwood met.
Corré added: ‘He (my father) would have taken this opportunity to say something about it. Whether he would agree with burning it all or not, I think he would have done.’
The event comes after Corré tried to sell his original acetate version of Anarchy in the UK on eBay for £1milllion to raise money for charity.