Seven million dollars worth of punk rock history will soon go up in flames. In what may be the most punk rock bonfire imaginable, Joe Corré, son of late Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren and punk fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, has announced plans to burn his entire collection of punk memorabilia on November 26, the 40th anniversary of the release of the Sex Pistols’ song “Anarchy in the U.K,” Smithsonian reports.
The bonfire isn’t just an appropriately anarchic tribute to the anarchic band, however. Corré says he intends to burn his collection in protest of punk’s embrace by the mainstream. Smithsonian explains that, in honor of punk’s 40th anniversary, cultural institutions around London, including BFI, the British Library, and the Design Museum are preparing celebrations and exhibits. Corré is upset about what he sees as the appropriation, and domestication, of the punk lifestyle, and claims Queen Elizabeth II has even endorsed the punk retrospectives—an act that would have been unthinkable when the Sex Pistols released their first single decades ago.
“The Queen giving 2016, the Year of Punk, her official blessing is the most frightening thing I’ve ever heard,” Corré told Crack Magazine. “Talk about alternative and punk culture being appropriated by the mainstream. Rather than a movement for change, punk has become like a [expletive] museum piece or a tribute act”.
Corré plans to make the bonfire, which will be held in London, a public event, and encourages other punks to join him in burning their own punk collections.