Let’s get a few things straight, I started to work for myself from an early age out of necessity. With creative ideas and hard work I made a financial success of Agent Provocateur but I haven’t had any involvement with that company for years and I find it now completely boring. No one ever gave me anything or gave my parents anything either for that matter. I have earned everything I have. Truthfully Punk gave me the confidence to be able to do that. People assume too much, they make judgments based on information from the media they have been conditioned by. The whole idea of Punk was to turn all that propaganda on its head and to find out the truth for yourself.

There is a significant difference between value and price that’s too often, tragically, overlooked and not considered. I want a conversation in the public realm where everybody is invited to ask and think about what this memorabilia is really worth and why it’s worth anything at all? Punk was never meant to be nostalgic but if you want to take a trip down memory lane then let’s not white wash many of the realities. My experience of growing up in a South London household at the centre of punk was that grown men would spit in my face in the street for being a punk at nine or ten years old. Our flat was surrounded by National Front thugs who smashed our windows and made continuous death threats, my parents shop was always being smashed up by Chelsea football fans or raided by the police, people were arrested and charged for wearing the clothes in public. People were bashed up, cut up and stabbed, The Sex Pistols records were banned from the radio, you couldn’t buy them in the shops, they were banned from playing gigs up and down the country. They still made it to Number One in the charts but then there was no Number One that week. The charts started at Number Two!

We were hated by the establishment, hounded by the media, and all the people that wanted to fit in, and loved by generation NO FUTURE ! Who in turn didn’t really know what to do…. aside from wear the UNIFORM and jump about a bit…. but some of them found the spark they needed to believe THEY could CREATE their own way out of NO FUTURE, together with the kinship and confidence it inspired in people who did not fit in anywhere else and also had the bollocks to stand up and say “NO, I DO NOT ACCEPT THIS STATE OF AFFAIRS, I am not going to take this NINSDOL pill anymore” (Nationalist Idolatry, Non Stop Distraction and Organised Lying), which to me was the most positive and lasting legacy from PUNK.

So then one day I hear there is this PUNK LONDON celebration of forty years since the release of ANARCHY IN THE UK! Supported by and set up to benefit the British Tourist Industry, The British Fashion Council, The British Museum, The Mayor of London!?  WHAT !? 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. Who’s really behind this thing? The Heritage Lottery fund? The Mayor?  Where is all this money going? Is it going to support the homeless? The fund for old punkers UNIFOORMS? When are they going to start selling GOD SAVE the QUEEN mugs with a safety pin through her nose at the palace gift shop ?!!?? Punk has been used by the establishment to show how ‘fair’ British society is because they are so “tolerant, open and democratic, it’s in fashion”, every high street store pedals their own cliched version, credit cards, insurance, Burberry the 1970’s purveyor of the “wankers mac” is now punk in the British ‘tradisheeaan’ etc etc. So what the fuck does it mean anymore? Culture in decline is marked by conformity of opinion.

If Punk is now so firmly a part of British cultural tourism and all that’s left of it is a pose, then it is conformist and we ought to treat it like beefeaters, Routemasters and Royal guards, pay them to titillate the tourists and give them a UNIFORM allowance.

There are parallels to be drawn between the no future generation of the 1970’s and todays. Our environment is being destroyed at a rate of knots, Fracking our land! TTIP! London is suffering social cleansing, having it’s guts ripped out and being turned into some sort of theme park for rich people who don’t pay their taxes whilst ordinary people cannot afford to live here! Boris Johnson has presided over that with his boys club Bullingdon morals – which are apparent in his indifference to the plight of the real problems of ordinary people in this city. What I am doing is highlighting the hypocrisy at the core of this hijacking of 40 years of Anarchy in the UK and it’s why I am inviting him to light the match on November 26th at Buckingham Palace.

Keep warm this winter make trouble.

18 thoughts on “PUNK LONDON

  1. petrolmeg says:

    I agree but instead of burning it and doing another KLF which everyone will think it is – why not display it somewhere for a year and give proceeds to a charity. What does your mother make of all this also?

  2. Pete Anderson says:

    Give it to the homeless on the streets ! or the people at The jungle in Calais. And let the fashion vultures scramble for it lol As burning it is what the fascist authoritarians would of done to it anyway. Rayant 16

  3. Les Taylor says:

    Hi Joe, I Agree in principal with what you are saying but for me personally, burning it would be heart-breaking. When I was eleven your Mum, Dad and the Pistols came along and quite literally changed my life. Yes I was really young but those early days of Punk before it became uniform still live with me forty years later. I have visited a number of the Punk London exhibitions and really enjoyed seeing the clothing and all the other related paraphernalia, it all brought back so many great memories. These items mean a lot to some who lived and enjoyed the period. Please, please don’t burn this. “Question conformity, challenge authority and never be anything less than yourself” a punk mantra I’m still aspiring too forty years later.

  4. Nasty James says:

    Hey Joe Corré!

    Burn Sex Pistols things sounds like a five-year-old bad joke,
    so you burn what you have and we others will laugh at your stupidity!

    You could have come up with something smarter to achieve reactions.
    Started a radio station or a TV channel and told your sentence.
    But now you have Joe, sold your soul to the media whores and expect sky-high response.

    I hope that the attention generally is not paid when it is so stupid that they are ashamed.
    You could have started a museum of music, art and culture steadily choose
    temerity to burn the Sex Pistols, merchandise and artifacts.

    Well, by all means. Just burn Joe, you make us collectors a favor at the same time.
    You will increase the value of all materials with the Sex Pistols, and there are lots
    in the real world. You are not alone in having Sex Pistols merchandise and artifacts!

    Have a nice life idiot

  5. Rudi says:

    So, you think punk has just become another corporate entity? And on the 40th anniversary of the release of Anarchy in the UK you intend to make this oh-so-bold statement. I think you may need to be reminded that this single was released on EMI Records, the very bastion of the establishment. The ship has well and truly sailed.

    If you want rid of this stuff just stand on a street corner and hand it out to people at random.

  6. Filthy McMurder says:

    He’s looking for your attention because he has never received any, and is jealous because his father with the Sex Pistols got everything he wanted. Fuck his attention, he’s a fucking CUNT as Jonesy would have said.

  7. GaryMHough says:

    LIke many others my immediate reaction to seeing Joe’s collection destroyed was complete outrage. I thought, jesus I was there in 1976, I’m a collector who’d love just one of these items. But the more I started to think about this, the more I started to question myself. Why should I be upset at seeing an important part of our Youth Culture and Heritage destroyed? Why am I even bothered?

    For a brief moment I forgot what Punk had been about for me. It wasn’t a comfortable job that brought enough money to buy a poster off e-bay for £500+ that would have cost at best £1.25 back in 1976.

    I didn’t get into Punk because I wanted an original GSTQ muslin cheesecloth from Sex (I had these at the time and sold them or threw them away) I got into it because aged 13 I hated being told what to do, I hated the fact my dad had to work 7 days a week to bring home the bacon while his paymasters lorded it up at his hard work and expense, that he had to go on strike to try and get a few pence more and better working conditions.

    I hated the fact authority told me what I could and couldn’t say, how I should dress, what music I should listen to, what jobs I should go for given my lack of academic qualifications etc. I hated how I was not allowed to have an opinion that differed from the party line etc. etc. and if I did I was a troublemaker.

    Today we are more materialistic than ever in my lifetime of 54 years, we let the establishment shit all over us and its time it stopped. It’s time this country got up off its knees, got the kids riled up, started to do it for ourselves and tell this country and its political shitehawks that we’ve had enough, that its not okay to state monitor us through the “Snoopers Charter” that its not okay to have homeless people on the streets, that its not okay to allow hundreds of poor, disabled people to die after having their benefits cut.

    If Joe burning these items makes even a small dent in this little lot, through nothing more than awareness then good on him.

    As for seeing these items or listening to the different take of Pretty Vacant never before released, then its a small price to pay and hey, I still have my memories. The state hasn’t taken that from me yet.

  8. Julian says:

    In today’s world few people seem connected with any “true” form of personal identity with untainted unaffected beliefs which they stand up for, fight for and if necessary sacrifice for in order to preserve them…. Joe has consistently put his money where his mouth is…! He could have stepped back, lived from the fat of his metaphorical land floating carelessly along…. But instead he swims hard against the tide of degradation working tirelessly he clearly whole heartedly “gives a shit”….. He stands up and is counted… Where Fracking is concerned he attempts to stand in front of the machine, with regards to the RainForest he’s involved in sustainable farming projects, his election campaign was something quite daring and ‘this’ his latest adventure is as I imagine undoubtedly his greatest personal sacrifice and strongest of personal beliefs…. Choosing to incinerate his family’s heritage not to mention his own very personal past which goes back to the clothes he wore to school.

    Clearly the severity of this action is indicative of the depth of emotion and the strength of his beliefs…… These are strengths we should salute especially so in today’s world of harmogeny, a world where before long it will be hard to recognise each other for there’ll be few distinguishing features left to identify us as we increasingly becoming products of mass cultural consumption…
    Back in the day one could very easily identify what we then described as ‘cool’ people by what they were wearing, clearly visible by way of their wildly unique appearance but more important ‘essence’….. People who dressed differently were different…! Truly different, not a marketing technic……!! Bit by bit decade by decade we have lost our individuality, what has become of the ‘eccentric’, those human interludes in the otherwise endless conveyer belt of existence …
    Punk was the spark which lit a cultural fire which burnt away apathy and boredom and gave way to many subsequent subcultures all of which have in turn influenced mainstream culture and society as we know it …..
    In the 1970’s people didn’t need to go to the gym to be beautiful or have breast implants to be sexy, they were more honest than that and they voted with their feet, that was until Mrs Thatcher used the army against freedom of expression….!

    Joe is absolutely right to be protective of the spirit of which we are made, not wishing to allow something so very precious to ‘him’ , the very essence of punk to be diluted and de energised by way of being absorbed into mainstream cultural acceptance ……. His protest against this is understandable for as he says “when will mugs with pictures of the queen with a safety pin through her nose be available in the gift shop at Buckingham Palace….! ! !

    And….. A note to those who have been detrimental about him and his action should I feel take a few moments to question the courage it takes for greater good, to destroy one’s own very sentimental belongings, at which point the monetary value is in fact immaterial …. !

    God bless you Joe……

    Julian x

  9. Rob says:

    A punk comeback is desperately needed, at the rate all the great musicians are being assassinated. How quickly their music is being destroyed and deleted from the archives along with many of the living we are in for extinction through the death of good music. Prince, Bowie, B.B. King, Leonard Cohen, Robert Paiste, Colin Verncombe and so many more just this year so far. Rock On.

  10. Lisa says:

    Joe, my dad was a tailor working with your parents, I remember hanging out at the shop in the kings road as a kid and being sent off to my very straight laced suburban primary school in miniature versions of their creations. Dad passed away a long time ago, but I’m pretty sure he’d be smiling on the 26th 🙂

  11. LeonardPeltier says:

    Pathetic attempt at publicity by an ex-knicker seller that nobody’s interested in. Moaning that McDonalds doesn’t give it’s money to charity, why should he? Moaning that Charities only give 10% of donations away….. Stop moaning and whining like a bratty bitch and sell it and give the money directly to people on the streets. Or better still, try burning down one on your hypocritical mothers shops. Buy less, burn the fucking shop………… A non-entity. Go back to ladies gussets ………..

  12. fil says:

    “Hey, Joe”… Joe, Joe, Joe:

    You are BIG FAT HYPOCRITE! Mate. I know exactly where are you coming from: been (right!) there, done that, interviewed all THE MAIN Characters, including great 2XMM (Media Manipulator, Malcolm McLaren – R.I.P.),and you are so very wrong: He wouldn’t done it himself, much less approved! Otherwise, he would have – long time ago. But, everyone can see how STUPID, STUPID, STUPID your pointless “Action” Today – of all days IS or GONNA BE, that is, presuming you actually go through with this MONUMENTAL NONSENSE!

    (KLF did it originally, with a real dough – though 🙂 your Brat-Prunck is just Cc.or better still BCc. – nobody will even see, notice it or care about it. It’s just sad and little bit desperate… to follow in steps of ‘great old man’ (maybe?)

    Have a problem with some stupid Tourist Assholes, British Industry this and that, ESTABLISHMENT? Join The CLUB, Dude. Make your protests and make trouble this (and any other) winter, spring, summer or fall – but do it intelligently and in a constructive way, if at all possible (obviously, NOT FOR YOU: “YRH Prince of PrUNK”,- what an IRONY!)

    Why am I even bordered? Actually, at the end of (this) day – I AM NOT! The whole THING is just SILLY, rather like some belated BOW WOW WOW – now, that is a Blast from the PAST! – yelp, from a miniature lap-pat-dog from some 3-4 grand bag for fashion victims in Chelsea.. Sorry, mate – but you are simply: A DISGRACE!

    hi-fil smileovic (rock, juke, polet, etc.) , ,

  13. fil says:

    why did my comment disappear (and where) – didn’t like it, did you, mr, big manipulator – 2nd (rate) generation X. Billy Idol was a punk, but today – you 2 are like a peas in the pond 🙂

  14. Tony says:

    Seems a shame to destroy a bit of history but I do get it, everything is too sold out these days.
    You can’t buy passion, it’s raw and short lived. Punk, New Romantics, hip hop, grunge, even 80’s was self driven on the whole
    Don’t forget to take your marshmallows to toast on it….

  15. ninsdol says:

    Joe Corré has every right to destroy his own property if that’s what he chooses – what he did on the Thames yesterday was a political statement and a piece of social commentary – regardless of the apparent vandalism. He hasn’t destroyed Punk – he’s simply destroyed a small number of artefacts which happened to be his own property – there are people all over the planet who collect Punk memorabilia so don’t think for a second that every piece of original Seditionaries clothing that ever existed has vanished into a puff of smoke because it hasn’t – and the same applies to Sex Pistols memorabilia so I suggest we dry our eyes and stop being so sensitive. Joe’s gesture – the spectacle – has gathered a lot of media attention and given him the opportunity to speak out against what he sees as being wrong with our capitalist consumer culture, and it allowed Vivienne to speak out too, so in that sense it was a success. Punk has been neutered and sanitised, repackaged and plagiarised, but it’s important to remember that Punk was about ideas and YOU CANNOT DESTROY IDEAS. Punk was also a reaction against the social, economic and political environment of the times – it tapped into the zeitgeist and gave people a voice – compare that to today where young people are far too passive, apathetic and lazy. Forget the materiality of the objects that were burnt – pay no attention to their perceived value – what’s important here is the message and as the saying goes “don’t shoot the messenger” so I suggest we all leave Joe alone and stop slagging him off. Malcolm and Vivienne never gave a fuck and neither should we, but that’s not to say there aren’t things we should care about – if anything we have more to be concerned about now than ever before and that’s what Joe’s tried to highlight. Punk ideas (see Situationism) may well emerge from the ashes like a phoenix, or at least inspire people to ask questions and/or get off their backsides and do something. I was there on Chelsea Embankment yesterday and I felt a sense of joy and liberation, but also a sense of urgency. I wasn’t a Punk – I was born in ’69 – but the energy has affected me on every level and I’m grateful to Joe (and his parents) for reminding me that only anarchists are pretty. “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.” – Pablo Picasso

  16. Michael Wolf says:

    Hey all you London faggots, what’s your fucking deal here? You pussies don’t want to see a little establishment put to flame? Where the fuck are you on 5 November? Tending to your little fireworks show? Pouring petrol on your backyard pile of wood? Or watching some stupid establishment film that tells you what 5 November means and what mask to wear as you march on some establishment landmark?

    Guy Fawkes was the first punk in London kiddies. He was supposed to inspire you. But what do you do each 5 November? Do you remember what Guy did and why? Or do you kiss the establishment ass and celebrate bonfire night like the fairy mother fucker slaves you are?

    Putting these things to light is the absolute best, most punk thing to do and Jose is my FUCKING HERO for it!

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