Does anyone remember late last year when Joe Corre, the son of the Sex Pistols manager burned 5 million British pounds worth of punk memorabilia on the river Thames? Well, in case you missed it, Joe Corre, the son of the Sex Pistols Manager Malcolm Mclaren burned 5 million pounds worth of punk memorabilia. Why did he do it? Sources vary. I would speculate that Joe grew tired of the mythologizing of punk rock music. When was the last good punk band you heard? Probably something from the 70s that you streamed on youtube, in punk fashion. Punk means very little today. The DIY movement was bastardized with diyers who owned pinterests and who bought ad space on blogs. DIY became exactly what punk rejected. But this is no time for irony. The only irony here is that he hadn’t done it sooner. But what I am dying to know is how did punk get mythologized in the first place? I mean, I know green day and I’ve always been a green day fan from the beginning. And in spite of the fact that they’re songs started to bland over time, they messages of the songs only seemed to get more and more punk the further they went. Green day didn’t sell out, punk was too attractive of a genre to let spoil in the piss smelling corner of a dingy nightclub. The idea behind punk was that a bunch of kids who hated their parents and school and simply loved music more than either of those things, could hang out and share similar interests. It was like group dating on tinder but for kids who had sexual fantasies with guitar riffs, skinny jeans and anti-establishment logos. It was a way for the youth to sidestep traditional avenues of art to something that relied solely on the inhibition of young teenagers. Bands like the replacements and the buzzcocks and not to mention, the sex pistols fostered these inhibitions so carefully and delicately that their only method of appeal was through carelessness and recklessness. A punker could only sabotage his mediocre life as an office assistant by doing everything in his power to revile the affections of the ‘office types’ the executives, corporate junkies, investors and businessmen. To wear a suit, was suicide.
Wear the patch, sing the songs and be part of a movement that looks like socialism, but functions like fascism, smells like anti-socialism, but fosters group love and self-empowerment, tastes like piss, but gets you high like heroin, feels like rock, but makes you think like a college boy. Punk needed no understatement, no banners, or logos for the average adult to understand it’s importance. The meaning was unequivocal and self-implied. So when Joe Corre, took a torch to his expensive shirt, what he was really saying was “punk is not a label”. Punk is a belief system. It’s the feeling that you get when the world wraps it’s cold wrinkled fingers around your throat. It’s the feeling that opens your eyes to something that you felt when you were still young and didn’t need an excuse to want to care about people. It’s the feeling when you saw life as it made sense to you, and not as someone else wanted it to appear. Over the years, many have listed punk musicians in their influences list on wikipedia pages and band interviews, but few have actually embodied the term. The true believers, the ones who played with their heart because their brain didn’t know any better, wrote songs for people like me, who just needed someone to tell them that it was okay to not give a shit. Punk said what people needed to hear, whether they liked it or not. Punk gave people hope that the rich white faceless men who ran the country might have a pair of ears, and at the end of those nerve endings, a brain that could add 2 + 2 and get 4. It wasn’t enough for punk to reach teens, but it gave kids the story that they needed to hear. There is no glory in speaking the truth because the truth hurts, and is unpleasant to hear. So now it’s time to four chord out of this bitch because life is short and so is my sex pistols tee.