Approached by Vice magazine to comment on the inclusion of a Crass logo on a ‘vintage men’s punk leather jacket’ being marketed by Urban Outfitters for $375, Penny Rimbaud was forthright – but perhaps not in the way that many might expect.
In an article headlined: ‘Crass’s Penny Rimbaud doesn’t care about urban outfitters profiting off his band’s name’, Rimbaud comments:
As far as I’m concerned, if the wealthy want to spend $400 on a rather naff leather jacket and go to book launches and gallery shows and all the things that those literati and glitterati do, then that’s great because it means that we’re getting the name floated around in areas where it’s very difficult for us to penetrate. I actually quite like it when people like Angelina Jolie and David Beckham wear Crass T-shirts.
He goes on to add:
The anarcho punks have been ripping us off since the beginning of time, doing rather pale reproductions of both our music and our art. So as far as I’m concerned they’re just in for what they can get, and that’s laissez-faire [economics] at its most extreme.
I’m quite sure some people who follow us will be pissed off. But they’re not looking at the bigger picture. The sort of people who will be pissed off are the sort of people that are very happy to be working on a very small, almost ghetto existence within a particular genre of thought, a particular genre of action, a particular genre of behavior, and particularly a predictable set of political ideas. […] Part of the DIY ethic has gone right up its own ass because it can’t look beyond doing it yourself. And very often doing it yourself means not doing it as well as other people can do it. My increasing experience is that the so-called commercial outlets will get the job done quicker, better, very often in a much more friendly way.