14th December 1976, Councillor Ray Davies led a protest outside the Sex Pistols show in Caerphilly.
The protest against the Pistols was filmed and the footage subsequently became well known following the release of The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle in 1980.
Ray planned to apologise for his actions at a show held in the town by tribute Sex Pistols Experience on 21st October 2011. However, due to a mix-up he was unable to attend. He sent the following letter to Dave from the Sex Pistols Experience.
Please accept my sincere apologies for not being able to introduce the punk rock concert commemorating the Sex Pistols.
I kept the 28th of October open in my diary as originally agreed and booked the 21st to fly out to Palestine on humanitarian mission; but it seems there has been a mix up of dates and I therefore will be unable to attend your concert. I am bitterly disappointed.
In 1977, a group of mothers attending an environmental protection meeting insisted that I take action to stop the Sex Pistols from coming to Caerphilly.
They complained that the band was using bad language, using obscene gestures from the stage, and should be banned from performing. Instead of speaking myself to the band, I called a public meeting at Elim Church, Caerphilly, and every religious bigot demanded action be taken.
I spoke to the owners of the cinema, without success; tried to get a legal injunction which failed, threatened every bus company that was transporting fans to the concert of withdrawing their school contracts.
On the night I led a protest carol concert in the car park opposite the cinema/concert hall, and felt very proud of myself until I watched the stragglers go into the concert.
As all the opponents of the punk concert left the car park, I stood alone looking at the entrance and the last young person that was entering the hall turned and stared me straight in the face.
It suddenly dawned on me- what right did I have to stop young people from enjoying their new found inspiration, when I myself back in the early 50's was an enthusiastic rock and roller, fan of Bill Haley and the Comets, and had won competitions for the Twist?
Today at 81 years old I look back on my many campaigns: to rid the world of nuclear weapons, I went on anti war demonstrations, was imprisoned for trashing a nuclear submarine, breaking into the bomb factory at Aldermaston, refusing to pay the poll tax, imprisoned in Palestine for protecting children against Israeli soldiers. Yet the one shadow that continues to hang over me was the day I tried to stop the Sex Pistols from coming to Caerphilly.
Although I can't be at the concert tonight, I want to apologise from the bottom of my heart, and hope my belated apology is a lesson to everyone who tries to stifle the joy of young people embracing new music.
Councillor Ray Davies