A letter to Ray Davies of The Kinks from a resident of Neath.
I write to you on behalf of the good folk of my home town, Neath, South Wales.
You know Neath, a lovely place 8 miles from Swansea, 40 miles from Cardiff, 3 miles from the sea and 30 miles from the Brecon Beacons, known for a historically well respected Rugby team (the Welsh Rugby Union was formed in Neath), birthplace of music stars Bonnie Tyler and Katherine Jenkins as well as sports legends Paul James (Wales & Ospreys Rugby) Mark Bowen (assistant manager Stoke, formerly Wales, Spurs and Norwich) and Ben Davies (current left back for Spurs and Wales).
But unfortunately I understand you know all about Neath, for the wrong reasons.
It was recently brought to my attention by children’s author and fellow local, Mr Gavin Puckett, that during a discussion at the Hay Festival in 2014 you explained to the room that you were involved in an “altercation” in the changing rooms of a venue in Neath that you were playing in with The Kinks in the early days. Following this altercation, the story goes that you were told you were ‘finished’ in Neath and as a result you never returned.
This is both tragic and unacceptable so let’s put that right. You are far from finished in Neath and we can’t let that experience finalise your view of the place.
On behalf of your thousands of fans from this great town, I would like to extend an open invitation for you to return any time you like. Your ban has been rescinded. From the Dedicated Followers Of Fashion, to the 20th Century Men we will all make you welcome, for there are no Dead End Streets here anymore. There are Better Things here now and we are Tired Of Waiting. We will entertain you or you can entertain us on a Sunny Afternoon, even on the Village Green. Let our residents live A Rock n Roll Fantasy and we promise we wont Forget To Dance.
If you are reading this This Time Tomorrow, your fans here would like an opportunity to enjoy your music and take some snaps for their Picture Book. Strangers and Lola want to share a Waterloo Sunset with you and will sing along until The End Of The Day.
Please return…. we’ll even pay for the bridge!
I await your response in anticipation
Let’s not leave it like this!
A Well Respected Man (hopefully…) and husband to Victoria.
(Photo courtesy of Darren Prosser)