The Sex Pistols were (actually, they reformed in ’96) an English punk band that got their start in London in 1975. They pretty much put wheels on the punk movement and created the first generation gap in rock and roll. Actually, I take that back, I don’t need to explain who they are, you already know.
Irish state papers that were finally made public after 30 years of secrecy have revealed that the band were targeted in a 1978 government investigation aimed at protecting the country’s Catholic morals.
The Sex Pistols were actually considered to be such a threat to the very fabric of Irish society that the government was considering intervening with legal action meant to shut them down, that is, before they themselves imploded.
Garda Siochana, Irish law enforcers, were particularly concerned by the title and musical content of their album ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’.
An official government memo questioned whether the band’s debut broke the country’s once rigid censorship laws. It read: The title on the sleeve would indicate that the contents of the record is obscene. The concern was that the record itself would destroy Irish culture.
Penalties for stores that carried the record were considered, as well as legal action against Virgin Records. In the end, the threat was not carried out after Virgin Records successfully defended an obscenity charge against the Sex Pistols in Britain.
The Sex Pistols had a pretty solid image as the bad boys of music, and this is exactly the type of thing that would have backfired on the Irish government if they had attempted to proceed. It would have only helped further their punk personas as the Sex Pistols were arguably more about image than music.