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Band Memories

In this section you will find some of the comments kindly sent to us by the people who graced the Apollo stage.

Watch out for contributions from Chris de Burgh, The Groundhogs, Martha and the Muffins, Gary Numan, Sham 69 (Sham-Pistols), Krokus, OMD, Stiff Little Fingers, Wishbone Ash, Graham Parker, SAHB, ABC, Gordon Giltrap, Y&T, Secret Affair, Ralph McTell, Joan Armatrading, Howard Jones, Tom Paxton,The Jam, The Anti Nowhere League, Shakin' Stevens, DEVO, Ultravox, Howard Jones, Hazel O'Connor, Steeleye Span, Tom Robinson, Fagin, 10cc, Heavy Pettin', The Clancy Brothers, Big Country and Whitesnake.

More to come including.... Magnum, Spider, Rab Noakes and Shakin' Stevens.

If you played at the Green's Playhouse the Apollo or at Satellite City please email Band Memories.


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ian hunter © ianhunter.com "..Well, there was the night when the manager came into the dressing room after the show with one of those statuettes they gave you if you sold out.

I still have mine. He had a bandage around his head through which copious amounts of blood were dripping. I asked him what happened, and he said quite matter-of-factly that they hadn't opened the doors on time (glass paneled as I recall) so they'd used him as a battering ram!

Another fond memory was sitting in the stalls at the sound check and being introduced to the entire Harvey family by Alex. Great gig. Stage a little high, but not a bad idea actually! One bloke punched me on the way out and shouted, 'Brillia!!'

God knows what would have happened if they didn't like us.."
 
"..I told Andy Park, in a pre-gig Radio Clyde interview, how important the Apollo gig was to all touring acts and that it felt important for me to succeed at this gig that night, because it was close to where my Dad's musical career had begun, in the 1930's, at The Pavilion.

Like Glasgow Empire before it, The Apollo was known as a difficult venue for English acts. Normally, it's good to go onto the stage to get a feel for the place, before the sound check. My friend Richard Digance had had bad gigs there and warned me to avoid looking at the auditorium beforehand, when the lights were up. I did look and saw that the walls and stage front (which was eighteen feet high) were a depressingly faded and worn and battered black.

Richard had also warned that the audience was difficult. I asked my aunt in Glasgow not to come in case they gave me a bad time, but I was glad to have my cousin and his girlfriend there.

There were no posters up anywhere in Glasgow, not even outside the theatre. When Stan from Quarry, whose office had been responsible for sending these out, queried this with the theatre staff, he found the barely disturbed package in the manager's office. Pre-sales had been minimal as a result. An hour before the show, they hastily put some up outside the theatre and took the decision to close off the top half of the auditorium and put all the punters in the stalls. There were less than 1,000 in the audience in that big theatre in the end that night. As par for the course, there was no Pye publicity either for my "Wivabandon" album which I was there to promote, so I walked into the stalls beforehand to dish out copies of the deleted single "His greatest hit" - one of the album tracks. I hadn't expected so much grabbing and it miffed the security staff. They were very strict with the punters.

I'd had another friendly and fairly lengthy pre-gig interview in the spartan dressing room with a New Musical Express journalist and his photographer. I was sorry not be able to offer hospitality, but hadn't known that there was no licensed bar - apparently another security precaution.

When time came to play, I stood in the wings while the lights went down and I was announced incoherently by the Road Manager (I did my own announcements on subsequent dates). All lights went out but the single spot failed to materialise for what seemed like an eternity. Just before the audience waded in, I bellowed "Aw, come onnn" and was rewarded with some ice breaking laughs and the desired spotlight.

I enjoyed playing my 45 minute set of largely self-penned comedy songs and seemed to establish a good rapport with the audience. They laughed in the right places and gave back some generally good natured heckles, which made the rest of the audience laugh. Unfortunately, the acoustic and the distance between me and the heckler meant that I couldn't always hear precisely what was yelled but I couldn't lose the momentum by asking for repeats, so I did some standard put downs like "Next time he opens his mouth, we'll all jump in it" or "I bet your teeth are happy when you go to sleep" or "It's all right, I remember my first pint of lager", all of which seemed to go down well. In the event I was very pleased to get an encore but I felt really drained on my own in the dressing room - probably the effect of all those Victory V's beforehand.

In the interval, I went to pub across the road with Dave from Pye, It was freezing out and I learned some interesting psychology from Dave. Every time the pub door swung open, a blast of Arctic air came in. There came a point where a couple of teenage girls kept pushing it open and leaning on it, to provoke a response. The barman and many of the customers shouted at them to close the fornicating door, but they just grinned and stood there chewing. Finally, my mate Dave stood up and said he'd show us how to get rid of them. He simulated a drunken lurch towards them and asked the girls to come on and give him a wee kiss. They really screamed and ran off.

We went back to see how the pomp rock of The Enid went down with the Apollo audience. Not very well, unfortunately. During the long introductions, in their very English tones, between their long set pieces, the audience were yelling things like "Who's screwing yer missus?". In the end, security waded in and removed a couple of the more persistent yellers. Three blokes tried to get on stage by standing on each others' shoulders - that's how high it was. Having achieved the acrobatics, to the crowd's evident enjoyment, security just came to the front of the stage and tipped them down.

I felt a bit sorry for the band but at least they weren't up there alone. For their closer, they normally dropped down, from the ceiling, the words of "Land of hope and glory" - tonight they dropped them down the front of the high stage. The bottom of the cloth was beyond the reach of the wags who kept jumping up to try to pull it down. One for the band to put down to experience.

After the gig, I went to a 21st party, in the house next door to my cousin's in Riddrie. It was great to wind down with friends and family and to feel that I'd been lucky and that it had gone quite well really. I thought about having a T-shirt done with the message "I played Glasgow Apollo on a Saturday night and survived". Richard said later that he'd have one.

The NME centre spread next week was a damning indictment of The Enid and what they saw as their failed classical music; I didn't get a mention and didn't know whether to be glad or sorry at this. Glad not to be damned, but sorry not to have the publicity. I'd paid 1,500 plus my own expenses for the privilege of being support act on this tour.

John Scott Cree
Horley, England.."
John Scott Cree © John Scott Cree
 
ross stagg "..I remember that the Glasgow Apollo gig as one of the most exhilarating  of my life - that's saying something because the night before, we had supported Deep Purple at the Wembley Empire Pool in front of 14,000 crazed Purple fans.

I virtually collapsed after the Wembley show because of kidney stones (agony) anyway the other Strapps lads took to the van to drive north to Glasgow the next day - but I got to fly up - unheard of (I was sick see)! I was cheerfully ensconsed in the hotel when the lads arrived and feeling quite fresh - if a little dizzy due to the pain killers.

Our drummer warned me NOT to go too close to the edge of the stage 'cos it was so high - I thought he was taking the piss until we did the soundcheck - I started swooning near the edge - I think I had vertigo.

The show was amazing - just a sea of humanity. After the first song this lad in the audience started screaming out "F...K Off", once, twice - and ever more insistently - we finished the second song and there he was again ...like he hadn't stopped - just got drowned out by the very loud music. The "Off" part seemed to go higher each time as in "An Elephant ...in my dressing room" (imagine Billy Connolly saying it!)

I decided to retaliate and verbally engaged the unruly fellow - "I know a few bad words too" I yelled like "C..t (rhymes with runt)- "Eh! C..t" - to my great surprise the audience liked this and screamed and applauded very loudly (frighteningly loudly) in appreciation.

The rest of the gig is a blur but it felt great - I know we did good because we got button holed later for an interview from some smarmy News of the World type journalist  - this of course nearly cost us our record deal because of the very unsavoury backstage photos that were published with the article...but that's another story..."
 
"..I have a vivid recollection of the night!

I recall that it also coincided with a particularly large soccer match (it may have been a final) between the Rangers & Celtic (I may be mistaken about the teams).

Keith, our bass player and co-founder, and I left to walk back to the hotel still dripping with perspiration from the show. I'm sure we looked a sight still in our punk/glam stage wear and make-up.

The streets were heaving with football fans (most of whom seemed to have enjoyed a solid night of drinking!).

I recall feeling increasingly nervous as we realised that the group approaching us, who were engaged in a full on fist fight (complete with broken bottles as weapons), were actually a group of friends disputing some point of the night's play.

We wondered to ourselves "What must they do to enemies if these are friends???!!!". I think we must have quietly crossed the street and disappeared at the first available opportunity!

It was a great venue and very enthusiastic crowd. I was please to be able to come back to Scotland 18 months or so later, this time touring as support for David Bowie's "Serious Moonlight" tour.

Best Regards, Iva.."
iva davies
 
Colin Harkness.gif © Colin Harkness "..Hello there.. 

I was a member of Spider who played The Glasgow Apollo as Support to Gillan in 1982.. Unfortunately it was the one and only time we played the famous old place.

I do seem to recall a certain amount of trepidation before we played there.. as it had quite a fearsome reputation in those days.. personally it was a dream come true.. as Quos live album had been recorded there.. Quo were my favourite band.. and that album today still stands as one of Quos best efforts..

I remember thinking to myself before the show... i wonder if that balcony moves like Rossi says it does...  Well... you could see the thing bouncing from the stage... alarmingly so..

Another thing that struck me, was the height of the stage... i considered wearing a parachute just in case i went over the edge... that was some drop..!!

But all fearsome reputations aside.. my memorys of Glasgow are postive ones... and of Playing the Glasgow Apollo especially so..  A great place to play..!!

All the best..  Colin Harkness...   Spider.."
 
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