Let the Music Begin
The 60s and 70s were not so kind to the Playhouse as a picture house. The emergence of the corporate cinema companies provided difficult opposition to the Green brothers.
The Playhouse could no longer provide Glasgow with top class movies and, as a result, audiences were no longer large enough to support the maintenance of the building. The Playhouse began to struggle and in an attempted to improve revenue the management decided to diversify.
The late 1960s and early 1970s saw live rock and pop music being introduced to the main auditorium. Often performing 2 shows in one day, several of the world’s top acts were soon to be attracted to the venue.
In 1967, a bill which featured the final gig of tour featuring The Jimi Hendrix Experience accompanied by The Pink Floyd, The Nice and The Move set the scene for the next 20 years. Backstage pictures from this gig can be found at here. It certainly looks like Jimi enjoyed the famous Scottish hospitality. A review of this famous tour is also available, "Taking Britain By Storm"
The Playhouse’s reputation grew as it hosted acts such as T-Rex, The Who (October 1970), The Rolling Stones (March 1971) and ELP (October 1972).In December 1971 the Groundhogs played the Playhouse supported by Egg and Quicksand.
A review of the Jethro Tull and Procol Harem gig in 1970 clearly made a big impression on one fan who writes "There was no need for the Playhouse bouncers to "close the door" or "bar the gate," for I wouldn't have left the premises for the gifts of all three kings".
The Who return again in October 1971 supported by Quiver. Pete Townsend and Keith Moon get into comic fights throughout the tour. At the Apollo Keith taunts the crowd with a police bullhorn so Pete throws him to the floor and pours vodka down the bullhorn to silence him.
March and April 1972 saw Led Zeppelin playing the venue, something they never did at the Apollo.
Famously, when their publicist tried to stop some ticket touts, he is beaten by fans outside the venue. The issue was reported in the press under the banner Beep Beat – Beep was the nickname of the bands publicist: Led Zeppelin withholds encore after publicist beaten by mob GLASGOW, Scotland (1972)
The offstage beating of Led Zeppelin's publicist prevented a Greens Playhouse audience from hearing an encore at tonight's show. Tickets were hard to come by for the concert, so some fans had been selling counterfeit tickets outside the show, a fact that Led Zeppelin publicist B. P. Fallon became aware of. "I walked up to some people who were doing a ticket scam," Fallon said. "There were all these forged tickets. I said, 'Excuse me, there seems to be some confusion about the tickets you're selling.' And they all jumped on me."
Because the fans seriously beat the publicist, whose nickname is "Beep," the band refused to play an encore. This further set off an audience that already had some angry folks in it. One concertgoer wrote a letter to the New Musical Express about the show.
Aside from the disgust about there being no encore, the reader found fault with Robert Plant's "shamelessly plugging the new album." Plant's comments toward the new album, Houses of the Holy, were actually about its delayed release. "The new album should have come out in August, but it'll be out in January," he had said onstage. "But I went to bed in July and didn't get up until October."