|Hi there Ralph and thanks for agreeing to have a chat with us about the Glasgow Apollo. |
|Hello there and I have to say what a great idea it was to put a website together about the Glasgow Apollo. |
|So what are your memories of the Apollo? |
|I played at the Apollo 3 times - and maybe once more with Danny Thompson (double bass player of world renown). |
Danny also played at the Green's Playhouse and he told me that at that time the toilet in the "Star" dressing room was actually a bucket on the floor.
The venue had quite a reputation and with me being an Englishman, I was worried that the audience would eat me for breakfast.
|....and did the audience give you a hard time? |
|Despite my initial concerns I actually played at the Apollo before I had had any hit records and, although I never sold out the venue, we did fantastic business.|
Once I remember we performed a late night show at the Apollo. It turned out that there was no time for a sound check and I was encouraged to get on because of all the noise from the crowd. I also remember one of the road crew that night being so stoned that he couldn't have changed a plug.
When I perform I get pretty immersed in the music and it wasn't until the second song that I really noticed the audience. I remember someone at the front of the stalls lighting a cigarette. It was only then that I realised the height of the stage and that with the slight rake on the stage I began to feel a little dizzy. The stage was quite unique and whilst I'm sure it wasn't designed to keep the crowd away from the performers, it really did make an impression. I got a great reception from the audience in Glasgow and the audience remains one of the best.
I still meet people at my shows in the town that talk about the Green's and Apollo which shows that many of them attended when they were children.
Following my third show, they actually gave me a commemorative statue with a little inscription on it. I haven't won all that many other awards apart from an Ivor Novello award and I really treasured that Apollo statue for a number of years, and I'm still proud of mine.
|Are there any stories that you have heard about other acts at the Apollo? |
|I remember when I was leaving the dressing room I met two cleaning ladies. They looked at me and said "at least you're taking yours with you." They told me that when Johnny Cash had received his statue, he hadn't treasured it so much and left it on top of the television in the dressing room. |
I have also heard from other acts about the bouncing stage and the thunderous noise that the fans stamping their feet used to make.
Apparently at the the last ever show at the Apollo (Style Council) people were unscrewing the radiators and taking as many of the fixtures and fittings with them as they could.
Anyone out there got an Apollo radiator?
Finally, I also heard a story from Billy Connolly that once when Morecambe and Wise played there, a member of the audience not so keen on English entertainers was heard to say when he saw Ernie Wise waiting in the wings, "Oh no, there's two of them."
|Was the Apollo really special or are we just being nostalgic? |
|Well, yes it was and the reaction to your website is more than just people and bands simply being sentimental. |
It was one of the few venues that had a reputation artists were aware of before they actually played there. I can only really think of a couple of London venues that had the same reputation as the Apollo, one of them being "Les Cousins" in Soho. That was no more than a front room but its reputation attracted stars like Jimi Hendrix. You just knew before you even got there that there was something special about it.
|Thanks for taking the time to have a chat with us about the Apollo Ralph |
|It's been a pleasure Scott. Please wish all your visitors my best regards and continued success with the website. |
|Official Ralph McTell website |