1975 - Glasgow's Miles Better
John Cavanagh’s article in the Scotland on Sunday in March 2003 highlighted just how important the Apollo remains to many music fans in Scotland.
John recalls a famous night in 1975 when Alex Harvey and his band were performing "Framed". He writes, "The band stopped, Alex stood in the spotlight, looking upwards and pleading his case "Ah didn’t do nothin’…" when a voice cut through: "Aye ye did, ye shagged ma sister!".
David Belcher also recalled this story in the Herald's Diary (December 2003):
"THE four extant members of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band bring their winter mini-tour to Glasgow's Barrowland on Christmas Eve, echoing the legendary seasonal gigs they staged with their late founder at the Apollo in 1975.
During one of those shows, Alex reached the usual dramatic denouement of the song Framed, portraying an innocent man fitted up by the polis. The band stopped playing, leaving Alex a broken figure in the spotlight, looking up pitiably to some higher power, pleading: "Ah didn't do nothin'." From the darkness, a Glaswegian voice insisted: "Aye, ye did - ye shagged ma sister."
One fan writes of the bands first traditional Christmas gig: "It's safe to say that their Christmas season of gigs at the Glasgow Apollo in December 1975 saw the SAHB at their absolute zenith. My dad took me to one of them, and to me it was the first indication that pop, or rock, could visually, as well as aurally, change the way you thought, or even the way you walked through the world.
This extraordinary post-Artaud avant-garde theatre being unfurled before us, and yet the atmosphere was practically Cup Final day at Hampden Park; the SAHB were heroes, adored and idolised".
Another fan recalls a classic start to the show:
"....the support had gone off and we were all waiting. Back in those days most of the shows had a compere, someone who announced the band, and usually this guy would get dogs abuse. The guy that just walked on was ripe for it, greased back short hair and black glasses wearing a dark suit I think.
So away he starts talking a load of rubbish and the crowd are giving him dogs abuse "fuck off ya wanker" "you need a good shag" "dis yer mammy know yer oot" and other such pleasantries suddenly he screams "shut up ya bastards" really really loud the audience goes silent.
He takes off the glasses and the band at the back of his hair and unruffles what is now long hair, while uttering the words "I'd like to introduce you to my band"
(behind him on stage is a huge box tied up like a Christmas present with the bow right in the middle).
He starts to rip open the jacket and an old familiar stripey yellow and black t shirt starts to become visible he turns and pulls on the ribbon and the "box" starts to open in the middle he continues (as the realisation begins to hit the audience) "......................The Sensational Alex Harvey Band".
Somewhere in the past few seconds the opening bars to Faith Healer can be heard as the box continues to open right out and inside there is a bunch of guys known as SAHB". They sure don't start shows like they used to!.
Billy Connolly records his classic comedy album "Get Right Intae Him" in front of his home audience. Billy performed from 1 - 13 September, a record number of consecutive shows at the Apollo.
The LP "Mind Journey" of Hawkwind's August 10 1975, gig in Glasgow is released by Nebula.
Roxy Music play the Apollo, before the gig Bryan Ferry says: "If I had to attend a Roxy Music gig, I'd go to Glasgow".
Not every gig went down well with the Glasgow audience. Apollomemories contributor Stefan writes that Kraftwerk in 1975 was "possibly the worst concert I ever attended at the Apollo. Only the first half dozen rows were occupied.
The support act was an English folk singer from "zummerzet" I've always remembered one of her stand out songs..."Ragmuss the Gnome" anyone else remember that night....... Awful.......What a waste of a pound."
American outfit - America played in September 1975. A contributor to the Herald's Diary section contributes:
"Unseated by nag
MEMORIES of the fabulous Apollo Theatre, continued. Arthur Cleary recalls a troubled mid-seventies concert by folk-rock trio America, who were signally failing to enrapture a tanked-up Glasgow audience simply wanting to hear its favourites, such as Horse With No Name, rather than unfamiliar new songs from America's forthcoming album. Wearying of constant song requests from the stalls, America's lead singer eventually cracked, shouting: "We can't just sing any song you want.. we have a programme... we're a professional band." Inevitably, a voice riposted: "Who tellt ye that?"
Following 2 successful shows, The Who fly out of Glasgow Airport for their next stop. All except Keith Moon that is, who is arrested after bashing a ticket terminal. He spends the night in jail and is fined the next day in court.