During the course of the research process I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve been able to speak to the majority of the initial management team at the venue, as well as a number of staff. Other contributors have included local media commentators, journalists and broadcasters, including those who have maintained the Apollo presence online, on air and in print – most notably Scott McArthur, Billy Sloan and Tom Morton, Russell Leadbetter and Martin Kielty respectively. The live music sector has also been represented via interviews with Roadies and other stage crew, local and national Promoters, Agents and Bookers, and Artist Managers.
With regard to artists who have performed at the Apollo, rather than focus on one music genre, I’ve tried to reflect the wide range of artists who performed at the venue, and contributors have included Rick Wakeman, Tommy Ramone, Barbara Dickson, Dave Bartram (Showaddywaddy), Steve Hackett, Graham Gouldman, Elkie Brooks, Jake Burns and Ted McKenna, among many others.
A few examples from some of these interviews serves to highlight, from the perspective of the artist, the impact of the Apollo almost thirty years after the venue closed:
Graham Gouldman: The Apollo was legendary because of its reputation for letting a band/artist know exactly what it thought. It wasn’t a polite place. I have heard of bands being booed offstage, but we always found it a warm and welcoming place
Steve Hackett: It was a venue that functioned straight at the heart of the Glasgow audience. Sometimes they were so boisterous that the balconies bounced around in such a way that they threatened to come down. There was an incredible dynamic between audience and performers.
Rick Wakeman (on being asked what ‘made’ the Apollo): It’s all down to atmosphere. The place was not in great condition for either the performers or the audience, but that didn’t matter. Somehow, it that X Factor that made it pure rock and roll for band and audience alike.
Other examples from some of the interviews with Apollo artists will follow in due course. If you performed at the venue and would like to contribute to the study, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the ‘Feedback’ tab on this page.