Gods of Apollo
In the 70s, Lynyrd Skynyrd played Scotland’s world-famous Glasgow Apollo on numerous occasions. Their favourite venue in Europe.
The Apollo was open from 1927 to 1985 and is closely associated with Glasgow’s history. It played host to every rock and pop act imaginable. The venue was famed for its ability to attract a loud and boisterous crowd. Skynyrd were, and still are, loved to bits in the city.
On 9 and 10 February, 1977, Skynyrd played two sold-out shows at the venue supported by Clover – an American band that included Huey Lewis and John McFee (Doobie Brothers).
A fantastic website, Apollo Memories, charts the venue’s amazing history and chronicles the great bands that have graced the Apollo stage. From that site, below are the memories of two Skynyrd fans who attended those February shows and the band’s after party, which was held in a city centre hotel.
The ‘trophy’ mentioned in Billy’s story is a statuette presented by the venue to the band for selling out the Apollo. Judy Van Zant has it in her home.
They played 2 nights in Feb 77, and a few of us got invited to the North British Hotel on George Square to meet them (Paula, of the Appreciation Society – where are you now?). Gary and Allen didn’t want to be there, but the rest of the band couldn’t have been nicer – Leon was a gentleman, Billy had the driest sense of humour, and Steve just wanted to talk about music. My main memory is of JoJo taking me under her wing, and ensuring I got the chance to talk to everyone. The gigs, it goes without saying, were a couple of the best they ever did.”
I was lucky enough to see both gigs on the 9th & 10th Feb. ’77 and the band were white-hot. Being a ‘Skynyrd fan both gigs seemed to flash past but I remember being at the front of the stalls on the second night, going nuts no doubt, and Allen Collins leaning over the stage and giving me the thumbs up. He must have thought I was a loony and took some pity on me. I really wish I was as lucky as some of the guys and actually met the band ’cause that was the last time I saw the band at their peak and enjoying every minute of it. I remember Ronnie Van Zant on the second night holding something up and saying ‘thank you Glasgow, look what they gave us” it appeared to be a small trophy of some kind.”
Skynyrd photos copyright and courtesy of Pete Still, visit his Facebook page.
You can purchase Skynyrd pics from the Glasgow Apollo show, captured by Pete, here
Visit the website dedicated to Glasgow Apollo Memories