6th April – WRESTLING SPECTACULAR
Live – One night only – WRESTLING SPECTACULAR – JOHN QUINN vs WAYNE BRIDGES – John Quinn was a Canadian professional wrestler. He was best known for his appearances in the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) under the ring name The Kentucky Butcher in the late-1960s, where he challenged then WWWF World Heavyweight Champion Bruno Sammartino on several occasions, including a 1968 main event at Madison Square Garden. In addition to his appearances in the WWWF, Quinn performed under his birth name for North American regional promotions including NWA All-Star Wrestling, Pacific Northwest Wrestling and Stampede Wrestling from the early 1960s to early 1970s. During his later career, he also appeared in European and Japanese organisations from the 1970s until the late 1980s. A popular “heel” in Great Britain during this time, he would win the British World Heavyweight Championship in London on April 21st 1980, the first of a record four times, by beating Wayne Bridges. This was a rehearsal for the event.
His opponent on this night was Gillingham’s Wayne Bridges, a regular with Dale Martin Promotions, proudly billed as the Heavyweight Champion of Kent. He became a regular on ITV’s World of Sport after his first televised bout from Bridlington in 1966 where he faced the wily African Witchdoctor, Masambula. Bridges would go on to face on the small screen some of the most notorious wrestlers around, possibly most notably the original evil American Outlaw. He also feuded with Mr Universe John Lees and Pompey giant Bruno Elrington, and was invariably the first name home promoters put up to fly the flag in the face of threats from overseas stars such as Georges Gordienko, Crusher Verdu, Le Grande Vladimir, Aussie Mark Anthony and gridiron loudmouth Butts Logger Giraud. From the outset Bridges proved to be a hard-hitting blockbuster, weighing in over 17 stones. From a weight-training and bodybuilding background, Bridges posed a formidable threat to all heavyweights from home and abroad. He would go on to regain the World Heavyweight Championship from visiting American giant, The Mississippi Mauler in June 1981, which he first won in 1979 when he defeated the Iron Greek, Spiros Arion, thereby bringing the World Heavyweight title home to Britain for the first time for over sixty years.
7th April – DAUGHTER OF EMANUELLE
On the screen – for FOUR days – Not 10th or 11th – DAUGHTER OF EMANUELLE – a 1979 Franco-Italian film which tells a story (of sorts) whereby Emanuelle’s daughter Pussy introduces her to a new lover and she suffers a flash of recognition. The American man standing in front of her looks familiar, rather like a lover she had some 20 years earlier. A lover that had jilted her at the altar but not before making her pregnant. It can’t be the same man… can it? Well, can it? Who cares?
In support was a 1973 Italian documentary, MONDO EROTICA. Emanuelle or Laura Gemser herself (depending on the overdubbing) leads the viewer – dressed either lighty or not at all – through a variety of funny, crazy or bizarre erotic scenes from all over world. On display are sex shows, a magically appearing penis, cruel African rites and much more. It is a movie which was mostly cut together from parts of other films, so the main attraction is Laura Gemser as narrator. The whole thing is mediocre to almost not at all entertaining, especially because the scenes are obviously (and luckily) staged. The UK release had been heavily cut and only runs about 67 minutes.
Here you can see the original full length version of the film – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YVQ-0oeaso
10th April – GENESIS
Live – for TWO nights – GENESIS – are an English rock band formed at Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey, in 1967. The most successful and longest-lasting line-up consisted of keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and drummer/singer Phil Collins who performed this 40 date UK tour, the first for three years.
In 1979, Banks and Rutherford moved into Collins’s home in Shalford to write and rehearse material for a new album, “Duke”. The three found the writing process easier and less complicated than “And Then There Were Three”, Rutherford reasoned this as they were “getting back to the basic stage of ideas being worked on jointly”. Banks put it down to their break in activity, resulting in “good ideas … which hasn’t happened for some time”. In November, the band recorded Duke at Polar Studios with Hentschel reprising his role as producer, and included a cover from French illustrator Lionel Koechlin, featuring the character Albert. Released in March 1980, Duke was the band’s biggest commercial success at the time of release, spending two weeks at No. 1 in the UK and peaking at No. 11 in the US. The album spawned three singles; “Turn It On Again” went to No. 8 in the UK, “Misunderstanding” reached No. 14 in the US, and “Duchess” peaked at No. 46 in the UK. Duke was supported with a UK and North American tour from April to June 1980 which began with a 40-date tour of the UK where all 106,000 tickets were sold within hours of going on sale.
The booking office opened at the Gaumont early on the first day of sale as the queues had reached right around the building. Before lunch time and before the queue had disppeared all the tickets had been sold – more than 4,600 for the two mights.
12th April – CLOSED
14th April – WELSH NATIONAL OPERA
On the stage – for six days – WELSH NATIONAL OPERA – The Company return for another visit to the Gaumont. On this visit Welsh National Opera brought three first class productions. On Tuesday and Saturday they presented Puccinni’s MADAME BUTTERFLY, this the fifth version written by Puccini which has become known as the “Standard Version” and is the one which is most often performed around the world. On Wednesday the company performed EUGENE ONEGIN, Tchaikovsky’s 1879 operatic tale of a selfish hero who lives to regret his blasé rejection of a young woman’s love and his careless incitement of a fatal duel with his best friend. Thursday and Friday saw the staging of Monteverdi’s CORONATION OF POPPEA which was first seen in Venice in 1643 when it broke new ground in matching music to stage action, and in its musical reproductions of the natural inflections of the human voice. Monteverdi uses all the means for vocal expression available to a composer of his time—aria, arioso, arietta, ensemble, recitative—although in this work the boundaries between these forms are more than usually porous. These elements are woven into a continuous fabric which ensures that the music always serves the drama, while maintaining a tonal and formal unity throughout. The characters have strong emotions, fears and desires which are reflected in their music. Thus Poppea’s and Nerone’s scenes are generally lyrical, sung mainly in the forms of arioso and aria, while Ottavia sings only in dramatic recitative. Seneca’s music is bold and compelling, while Ottone’s is hesitant and limited in range, “entirely inappropriate for anyone aspiring to be a man of action” Within this arrangement Monteverdi creates enough melodies to ensure that the opera is musically as well as dramatically memorable.
20th April – THE GOLDEN LADY
On the screen – for SIX days – (Not 25th) – THE GOLDEN LADY – a British thriller film directed by José Ramón Larraz and starring Christina World, June Chadwick, Suzanne Danielle and Desmond Llewelyn. It was released by Target Pictures in 1979. Julia Hemingway (Ina Skriver, credited as Christina World), a British female mercenary, is hired by wealthy businessman Charlie Whitlock in order to help him eliminate the competition on the purchase of some oil fields in Saudi Arabia. Hemingway coordinates a team of 3 sexy women to go undercover to complete the task, but is unaware that Whitlock plans on double crossing her so he won’t have to pay for her services.
A reissue of FLESH GORDON made up the programme, an independently made 1974 American sexploitation film, an erotic spoof of Universal Pictures first (of three) Flash Gordon serials from the 1930s. The film was produced by Walter R. Cichy, Bill Osco, and Howard Ziehm. It was co-directed by Ziehm and Michael Benveniste, who also wrote the screenplay. The cast includes Jason Williams, Suzanne Fields, and William Dennis Hunt. The film was distributed by Mammoth Films.
The film’s storyline is purposely reminiscent of the first Universal Pictures Flash Gordon multi-chapter movie serial, Flash Gordon (1936), but written and directed with a purposely campy flavor. The planet Porno (in the serial: Mongo) and major characters are suggestive innuendos: the hero Flesh Gordon (Flash Gordon); his love interest Dale Ardor (Dale Arden); the evil Emperor Wang the Perverted (Ming the Merciless); scientist Dr. Flexi Jerkoff (Dr. Alexi Zarkov); seductive Amora, Queen of Magic (Ming’s daughter Aura); and effeminate Prince Precious (Prince Barin). The film features production values comparable to the original serial, as well as stop-motion animation of creatures, and frequent use of gratuitous nudity and brief sex scenes.
25th April – DEF LEPPARD
Live – one night only – DEF LEPPARD – an English rock band formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement. Rick Savage, Tony Kenning, and Pete Willis, all students at Tapton School in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, formed a band called Atomic Mass in 1977. The band originally consisted of Willis on guitar, Savage on bass guitar after briefly playing guitar, and Kenning on drums. Only 18 at the time, Joe Elliott tried out for the band as a guitarist following a chance meeting with Willis after missing a bus. During his audition it was decided that he was better suited to be the lead singer. Their first gig was in the dining hall in A Block in Westfield School in Mosborough, Sheffield.
In January 1978, Steve Clark joined the band. According to Elliott, he successfully auditioned for the band by playing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” in its entirety. In November, just prior to recording sessions for what would be a three-song release known as The Def Leppard E.P., Kenning abruptly left the band; he would later form the band Cairo. He was replaced for those sessions by Frank Noon. By the end of the month, Rick Allen, then only 15 years old, had joined the band as its full-time drummer. Sales of the EP soared after the track “Getcha Rocks Off” was given extensive airtime by renowned BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, considered at the time to be a champion of punk rock and new wave music. Throughout 1979, the band developed a loyal following among British hard rock and heavy metal fans and were considered among the leaders of the new wave of British heavy metal movement. Their growing popularity led to a record deal with the major label Phonogram/Vertigo (Mercury Records in the US). Def Leppard’s original management, MSB, a local duo consisting of Pete Martin and Frank Stuart-Brown, were fired after Martin and Joe Elliott got into a fistfight over an incident on the road. The band approached Peter Mensch of Leber-Krebs management, who had booked them on a tour of the UK supporting AC/DC. Mensch, who admitted that he had had his eye on the band, became their manager.
Def Leppard’s debut album, On Through the Night, was released on 14 March 1980. Although the album hit the Top 15 in the UK, many early fans were turned off by the perception that the band was trying too hard to appeal to American audiences by recording songs such as “Hello America”. This date was part of the UK tour to promote the album.
28th April – LONDON FESTIVAL BALLET
On the Stage – for six days – LONDON FESTIVAL BALLET – On this visit to the Gaumont the London Festival Ballet compnay brought two programmesOn Monday, Tuesday and Wedneday thet performed Tchaikovsky’s SLEEPING BEAUTY. At the end of the week there was another chance for Southampton audiences to enjoy LA SYLPHIDE with music by Jean Schneitzhoeffer and featuring Eva Evdokimova and Peter Schaufuss.
4th May – ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST
On the screen – for TWELVE days (Not May 10th or 17th) – ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST – is a 1975 American comedy-drama film directed by Miloš Forman, based on the 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. The film stars Jack Nicholson as Randle McMurphy, a new patient at a mental institution, and features a supporting cast of Louise Fletcher, William Redfield, Will Sampson, Sydney Lassick, Brad Dourif, Danny DeVito and Christopher Lloyd in his film debut.
Filming began in January 1975 and lasted three months, taking place on location in Salem, Oregon, and the surrounding area, as well as on the Oregon coast. The producers decided to shoot the film in the Oregon State Hospital, an actual mental hospital, as this was also the setting of the novel.
Considered by some to be one of the greatest films ever made, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is No. 33 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years… 100 Movies list. The film was the second to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Actor in Lead Role, Actress in Lead Role, Director and Screenplay) following It Happened One Night in 1934, an accomplishment not repeated until 1991 with The Silence of the Lambs. It also won numerous Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards. In 1993, the film was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress, and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
There was a FULL SUPPORTING PROGRAMME
10th May – DAVID GATES AND HIS BAND
Live – one day only – DAVID GATES AND HIS BAND – were realistically touring without the BREAD moniker. Botts and Knechtel from Bread, along with Warren Ham, brother Bill Ham and bassist David Miner, continued to record and tour with Gates, but a lawsuit from former band member Jimmy Griffin, who was still co-owner of the Bread trademark, gained an injunction against the use of the name Bread and so the “Bread” moniker had been dropped and they continued on as “David Gates and His Band”. The dispute would not be resolved until 1984.
They were an American soft rock band from Los Angeles, California. They had 13 songs chart on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1970 and 1977. The band consisted of David Gates (vocals, bass guitar, guitar, keyboards, violin, viola, percussion), Jimmy Griffin (vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion) and Robb Royer (bass guitar, guitar, flute, keyboards, percussion, recorder, backing vocals). On their first album session musicians Ron Edgar played drums and Jim Gordon played drums, percussion, and piano. Mike Botts became their permanent drummer when he joined in the summer of 1969, and Larry Knechtel replaced Royer in 1971, playing keyboards, bass guitar, guitar, and harmonica.
17th May – SKY
Live – one night only – SKY – This was Australian band SKY’s third appearance at the Gaumont, but during this tour Francis Monkman left the band to concentrate on his own projects (having scored success with his soundtrack to the film The Long Good Friday). The split was entirely amicable, and the band had no doubts about carrying on despite the fact that Monkman had been Sky’s most prominent original composer and arranger. Monkman was replaced as Sky’s keyboard player by Steve Gray. Like most of the other band members, Gray was an established session musician who had previously played with Back Door, Quincy Jones, Henry Mancini, Michel Legrand, Lalo Schifrin, Peggy Lee, Sammy Davis Jr and John Barry: more recently he had led WASP (a studio-based jazz-fusion band specialising in high-quality library music). Despite his initial reluctance to return to playing live, Gray was persuaded to join the band in time for the UK leg of their European tour.
18th May – THE WARRIORS
On the screen – for THREE days – (NOT Mon 19th, Tues 20th, Thurs 22nd and Sat 24th) – THE WARRIORS – is a 1979 American action film directed by Walter Hill. The Paramount re-issue is based on Sol Yurick’s 1965 novel of the same name, which was, in turn, based on Xenophon’s Anabasis. The story centers on a New York City gang who must make an urban journey of 30 miles (48 km), from the north end of The Bronx to their home turf in Coney Island in southern Brooklyn, after they are framed for the murder of a respected gang leader. After reports of vandalism and violence, Paramount temporarily halted their advertising campaign and released theater owners from their obligation to show the film. Despite its initially negative reception, The Warriors has since become a cult film, and it has spawned multiple spinoffs, including video games and a comic book series.
The double bill was completed with q re-issue of DEATH WISH, a 1974 American vigilante action exploitation film loosely based on the 1972 novel of the same title by Brian Garfield. The film was directed by Michael Winner and stars Charles Bronson as Paul Kersey, an architect who becomes a vigilante after his wife is murdered and his daughter sexually assaulted during a home invasion. This was the first film in the Death Wish franchise. At the time of release, the film was criticised for its apparent support of vigilantism and advocating unlimited punishment of criminals. Allegedly, the novel denounced vigilantism, whereas the film embraced the notion. The film was a commercial success and resonated with the public in the United States, which was facing increasing crime rates during the 1970s.
19th May – THE SCORPIONS
Live – for one day – THE SCORPIONS – This was the first visit of the German rock band to the Gaumont. Formed in 1965 The Scorpions musical style has ranged from hard rock to heavy metal. The lineup since 1978 became the most successful incarnation of the group, and included Klaus Meine (vocals), Rudolf Schenker (rhythm guitar), Matthias Jabs (lead guitar), Francis Buchholz (bass), and Herman Rarebell (drums). The band’s only continuous member has been Schenker, although Meine has appeared on all of Scorpions’ studio albums, while Jabs has been a consistent member since 1979. The 1979 album Lovedrive was what some critics consider to be the pinnacle of their career. Containing such fan favourites as “Loving You Sunday Morning”, “Always Somewhere”, “Holiday” and the instrumental “Coast to Coast”, it firmly cemented the “Scorpions formula” of hard rock songs mixed with melodic ballads. The album’s provocative artwork was named “Best album sleeve of 1979” by Playboy magazine, yet ultimately changed for American release. In April 1980, the band released Animal Magnetism, again with a provocative cover this time showing a girl kneeling and a Doberman Pinscher sitting in front of a man. Animal Magnetism contained classics such as “The Zoo” and “Make It Real”. This Southampton date was an early stop for the band on their world tour to promote the album.
Support was from TYGERS OF PAN TANG, part of the new wave of British heavy metal bands. They formed in 1978 in Whitley Bay. Their name is derived from Pan Tang, a fictional archipelago in Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné fantasy series whose wizards keep tigers as pets. This slot gave them the opportunity to promote their first album, Wild Cat.
20th May – THIN LIZZY
Live – for one day – THIN LIZZY – This was Thin Lizzy’s third visit to the Gaumont and was part of a nationwide tour. Since their visit the previous year Gary Moore had abruptly left Thin Lizzy in the middle of the tour. He had collaborated with Lynott and Downey on his 1978 album Back on the Streets and the hit single “Parisienne Walkways” before leaving Thin Lizzy. After Moore’s departure, Thin Lizzy continued the tour for a few nights as a trio before Lynott brought in Midge Ure to replace him on a temporary basis. Ure had prior plans to join Ultravox, but had co-written a song, “Get Out of Here”, with Lynott on Black Rose: A Rock Legend, and agreed to help Thin Lizzy complete their touring commitments. He also contributed guitar parts for The Continuing Saga of the Ageing Orphans, a compilation album of remixed and overdubbed versions of Eric Bell-era tracks. They were to headline the Reading Festival for the second time on 25 August 1979, but had to cancel due to the disruption within the line-up. This prompted Lynott to bring in another guitarist, Dave Flett, who had played with Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, to enable Ure to switch to playing keyboards where necessary. With the line-up now containing two temporary members, and with Lynott spending a lot of time on projects outside Thin Lizzy, including composing and producing material for other bands, as well as putting together his first solo album, Solo in Soho. Lynott also reactivated The Greedy Bastards, who released a one-off Christmas single, “A Merry Jingle”, in December 1979 as simply The Greedies. With the group now composed of Lynott, Gorham and Downey with Sex Pistols Jones and Cook. While Lynott searched for a permanent guitarist, he and the other members of Thin Lizzy, past and present, worked on Solo in Soho which had been released in April 1980. Dave Flett had hoped to be made a permanent member of Thin Lizzy but Lynott chose Snowy White, who had played with Pink Floyd and Peter Green. Midge Ure was still acting as a temporary keyboard player at gigs, but was replaced by Darren Wharton in April, shortly after White joined the band. Wharton was only 18 at the time and he completed the line-up for this gig.
22nd May – WOODY HERMAN
Live – for one day only – WOODY HERMAN – a 67 year old American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, singer, and big band leader. Leading various groups called “The Herd”, Herman came to prominence in the late 1930s. His bands often played music that was cutting edge and experimental for its time; they received numerous Grammy nominations and awards. This was only his second concert at the Gaumont the first and only other was back in 1959.
In the intervening years he had experienced a resurgence when his increasingly shaggy young crew started arranging rock tunes like “Proud Mary” and “Light My Fire.” They’d play music by Frank Zappa, Steely Dan and Gilbert O’Sullivan — and The Temptations’ “I Can’t Get Next to You.”
Some old fans were offended, but some jazz fans never forgave rock just for existing. Herman stayed continued to tour and by the time of this concert he didn’t have any choice; the IRS had been squeezing him for unpaid taxes since the ’60s. The feds finally took his house away and auctioned it to a landlord who later tried to evict him. When word got out, contributions and legal assistance flowed in. Like Count Basie and Duke Ellington, he’d led a big band for 50 years and there’s a lot of music to show for it.
Watch a 1980 performance from a concert in the USA – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_9vBR0uUxM
24th May – JOAN ARMATRADING
Live – for one day – JOAN ARMATRADING – a 29 year old British singer-songwriter and guitarist was making her second visit to the Gaumont. The 1970s had seen her become the first Black British female singer/songwriter to enjoy international success. By 1980 Armatrading had radically revised her playing style and released Me Myself I, a harder pop-oriented album produced by Richard Gottehrer, who had previously produced albums for Blondie. The album became Armatrading’s highest ever charting album both in the UK and the US, while the title track became her second UK Top 40 hit single. This tour promoted the release of that album.
25th May – SAXON
Live – one day only – SAXON – are an English heavy metal band formed in 1977, in Barnsley. They started out by gaining support slots on tour with more established bands such as Motörhead. In 1979, the band signed to the French record label Carrere run by Freddy Cannon in the UK and released their eponymous debut album. The band’s follow-up album Wheels of Steel, was released in early ‘80 and charted at #5 in the UK. It spawned two hit singles: the title track, and the crowd favourite “747 (Strangers in the Night)”. This tour promoted the album and together ensured that the band were a huge successs.
26th May – MIKE OLDFIELD
Live – one day only – MIKE OLDFIELD – was 27 when he came to the Gaumont for this gig. He’s an English multi-instrumentalist and composer. His work blends progressive rock with world, folk, classical, electronic, ambient, and new-age music. His biggest commercial success is the 1973 album Tubular Bells – which launched Virgin Records and became a hit in America after its opening was used as the theme for the horror film The Exorcist. In 1979, Oldfield supported Incantations with a European tour that was documented with a live album and concert film, Exposed. Initially marketed as a limited pressing of 100,000 copies, the strength of sales for the album were strong enough for Virgin to abandon the idea shortly after, transferring it to regular production. Oldfield’s music was used for the score of The Space Movie, a Virgin Films production that celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. In 1979, he recorded a version of the signature tune for the BBC children’s television programme Blue Peter, which was used by the show for 10 years. Oldfield’s fifth album, Platinum, was released in November 1979 and marked the start of his transition from long compositions towards mainstream and pop music. Oldfield performed across Europe between April and December 1980 with the In Concert 1980 tour, during which he released QE2, named after the ocean liner, which features a variety of guest musicians including Phil Collins on drums.
27th May – RISING DAMP
On the screen – for FIVE days – RISING DAMP – is a 1980 comedy film from ITC, based on the British situation comedy Rising Damp, which aired on ITV from 1974 to 1978. The television series was, in turn, adapted from Eric Chappell’s stage play The Banana Box. Chappell adapted the play to television, and wrote the screenplay for this feature film. The film’s director was Joseph McGrath. Leonard Rossiter plays Rupert Rigsby, the middle-aged landlord of a decrepit townhouse. Rigsby has fallen for his only female tenant, Ruth Jones (Frances de la Tour). Ruth, however, prefers Philip, who is much younger, more attractive, and more sophisticated than either Rigsby or her. Philip (Don Warrington) is not especially interested in Ruth, but he eggs Rigsby on in order to humiliate him.
In adapting the television series to film, the setting was changed from Yorkshire to inner-city London. As Richard Beckinsale had died the year before, his character of Alan was rewritten with Christopher Strauli cast as a new character, art student John. The character of Alan is briefly referred to as having left Rigsby’s house. For her performance as Ruth Jones, Frances da la Tour received an Evening Standard British Film Award in the category of “Best Actress”.
The double bill was shared with a rerun of ESCAPE TO ATHENA an ITC, 1979 British adventure war film directed by George P. Cosmatos. It stars Roger Moore, Telly Savalas, David Niven, Stefanie Powers, Claudia Cardinale, Richard Roundtree, Sonny Bono and Elliott Gould. The film is set during the Second World War on a German-occupied Greek island. The music was composed by Lalo Schifrin. It was filmed on location on the island of Rhodes.
1st June – RUSH
Live – one day only – RUSH – was a Canadian rock band consisting of Geddy Lee (bass, vocals, keyboards), Alex Lifeson (guitars), and Neil Peart (drums, percussion, lyricist). Formed in 1968, the band went through several configurations until arriving at its longest and classic line-up when Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in July 1974, two weeks before the group’s first tour of the United States.
Rush’s record label tried to pressure the members into moulding their next album in a more commercially friendly and accessible fashion; the band ignored the requests and developed their next album 2112 with a 20-minute title track divided into seven sections. Despite this, the album was the band’s first taste of commercial success and their first platinum album in Canada. The supporting tour culminated in a three-night stand at Massey Hall in Toronto, which the band recorded for the release of their first live album, All the World’s a Stage. AllMusic critic Greg Prato notes the album demarcates the boundary between the band’s early years and the next era of their music.
After 2112, Rush went to the United Kingdom to record A Farewell to Kings (1977) and Hemispheres (1978) at Rockfield Studios in Wales. These albums saw the band members expanding the progressive elements in their music. “As our tastes got more obscure,” Lee said in an interview, “we discovered more progressive rock-based bands like Yes, Van der Graaf Generator and King Crimson, and we were very inspired by those bands. They made us want to make our music more interesting and more complex and we tried to blend that with our own personalities to see what we could come up with that was indisputably us.” Increased synthesizer use, lengthy songs, and highly dynamic playing featuring complex time signature changes became a staple of Rush’s compositions. To achieve a broader, more progressive sound, Lifeson began to experiment with classical and twelve-string guitars, and Lee added bass-pedal synthesizers and Minimoog. Likewise, Peart’s percussion became diversified in the form of triangles, glockenspiel, wood blocks, cowbells, timpani, gong, and chimes. Beyond instrument additions, the band kept in stride with the progressive rock trends by continuing to compose long, conceptual songs with science fiction and fantasy overtones. As the new decade approached, Rush gradually began to dispose of its older styles of music in favour of shorter and sometimes softer arrangements. The lyrics up to this point were heavily influenced by classical poetry, fantasy literature, science fiction, and the writings of novelist Ayn Rand, as exhibited most prominently by their 1975 song “Anthem” from Fly By Night and a specifically acknowledged derivation in 2112 (1976). Permanent Waves (1980) shifted Rush’s style of music with the introduction of reggae and new wave elements. Although a hard rock style was still evident, more synthesizers were introduced. Moreover, because of the limited airplay Rush’s previous extended-length songs received, Permanent Waves included shorter, more radio-friendly songs such as “The Spirit of Radio” and “Freewill”, two songs that helped Permanent Waves become Rush’s first US Top 5 album. Meanwhile, Peart’s lyrics shifted toward an expository tone with subject matter that dwelled less on fantastical or allegorical story-telling and more heavily on topics that explored humanistic, social, and emotional elements. This UK tour was to promote the album Permanent Waves.
3rd June – WHITESNAKE
Live – one day only – WHITESNAKE – a hard rock band formed in England in 1978 by David Coverdale, after his departure from his previous band Deep Purple. Their early material has been compared by critics to the blues rock of Deep Purple, but they slowly began moving toward a more commercially accessible rock style. Whitesnake recorded the EP Snakebite, which was released in 1978 and included a cover of a Bobby “Blue” Bland song “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City”, their first hit song proving the new wave of British heavy metal could have a chart hit. The EP had some success in the UK and subsequent reissues of this EP included four bonus tracks from Coverdale’s second solo album Northwinds (1978) produced by Roger Glover.
A blues rock debut album Trouble was released in the autumn of 1978 and peaked at No. 50 in the UK album charts. Whitesnake toured Europe to promote the album and their first live album Live at Hammersmith was recorded on this tour and released in Japan in 1979. Tracks from the EP Snakebite were included in a reissue of the album Trouble in 2006. Whitesnake released Lovehunter in 1979, which courted controversy due to its risqué album cover by artist Chris Achilleos, which contained an illustration of a naked woman straddling a coiled snake. The album made the UK Top 30 and contained the minor hit “Long Way from Home”, which reached No. 55 in the single charts. Shortly after that, drummer Ian Paice replaced David Dowle. giving Whitesnake three ex-Deep Purple members. The new line-up recorded the 1980 release Ready an’ Willing, which was a breakthrough hit for the band, reaching the UK Top 10 and becoming their first entry into the U.S. Top 100. The single “Fool for Your Loving”, which the band originally wrote for B.B. King, made No. 13 in the UK single charts and No. 53 in the US, and the title track also hit No. 43 in the UK charts. The Ready an’ Willing tour which stopped here at the Gaumont included the Saturday night headline appearance at the 1980 Reading Festival, the highlights of which were broadcast by BBC Radio 1 in the UK.
Opening act for Whitesnake was GARY MOORE a Northern Irish guitarist and singer-songwriter. He is often described as a virtuoso guitarist. At 16 he joined Skid Row along with Noel Bridgeman and Brendan “Brush” Shiels, they cut a number of singles and an album which were released in 1970. The band then went on to play shows across Europe and the USA as the opening act for a number of high profile bands. It was with the early line up of this group that he first met Philip Lynott and it was the start of a long association. Also around this time his reputation as a guitarist began to grow. In 1970 Moore moved to England and apart from two short periods in the United States remained there for the rest of his career. He released his first album Grinding Stone by The Gary Moore Band in 1973, which was released on CBS Records, in the UK and Europe. The album was issued in North America on Neil Kempfer-Stocker’s fledgling record label imprint Cosmos and achieved “Album of the Year” and accolades on KTAC-FM/Seattle-Tacoma, Washington in 1974. Moore left the band in December 1971. In January 1974, he re-joined Lynott in Thin Lizzy after the departure of founding member Eric Bell. Moore stayed until April that year and the band recorded three songs with him, including the single “Still in Love with You”, which was included on the band’s fourth album, Nightlife (1974). During 1974/5, Gary Moore performed on a number of recordings as a session guitarist, and can be heard on records by Eddie Howell Jack Lancaster’s Peter and the Wolf. On these recording sessions, Gary Moore met Jon Hiseman and they decided to start a band. Colosseum II released their first album, Strange New Flesh in March 1976. The band also collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber on the composer’s Variations (1978). In early 1977 Moore rejoined Thin Lizzy, first as a temporary replacement for the injured Brian Robertson and then on a permanent basis in the summer of 1978. Between late 1977 and early 1978 while performing with Colosseum II Moore recorded the album Back on the Streets which featured the hit single “Parisienne Walkways”. The song achieved Top Ten status in the UK Singles Chart in April 1979. While Back on the Streets was climbing the charts Gary Moore had rejoined Thin Lizzy and stayed with them for a year also recording Black Rose: A Rock Legend with them, which reached number two in the UK album chart in 1979. He also appeared in the videos for “Waiting for an Alibi”, “With Love” and “Do Anything You Want To”. He left the band abruptly in July of that year during a U.S tour. This concert was somewhat of a revival of his career.
4th June – PAPILLON
On the screen – for FOUR days – PAPILLON – is a 1973 historical drama prison film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. The screenplay by Dalton Trumbo and Lorenzo Semple Jr. was based on the 1969 autobiography by the French convict Henri Charrière. The film stars Steve McQueen as Charrière (“Papillon”) and Dustin Hoffman as Louis Dega. Because it was filmed at remote locations, the film was quite expensive for the time ($12 million), but it earned more than twice that in its first year of release. The film’s title is French for “Butterfly,” referring to Charrière’s tattoo and nickname.
8th June – SHOCK
On the screen – for FOUR days – (Not Mon 9th, Tues 10th, Sat 14th) – SHOCK – is a 1977 Italian horror film directed by Mario Bava and starring Daria Nicolodi, John Steiner, and David Colin, Jr. Its plot focuses on a woman who moves into the home she shared with her deceased former husband, where she finds herself tormented by supernatural occurrences. It was Bava’s last theatrical feature before he died of a heart attack in 1980.
Completing the double bill was THE BLOOD SPATTERED BRIDE – a 1972 Spanish horror film written and directed by Vicente Aranda, based on the vampire novella “Carmilla” by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. It stars Simón Andreu, Maribel Martín, and Alexandra Bastedo. The film attained cult film status for its mix of horror, vampirism, rejection of fascism, and progressive ideas on gender and sexuality. A well-known US trailer advertising a double feature of this film paired with the 1974 horror film I Dismember Mama was filmed in the style of a news report covering the “story” of an audience member who had gone insane while watching the films.
9th June – DEVO
Live – one day only – DEVO – an American rock band from Akron, Ohio formed in 1973. Their classic lineup consisted of two sets of brothers, the Mothersbaughs (Mark and Bob) and the Casales (Gerald and Bob), along with Alan Myers. The band had a No. 14 Billboard chart hit in 1980 with the single “Whip It”, the song that gave the band mainstream popularity. Devo gained some fame in 1976 when the short film The Truth About De-Evolution directed by Chuck Statler won a prize at the Ann Arbor Film Festival. This attracted the attention of David Bowie, who began work to get the band a recording contract with Warner Music Group. In 1977, Devo were asked by Neil Young to participate in the making of his film Human Highway. Released in 1982, the film featured the band as “Nuclear garbagemen”. The band members were asked to write their own parts and Mark Mothersbaugh scored and recorded much of the soundtrack, his first of many. In March 1977, Devo released their first single “Mongoloid” b/w “Jocko Homo”, the B-side of which came from the soundtrack to The Truth About De-Evolution, on their independent label Booji Boy. This was followed by a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”. In 1978, the B Stiff EP was released by British independent label Stiff, which included the single “Be Stiff” plus two previous Booji Boy releases. “Mechanical Man”, a 4 track 7″ EP of demos, an apparent bootleg but rumored to be put out by the band themselves, was also released that year. On October 14, 1978, Devo gained national exposure with an appearance on the late-night show Saturday Night Live, a week after the Rolling Stones, performing “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Jocko Homo”. The band followed up with Duty Now for the Future in 1979, which moved the band more towards electronic instrumentation. While not as successful as their first album, it did produce some fan favorites with the songs “Blockhead” and “The Day My Baby Gave Me a Surprize”, as well as a cover of the Johnny Rivers hit “Secret Agent Man”. Devo actively embraced the parody religion Church of the SubGenius. In concert, Devo sometimes performed as their own opening act, pretending to be a Christian soft rock band called “Dove (the Band of Love)”, which is an anagram of “Devo”. They appeared as Dove in the 1980 televangelism spoof film Pray TV.
Devo gained a new level of visibility with 1980’s Freedom of Choice. This tour was to promote the album which included their best-known hit, “Whip It”, which quickly became a Top 40 hit. The album moved to an almost completely electronic sound, with the exception of acoustic drums and Bob Mothersbaugh’s guitar. The tour for Freedom of Choice was ambitious for the band, including dates in Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Canada. The band used a minimalist set including large custom light boxes which could be laid on their back to form a second, smaller stage during the second half of the set.
10th June – AVERAGE WHITE BAND
Live – one day only – AVERAGE WHITE BAND – are a Scottish funk and R&B band that had a series of soul and disco hits between 1974 and 1980. They are best known for their million-selling instrumental track “Pick Up the Pieces”, and their albums AWB and Cut the Cake. The band name was initially proposed by Bonnie Bramlett. The band’s breakthrough was a support slot at Eric Clapton’s comeback concert in 1973. Bruce McCaskill, who was Clapton’s tour manager, liked the band’s music and agreed to manage them. He got Atlantic Records to sign them. The band relocated to Los Angeles and released the follow-up, AWB, better known as The White Album. It reached No. 1 and was the first of many with renowned producer Arif Mardin. McIntosh died of a heroin overdose at a Los Angeles party in 1974. Gorrie also overdosed, but Cher kept him conscious until medical help arrived. McIntosh was replaced by Steve Ferrone (previously of Bloodstone), and, like McIntosh, previously with Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express. In 1975, the single “Pick Up the Pieces”, taken from the No. 1 AWB album, reached No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song knocked Linda Ronstadt’s “You’re No Good” out of No. 1 and sold over one million copies. AWB followed up with the LPs Cut the Cake (1975) and Soul Searching (1976), both big sellers and yielding further Top 40 singles. A double live album “Person To Person” was issued in late 1976. Their next LP, Benny & Us, was a collaboration with Ben E. King. After several more albums, “Warmer Communications” (1978), “Feel No Fret” (1979) and in 1980 a switch to the U.S. Arista label, “Shine” which was promoted with this tour.
14th June – THIN LIZZY
Live – one night only – THIN LIZZY – a hard rock band formed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1969. Two of the founding members, drummer Brian Downey and bass guitarist and lead vocalist Phil Lynott, met while still in school. Lynott led the group throughout their recording career, writing most of the material. The singles “Whiskey in the Jar” (a traditional Irish ballad), “The Boys Are Back in Town” and “Waiting for an Alibi” were international hits. In 1978, Thin Lizzy released their first live album “Live and Dangerous“. The album was a huge success, reaching No. 2 in the UK, and would be ranked as the best live album of all time by Classic Rock magazine. But this success was overshadowed by the permanent departure of Robertson some time after a gig in Ibiza on 6 July 1978, the disagreements with Lynott having developed to an impossible level. Lynott replaced Robertson with Gary Moore again. In August the band began another tour of the US, followed by a trip to Australia and New Zealand. Brian Downey did not accompany them, having contracted pneumonia and preferring to spend some time in Ireland. He was replaced for the tour by American drummer Mark Nauseef. On their return, Downey rejoined the band and at the beginning of 1979 they recorded Black Rose: A Rock Legend in Paris. Two singles, “Waiting for an Alibi” and “Do Anything You Want To”, were successful, and the album reached No. 2 in the UK. A third, moderately successful single, “Sarah” was Lynott’s ode to his new-born daughter. However, on 4 July 1979, after playing their Day on the Green set in Oakland, Gary Moore abruptly left Thin Lizzy in the middle of another tour. Years later, Moore said he had no regrets about walking out, “but maybe it was wrong the way I did it. I could’ve done it differently, I suppose. But I just had to leave.”
After Moore’s departure, Thin Lizzy continued the tour for a few nights as a trio before Lynott brought in Midge Ure to replace him on a temporary basis. Ure had prior plans to join Ultravox, but had co-written a song, “Get Out of Here”, with Lynott on Black Rose: A Rock Legend, and agreed to help Thin Lizzy complete their touring commitments. On their return to the UK, the band were to headline the Reading Festival for the second time on 25 August 1979, but had to cancel due to the disruption within the line-up. Before a tour of Japan beginning in September, Lynott decided to bring in another guitarist, Dave Flett, who had played with Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, to enable Ure to switch to playing keyboards where necessary. The tour was completed successfully, but the line-up now contained two temporary members; While Lynott searched for a permanent guitarist, he and the other members of Thin Lizzy, past and present, worked on Solo in Soho which was released in April 1980. Dave Flett had hoped to be made a permanent member of Thin Lizzy but Lynott chose Snowy White, who had played with Pink Floyd and Peter Green. Midge Ure was still acting as a temporary keyboard player at gigs during early 1980, but was replaced by Darren Wharton in April, shortly after White joined the band. Wharton was only 18 at the time and was initially hired on a temporary basis.This was the new line-up that set out on this tour which visited the Gaumont.
15th June – ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS
On the screen – for seven days – ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS – is a 1979 Italian zombie film directed by Lucio Fulci. It was adapted from an original screenplay by Dardano Sacchetti to serve as a sequel to George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978), which was released in Italy with the title Zombi. It stars Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, and Richard Johnson, and features a score by frequent Fulci collaborator Fabio Frizzi. Frizzi’s score has been released independently of the film, and he has performed it live on tour.
The film tells the story of a Caribbean island cursed by voodoo, whose dead residents rise as zombies to attack the living. A scientist’s daughter journeys to the island after her father’s boat turns up abandoned in New York City. Intended by its writer as a return to “classic zombie tales”, Zombi 2 was filmed in Italy, with further location shooting in New York and Santo Domingo. Produced on a small budget of 410 million Italian lira, the film earned several times its production costs back in international gross. It attracted controversy upon its release in the United Kingdom, where it became listed as a “video nasty”.
The double bill included THE TOOLBOX MURDERS a 1978 American slasher film directed by Dennis Donnelly, and written by Ann Kindberg, Robert Easter, and Neva Friedenn. The film was marketed as being a dramatisation of a true story, which was briefly banned in the United Kingdom after this screening.
22nd June – VIOLATION OF THE BITCH
On the screen – for three days – (Not Tues 24th, Weds 25th, Thurs 26th, Fri 27th) – VIOLATION OF THE BITCH – (originally titled Coming Of Sin), this Spanish exploiter, directed by Jose Larraz, concerns a three way love affair between two gypsies, one who likes to ride a horse naked, the other who dreams about him and a rich woman who likes to copy obscure Spanish painters for a hobby. The film is very atmospheric and dreamily paced (some would say boring). The dubbing is so bad that it is funny.
The double bill was completed with PLAYBIRDS a 1978 British sexploitation film, made by Irish-born director Willy Roe and starring 1970s pin-up Mary Millington alongside Glynn Edwards, Suzy Mandel and Windsor Davies. When a series of female centrefolds from the glamour magazine Playbirds are murdered by an obsessive fanatic, police officers from Scotland Yard are called in to investigate the lurid world of pornography. To narrow the field of suspects, undercover policewoman Lucy Sheridan (Mary Millington) infiltrates the publication as its next centrefold.
24th June – DAVID ESSEX
Live – one day only – DAVID ESSEX – made his first record entitled “And the Tears Came Tumbling Down” for the Fontana label in 1965. He then toured with a band called ‘David Essex and the Mood Indigo’ for two years and released a further seven singles in the 1960s. He also recorded two songs, ‘A Rose’ and ‘Leon and John and Billy and Me’ which remain unreleased, but exist as acetates. His first notable acting role aside from small appearances in the films Assault and All Coppers Are… and took the lead in the stage musical, Godspell in 1971 at the age of 23. Two years later, he starred in the film That’ll Be the Day (1973) and recorded his international hit single, the self-penned “Rock On”, in the same year. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. In 1978, he appeared on Jeff Wayne’s concept album, a musical version of The War of the Worlds, as the Artilleryman. In the UK the two-record set remains a bestseller. In the same year, Essex played the character Che in the original production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita and his recording of the show’s “Oh What a Circus” reached Number 3.
In 1980 he starred in the motorcycle racing film Silver Dream Racer; and the soundtrack song “Silver Dream Machine” was a Top 5 hit in the UK Singles Chart. Essex, a keen motorcyclist, waived his fee for the then-new 1980 electric start Triumph Bonneville he had contracted to advertise on behalf of the struggling Triumph motorcycle workers’ co-operative. It was on the current success of Silver Dream Machine that Essex came to the Gaumont.
25th June – BLACK SABBATH
Live – one night only – BLACK SABBATH – GAUMONT –
Black Sabbath, an English rock band formed in Birmingham in 1968 by guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, bassist Geezer Butler and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. They are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970), and Master of Reality (1971). The band had multiple line-up changes following Osbourne’s departure in 1979, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history.
Sharon Arden (later Sharon Osbourne), daughter of Black Sabbath manager Don Arden, suggested former Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio to replace Ozzy Osbourne in 1979. Don Arden was at this point still trying to convince Osbourne to rejoin the band, as he viewed the original line-up as the most profitable. Dio officially joined in June, and the band began writing their next album. With a notably different vocal style from Osbourne’s, Dio’s addition to the band marked a change in Black Sabbath’s sound. “They were totally different altogether”, Iommi explains. “Not only voice-wise, but attitude-wise. Ozzy was a great showman, but when Dio came in, it was a different attitude, a different voice and a different musical approach, as far as vocals. Dio would sing across the riff, whereas Ozzy would follow the riff, like in “Iron Man”. Ronnie came in and gave us another angle on writing.”
Geezer Butler temporarily left the band in September 1979 for personal reasons. The band hired Geoff Nicholls of Quartz. The new line-up returned to Criteria Studios in November to begin recording work, with Butler returning to the band in January 1980, and Nicholls moving to keyboards. Produced by Martin Birch, Heaven and Hell was released on 25 April 1980, to critical acclaim. Heaven and Hell peaked at number 9 in the United Kingdom, and number 28 in the U.S., the band’s highest charting album since Sabotage. The album eventually sold a million copies in the U.S. and the band embarked on an extensive world tour, making their fifth live appearance at the Gaumont.
26th June – STEVE HACKETT
Live – for TWO nights – STEVE HACKETT – an English musician, songwriter, singer, and producer who gained prominence as the lead guitarist of the progressive rock band Genesis from 1971 to 1977. Hackett contributed to six Genesis studio albums, three live albums, seven singles and one EP before he left to pursue a solo career.
Hackett’s first post-Genesis album was Please Don’t Touch!, released in 1978. As with Voyage of the Acolyte (1975), much of the material on the album was in the style of progressive rock. It did contain, however, much more vocal work. Hackett, who had never sung lead or backing vocals on a Genesis song, turned over most of the vocals to a number of singers, including folk singer Richie Havens, R&B singer Randy Crawford, and Steve Walsh of American progressive rock group Kansas. The album peaked at no. 38 on the UK chart and no. 103 on the chart in the United States.
Having released two albums, Hackett was faced with the task of assembling a band to perform the material live. This became a group with John Hackett on flute, bass pedals, and guitar, Dik Cadbury on bass and vocals, Nick Magnus on keyboards, John Shearer on drums, and Pete Hicks on lead vocals. The subsequent European tour was Hackett’s first as a solo performer. Hackett used his band on his next album, Spectral Mornings, the album contains various musical styles, including straightforward and progressive rock, folk, and a wider range of instruments such as a Cantonese koto. It reached No. 22 in the UK and No. 138 in the US. Before Hackett recorded his fourth album Defector, he organised a series of gigs in November 1979, including one in London at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, to test out new material. Hackett found the experience of recording Defector as equal to Spectral Mornings and noted the similarity in music between the two albums, though he considered the material on the latter as some of the strongest of his career. Upon its release Defector peaked the UK chart at No. 9, which remains his highest charting album in the country. In the US, the album went to No. 144. The album’s tour saw Hackett perform for two nights in Southampton on his second solo visit to the Gaumont.
He would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010.
29th June – MAD MAX
On the screen – for seven days – MAD MAX – GAUMONT –
Mad Max is a 1979 Australian dystopian action thriller film from Warner Brothers, directed by George Miller, produced by Byron Kennedy, and starring Mel Gibson as “Mad” Max Rockatansky, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley, Tim Burns, and Roger Ward. James McCausland and Miller wrote the screenplay from a story by Miller and Kennedy. Set in a future Australia, the film presents a saga of societal collapse, murder, and revenge in which an unhinged policeman becomes embroiled in a violent feud with a savage motorcycle gang. The first Australian film production to be shot in anamorphic widescreen, principal photography for Mad Max took place in and around Melbourne, and lasted six weeks. This was a revisit of the film which had a succesful extended run at the City‘s ABC cinema the previous year and this time was packaged as part of a double bill with –
THE GAUNTLET a 1977 Warner Brothers, American action thriller film directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Eastwood and Sondra Locke. The film’s supporting cast includes Pat Hingle, William Prince, Bill McKinney, and Mara Corday. Eastwood plays a down-and-out cop who falls in love with a prostitute (Locke) whom he is assigned to escort from Las Vegas to Phoenix in order for her to testify against the mob.