Ray's Gigs

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Best Gigs of 1982

Because I was now working at Hammersmith Odeon when my fave bands played for 3 or 4 night stints I could see all of the shows. The shows above tell you how popular the Odeon was as a live venue. Also that year Status Quo played 7 nights there in May and Elton John played 14 nights there in Dec. It was THE venue to play in England and the probably the top live venue in Europe. Other highlights this year were Sammy Hagar, Kid Creole And The Coconuts, Motorhead, Maze, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Damned, Iggy Pop, Johnny Thunders, Scorpions, UB40, Slade, Frank Zappa, Saxon, Japan, ABC and Ultravox.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 1084 to 1087 AC/DC + Y n T Hammersmith Odeon, London 13 to 16.10.1982 9,75
2 996 to 997 Alice Cooper + Sapphire Hammersmith Odeon, London 14 to 16.02.1982 9,75
3 1049 Rolling Stones + J Geils Band Wembley Stadium, London 26.06.1982 9,75
4 1072 Billy Idol + Matt Fretton Heaven Nightclub, London 20.09.1982 9,75
5 1110 to 1113 Duran Duran Hammersmith Odeon, London 14 to 16.11.1982 9,75

Best Gigs of 1981

In May of this year I landed my dream job. I started work as front of stage security at Hammersmith Odeon so now I would get paid to watch my fave bands and not worry about having to get advance tickets for shows. I was there for the next 10 years until the venue was sold to the Apollo leisure group. Other live gig highlights that I went to for this year included Adam And The Ants, Cure, Status Quo, New Order, Foreigner, Tubes, Ultravox, Marvin Gaye, Whitesnake, Toyah, ZZ Top, Psychedelic Furs, Kraftwerk, Duran Duran, Pretenders, Joe Jackson, Clash, U2, Stray Cats, Squeeze, Slade, Cliff Richard, Japan, Thin Lizzy and Judas Priest.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 889 Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band Wembley Arena, London 04.06.1981 9,75
2 946 Ramones Venue, Victoria, London 19.11.1981 9,75
3 877 Stiff Little Fingers Rainbow Theatre, London 10.05.1981 9,75
4 915+917 Siouxsie And The Banshees + J C Clarke Hammersmith Odeon, London 25/08 +03/09.1981 9,75
5 842 Gary Glitter + HeeBeeGeeBees Venue, Victoria, London 14.02.1981 9,75

Best Gigs of 1980

Well it had to happen. We formed our own band and started playing gigs. Playing your own material and having people dance and jump around to it was great fun. We lasted eighteen months and played about 30 gigs. We were called Gun Control (after a Sex Pistols bootleg). We should have made our own records but never got round to it. Some of the highlights I saw this year were Blondie, Madness, Joy Division, Ramones, Only Ones, Slade, Motorhead, Stiff Little Fingers, Siouxsie And The Banshees, ZZ Top, Members, Adam And The Ants, Stray Cats, Thin Lizzy, Elvis Costello, Scorpions, Specials and B52s.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 763-766 KISS + Girl All 4 dates on UK tour. 05-09.09.1980 10
2 682+683+684 Clash + Joe Ely 5 London shows - various venues Feb and June 1980 9,75
3 797+798+799 AC/DC + Starfighters Hammersmith Odeon, London 10+11+12.11.1980 9,75
4 729+730 Black Sabbath + Girlschool Hammersmith Odeon, London 07+08.05.1980 9,75
5 720+721 Sammy Hagar + Riot Hammersmith Odeon, London 19+20.04.1980 9,75

Best Gigs of 1979

Well the highlight was a month long trip to America which was fantastic. Freddie Laker had brought out his Skytrain service over the Atlantic and on my plane was the singer Joe Jackson. I managed to see the 3 shows below as well as The Bee Gees at Madison Square Garden and The Buzzcocks played at The Diplomat Hotel NY where I was staying. Other big shows I saw that year included Status Quo, Van Halen, Who, Thin Lizzy, Ted Nugent, Rush, Roxy Music, Chic, Osmonds, Earth Wind And Fire, Queen, Police, Motorhead, Echo And The Bunnymen, Kate Bush, B52s, Joy Division, Skids, Damned, Iggy Pop, Tubes, Gang Of Four, Only Ones and Elton John.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 599 Clash + Sam And Dave + Undertones Orpheum Theatre, Boston 19.09.1979 10
2 600 KISS + Judas Priest Amphitheatre, Chicago 22.09.1979 10
3 535 Siouxsie And The Banshees + Human League Rainbow Theatre, London 07.04.1979 9,85
4 617+619 AC/DC + Def Leppard Hammersmith Odeon, London 01+03.11.1979 9,75
5 596 Johnny Thunders Heartbreakers Max's Kansas City, New York 07.09.1979 9,75

Best Gigs of 1978

Highlight of the year was a one off show by Sex Pistol Sid Vicious and his punk mates. Another great year for live band action. My fave types of music were punk rock and heavy rock and I easily went from a punk gig one night to a rock gig the next night etc. I saw great shows by Thin Lizzy, Queen, Public Image Ltd, Talking Heads, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Van Halen at Rainbow, Runaways, Alex Harvey, David Johansen, Clash at The Roxy, Harlesden, Sham 69, Parliament and Funkadelic, Blondie, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Japan and Blue Oyster Cult.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 431 Vicious White Cats (Sid Vicious Special) Electric Ballroom, London 15.08.1978 9,85
2 428+491 Greedies (feat Sex Pistols +Thin Lizzy) Electric Ballroom, London 29/07 +16/12.1978 9,85
3 423+424 Clash + Specials Music Machine, London 24+25.07.1978 9,75
4 395+399 Black Sabbath + Van Halen Hammersmith Odeon, London 01+10.06.1978 9,75
5 469+470 AC/DC + Blazer Blazer Hammersmith Odeon, London 15+16.11.1978 9,75

Best Gigs of 1977

The first 6 months of this year quickly saw many punk bands move out of the pubs and clubs into the bigger venues. The Sex Pistols were banned from venues all across the country so all their gigs had to be short-notice special secret gigs. The famous Roxy club opened and closed. Loads of other great shows like Iggy Pop with David Bowie, Trex, Ted Nugent, Abba, Johnny Thunders, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Status Quo, James Brown, Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, Slade, Pink Floyd... Two great Clash shows with Sham 69 in support at The Rainbow in December.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 255 Sex Pistols + Slits Screen On The Green, London 03.04.1977 10
2 263 Clash + Jam + Buzzcocks Rainbow Theatre, London 09.05.1977 9,75
3 266 Clash + Buzzcocks + Slits St Albans City Hall, Herts 21.05.1977 9,75
4 336 Ramones + Generation X + Rezillos Rainbow Theatre, London 31.12.1977 9,75
5 322+323 Damned + Dead Boys Roundhouse, London 25+27.11.1977 9,75

Best Gigs of 1976

This was the year when punk rock really did shake up the music business. As a 17 year old this was just the right music and scene that I just loved. The 100 club punk festival in Sept was the event that really kicked things off. It really was the start to an amazing year that has never been repeated by any other music genre. Even now The Sex Pistols and The Clash still mean so much to a lot of people. There were so many great gigs nearly every night and it was this year where I started to get out to about 100 shows a year. Other great shows this year included Who at Charlton FC, Loads of AC/DC pub gigs at different venues, Runaways at The Roundhouse, Aerosmith at Ham Odeon, Bob Marley, Ted Nugent, and Rod Stewart.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 207 Sex Pistols Notre Dame Club, London 15.11.1976 10
2 185 Sex Pistols + Clash 100 Club Festival, London 20.09.1976 10
3 139+140 KISS + Stray Hammersmith Odeon, London 15+16.05.1976 10
4 110+111 Status Quo Hammersmith Odeon, London 27+28.02.1976 9,75
5 142- 146 Rolling Stones + Meteors Earls Court Arena, London 21-27.05.1976 9,5

Best Gigs of 1975

I was starting to widen my tastes as I got more into soul and funk music and went to see a few of them play live such as Detroit Spinners and Fatback Band. I saw both Bruce Springsteen shows at Hammersmith Odeon this year as well.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 45+46 Bachman Turner Overdrive + Thin Lizzy Hammersmith Odeon, London 03+04.05.1975 9,5
2 96+97 Who + Charlie Hammersmith Odeon, London 22+23.12.1975 9,5
3 89+90+91+92 Queen + Mr Big Hammersmith Odeon, London 29.11-02.12.1975 9,5
4 59+60 Alice Cooper + Heavy Metal Kids Wembley Arena, London 11+12.09.1975 9,5
5 71 Blue Oyster Cult + Motorhead Hammersmith Odeon, London 19.10.1975 9,5

Best Gigs of 1974

As I get a bit older I am starting to get into rock music a lot more. Most touring bands would rather play 2 or 3 nights at Hammersmith Odeon than a night at Wembley Arena when they came to play shows in London.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 13+14+15 Slade + Beckett Hammersmith Odeon, London 16+17+18.05.1974 9,5
2 16 Black Sabbath + Black Oak Arkansaw Hammersmith Odeon, London 21.05.1974 9,5
3 25 Status Quo + Snafu Hammersmith Odeon, London 13.12.1974 9,5
4 23 Sparks + Pilot Hammersmith Odeon, London 11.11.1974 9,5
5 30+31 Gary Glitter + Glitter Band Hammersmith Odeon, London 29+30.12.1974 9

Best Gigs of 1973

I was only 14 when I first started going to shows. I never had much money so I would usually sneak in the side doors. The security was not as tough as it is today. Hammersmith Odeon was a few minutes walk from me but it was not until a couple of years later that I knew it was one of the top live venues in the whole country. I was very into glam rock at the time so I would try and catch those bands but Marc Bolan sadly never played Hammersmith Odeon in the years I went there.

  # Artists Venue Date Rating
1 3 Mott The Hoople + Queen Hammersmith Odeon, London 14.12.1973 9,5
2 4 Sweet + Fumble Rainbow Theatre, London 21.12.1973 9,5
3 2 Wizzard + Raymond Froggart Hammersmith Palais, London 11.09.1973 9
4 5+6 Elton John + Kiki Dee Hammersmith Odeon, London 23+24.12.1973 9
5 1 Slade + Geordie + Suzi Quatro Brands Hatch Racetrack, Kent 12.08.1973 9