You had to be there? reflections on the ‘legendary’ status of the Glasgow Apollo theatre (1973-85)

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


The ephemeral nature of live music can, from some perspectives, serve to place limitations on its lasting socio-cultural impact. This thesis addresses such claims by analysing the enduring appeal of a ‘legendary’ venue, the Glasgow Apollo (1973-85), where a series of momentous live music moments from several decades ago continue to be celebrated. In order to accomplish this, the study primarily uses semi-structured and focus group interviews to explore the reminiscences of the audience and artists who shared live music experiences at the venue. Through the application of Actor Network Theory, the work focuses on the influence that actors such as locality, technology, industry and music genre held over these encounters, as well as the manner in which the collective memories of the events in question have subsequently shaped their cultural value. The study first establishes the foundation for Glasgow’s cultural traditions, which thereafter helped to shape the concert experiences at the Apollo. It then follows the actors through, and beyond, the period of the venue’s tenure, to argue that the Apollo ‘legend’ lingers due to the manner in which these live experiences have been collectively framed within several of the platforms dedicated to the venue’s legacy.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Glasgow
  • Cloonan, Martin, Supervisor, External person
  • Holdsworth, Amy, Supervisor, External person
Award date15 Aug 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2015


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