|The London Rock & Roll Show, Various Artists
TKO Magnum CDMF 105
As an era comes to an end with the demolition of the original Wembley Stadium many of the highlights of the sporting occasions at the venue have been reviewed in detail. Perhaps not so readily recognised, with the exception of the phenonmenal Live Aid concert, has been the part it has played in the development of stadium presentations of great artists in music.
It is not widely known that "The London Rock And Roll Show" was the first musical presentation at Wembley Stadium and an enormous breakthrough in the sense that it was the first time that the audience was allowed onto the hallowed turf - even though it had been covered! At the time, in the days before all seater venues, the stadium had a capacity in the region of 100.000. However the local authority had restricted the licence for this presentation to 87.000. Regardless to attract such an audience was unprecedented and it was clear on the day that a special event was witnessed. Indeed it had been judged in advance by the Evening Standard to be of sufficient importance for a special supplement to be printed with the evening newspaper!
The show lasted for some eleven hours and the billing listed the initial acts to be The Houseshakers, Screaming Lord Sutch, Billy Fury, Linda Gail Lewis, Roy Wood, The Platters, Gary Glitter and the Coasters. However the show really began to take off as the sun was going down during the early evening as Bo Diddley took to the stage. From that point on there was no let up as he was followed by Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Haley, Little Richard and Chuck Berry.
Whichever way "The London Rock And Roll Show" is viewed nearly thirty years on, it was a classic moment in the history of rock and roll in the UK and the performances on that day are now available on CD for the first time.
TKO Magnum Music Ltd.
Liner notes by Niall Dubar, 2001
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