Go to home pageGo to history PageGo to opening night pageDates 1930-1959Dates 1960-69Dates 1970-71Dates 1972Dates 1973Dates 1974Dates 1975Dates 1976Dates 1977Dates 1978Dates 1979Dates 1980Dates 1981-82Dates 1983-PresentVarious Photographs of the Theatrelive albums of concerts at the theatrefilms that have been shot at the theatreContact me & Info 1980      
8th January   Alex Harvey Band - Rehearsals  
14th January   The Ramones - Rehearsals  
15th -      
17th January   The Boomtown Rats - Rehearsals  
9th February   The Ramones, The Boys, Tenpole Tudor Ramones Poster Ramones ticket
12th February   Filming of a commercial  
17th February   Jerry Lee Lewis, , The Stamps, J.D.Sumner Jerry Lee Lewis Poster Jerry Lee Lewis on stage Jerry Lee Lewis ticket
23rd February   Gillan, The Broughtons Gillan programme
29th February -      
1st March   Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Rehearsals  
8th March   Rainbow, Katchis   Rainbow crew pass  
    Ritchie Blackmore - Guitar, Cosy Powell - Drums, Roger Glover - Bass, Don Airey - Keyboards, Graham Bonnet - Vocals

Eventually Graham Bonnet was selected to become the new Rainbow vocalist, replacing Ronnie Dio.They were still looking for a bass player and Bonnet was reported to say "what the hell's going on here, why don't we get Rog to do it, it would be better?". Thus the new lin up of Rainbow was finalised! and 'Down to Earth' was recorded

  Rainbow ticket
10th March   Gillan, TheBroughtons Gillan Press Advert Gillan Programme Gillan Ticket
    Ritchie Blackmore joins the band for some of their set Selection of Gillan badges
14th March   David Soul - Rehearsals  
19th March   Joan Beaz Joan Baez press advert
23rd March   David Soul David Soul programme
28th/   Blood, Sweat Blood, Sweat & Tears programme WAR programme Blood, Sweat & Tears/WAR ticket
29th March & Tears, War
30th March   'Greek' concert  
31st March   Get in and 'build' for anniversary shows  
    This was the week the theatre celebrated it’s 50th birthday, Levi Strauss & Co committed their total annual promotional budget to underwrite the 9 days of concerts (eight this week 1st - 8th April and one on the anniversary date, 29th September), and also paid for an exhibition, a new front-of-house illuminated sign, and a five album box-set of classic rock original recordings. (The cost was £11.99 for either vinyl or cassette - CD didn't exist then) 50th Anniversary Programme
Press clipping for the 50th Anniversary shows
1st April Judas Priest, Iron Maiden  
2nd April Whitesnake, Saxon David Covendale on stage Whitesnake ticket
3rd April   The Stranglers, UB 40, Monochrome Set, Hazel O’Connor Stranglers ticket
4th April   The Stranglers, Joy Division, Section 25 Stranglers ticket

This was a two night performance by The Stranglers. Their singer, Hugh Cornwell, had been busted and imprisoned and an all-star band was put together to play in protest. The artists of the day included John Ellis (Vibrators/Peter Gabriel Band) who filled in most of the guitar work. (He was later to become a permanent member of the band when Hugh left in coming years). Toyah Wilcox and Hazel O'Connor tried their best up upstage one another, with the more visual Toyah coming out just about on top. But it was Ian Dury who stole the show with great versions of 'Peaches' and 'Bear Cage', while Richard Jobson (The Skids) showed us that he really couldn't dance to save his life, but could sing 'Bring On The Nubiles'. Billy Idol came on stage with all the artists during the encore, after not contributing anyway, and was promptly put on his arse by JJ Burnel (bass and black belt judo). Two strippers were also called upon, and dressed as Policeman & Woman, the show came to an end.

Stranglers Temporary line-up:
Vocals: Toyah Wilcox - 'Peaches', 'Duchess', 'Bear Cage' and 'Something Better Change'.
Hazel O'Connor - 'Get A Grip', 'Hanging Around', 'Peaches' and 'Bear Cage'.
Nicky Tesco (The Members) - 'Nice 'N' Sleazy'.
Phil Daniels - 'Toiler' and 'Dead Loss Angeles'.
Peter Hammill (Van Der Graaf Generator) - 'Tank' and 'The Raven'.
Jake Burns (Stiff Little Fingers) - 'Down In The Sewer'.
Ian Dury (Blockheads) - 'Peaches' and 'Bear Cage'
Richard Jobson (The Skids) - 'Bring On The Nubiles'.
Guitar: Wilko Johnson (Dr. Feelgood)
Robert Fripp (King Crimson)
Robert Smith (Cure & The Banshees)
Steve Hillage
Basil Gabbidon (Steel Pulse)
Larry Wallace
John Turnball (Blockheads).
Keyboards: Matthieu Hartley (The Cure)
Sax: Nick Turner (Hawkwind)
Davey Payne (Blockheads)
Rhythms: Steel Pulse.

5oth Anniversary Press Advert
    Stranglers Concert photos 50th Anniversary shows crew pass
5th April   John McLoughlin  
6th April   Average White Band, Billy Connolly   Average White Band crew pass
7th /     Jam ticket The Jam ticket
8th April   The Jam, The Records
12th -    
15th April Average White Band - Rehearsals  
22nd April -    
2nd May Led Zeppelin - Rehearsals  
3rd May Dr. Hook Dr Hook pass Dr Hook ticket
9th May Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - Rehearsals  
11th May The Cure, The Passions, The Au Pairs, Section 25, The Fall  
  Cure poster Cure press advert Cure ticket
14th May Iron Maiden - Rehearsals  
16th/   David Gates programme David Gates programme David Gates ticket
17th May David Gates & Bread
18th May 'Greek' Concert  
19th -   RSC "flyer"
28th May The Royal Shakespere Company - Set Build & Rehearsals
  This was the production build for the stage set of "The life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby"
29th May Chuck Berry, The Cruisers,Jim Brady's Crazy Caven Disco   Chuck Berry poster Chuck Berry ticket
      UK Subs Poster UK Subs ticket
30th May UK Subs, Angelic Upstarts, Liquid Stone
Charlie Harper of The UK Subs & members of Liquid Stone backstage UK Subs press advert
      Thin Lizzy Tour Programme Thin Lizzy Poster Thin Lizzy ticket
31st May/  
1st June Thin Lizzy, The Lookalikes
5th June Average White Band  
6th June Little River Band, Kevin Ayres Little River Band ticket
8th June Devo   Press Advert Devo poster
Devo ticket
12th June Marvin Gaye - Rehearsals  
14th June Saxon, The Tygers of Pan Tang     Saxon & Tygers of Pan Tang Poster
15th June Marvyn Gaye, Edwin Starr   Press Advert Marvin Gaye programme Marvyn Gaye crew Pass
16th -      
19th June Filming of 'Breaking Glass'   French Breaking Glass film poster
  The dramatic climax to the 1980 British film Breaking Glass was shot here. Directed by Brian Gibson, it starred Hazel O'Connor, Phil Daniels and Jonathan Pryce.

Steve Strange recalls:
"Casting and directors were always coming down to Blitz looking for people to add a bit of colour and exotism to their movies. I was asked to be in the crowd scene in the hit movie Breaking Glass. A lot of the Blitz Crowd was used as extras but I was treated a bit better than most.
People like Boy George had to hang around all day, but after I had done my bit I was given an envelope with my money in it and I was able to go home"

    Breaking Glass filming picture
    Iron Maiden programme Iron Maiden poster Iron Maiden ticket
20th June

Iron Maiden, Praying Mantis,

  D.J.Neal Kay
21st June Joan Armatrading Joan Armatrading ticket
      Van Halen poster  
23rd /     Van Halen ticket
24th June
Van Halen, Lucifer’s Friend Van Halen programme Van Halen ticket
  Billed as The Invasion tour
28th June The Vapors, The Chords, 3 Minutes Vapors "Guest Pass" Chords Vapors advert The Vapors ticket
6th July Filming of a video  
8th July The Stranglers Stranglers ticket
14th July Get in day for Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy  

15th -19th July

22nd - 26th July

29th - 30th July

1st/2nd August

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
A stage production of Douglas Adams Book
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy poster Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy crew pass

The third, and least successful stage show was held at the Rainbow Theatre in London, in July 1980. This was the second production directed by Ken Campbell. The Rainbow Theatre had been adapted for stagings of rock operas in the 1970s, and both reference books mentioned in footnotes indicate that this, coupled with incidental music throughout the performance, caused some reviewers to label it as a "musical". This was the first adaptation for which Adams wrote the "Dish of the Day" sequence. The production ran for over three hours, and was widely panned for this, as well as the music, laser effects, and the acting. Despite attempts to shorten the script, and make other changes, it closed three or four weeks early (accounts differ), and lost a lot of money. Despite the bad reviews, there were at least two stand out performances: Michael Cule and David Learner both went on from this production to appearances in the TV adaptation.

The cast included : Roger Blake (the Narrator), Kim Durham (Arthur), David Brett (Ford), Jude Alderson (Trillian), John Terence and Nicolas D'Avirro (Zaphod) and David Learner (Marvin).

LEWIS COWEN writes” As time went on we moved from the rehearsal room into the Rainbow itself. Originally built as a cinema, it seats over 3,000 and is the size of the A380's hangar. The sets were of proportionate size and the costumes were designed by a big fashion designer of whom I had never heard and boffins who built creatures for Dr Who. I was particularly fond of my Vogon costume, which looked like a cross between a Disney dragon and Kenneth Clarke. Among the other parts I played were the builder who knocks Arthur Dent's house down, Slartibartfast, the designer of the Earth computer, and a space policeman who doesn't enjoy killing people but does it all the same. But the part for which I created the template, as immortalised in the book, is Max Quordlepleen, the master of ceremonies at Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. I played it as a sort of south London Hughie Green and was dressed in a gold lamé suit.
My agent came to see the show on its horrendous first night. I phoned her the next day and she said she had stayed awake through the whole thing, which was something of an accolade. She said: "I thought everyone was OK, except for that chap in the gold suit. God!" I said: "That was me." She said: "You were brilliant!"
Whatever you say about agents, they are nothing if not loyal.”

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Flyer
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy programme
John Terence and Nicolas D'Avirro as Zaphod and Jude Alderson as Trillian
THHGTTG booking form Lewis Cowen as  Bang Bang the space policeman who doesn't like shooting people, but does it all the same
        Hitchikers "Bag" Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy ticket
  The performances from 5th - 9th and 12th - 16th August were cancelled due to bad ticket sales
20th July Stiff Little Fingers, Weapon of Peace Stiff Little Fingers Tour Advert SLF pass
24th -    
29th August Nina Hagen - Rehearsals  
10th/         Allman Brothers Band crew pass The Allman Bros ticket
11th September The Allman Brothers    
14th September Gregory Isaacs  
15th -    
17th September The Tourists - Rehearsals  
    Steel Pulse - Gang of Fours Poster
18th September Gang of Four, Steel Pulse, Toyah, The Au Pairs, Chelsea, XTC, The Police
  Link to Steel Pulse performing "Klu Klux Klan" at this concert
20th September The 'Mr. Universe' contest  
22ndSeptember Journey, Samson Journey programme Journey on stage Journey press advert
27th September The Tourists, The Barracudas   The Tourists, The Barracudas advert
28th September Get in day for Elvis Costello & The Attractions Press Advert  
29th September Elvis Costello & The Attractions, The Stray Cats    
  “Happy Birthday Rainbow” 50 years today!    
Concert Poster Elvis Costello & The Attractions  50th Anniversary Concert Ticket
  The day after the 50th Anniversary fears rose that the theatre would close! However the G.L.C. agreed to renew the theatre's public music licence after assurances that action was being taken to ensure that, at future concerts licensing rules and the G.L.C.'s code would be strictly observed.  
2nd October Live broadcast of Larry Holmes v Muhammad Ali Boxing Match  
  Muhammad Ali came out of a 25-month retirement and fought undefeated heavyweight champion Larry Holmes. During Ali's retirement, he ballooned up to over 280 pounds. At this time, the 30-year old Holmes was in his absolute prime and had been champ for two and a half years. Ali was two months shy of turning 39, and was an empty package as far as a fighter goes. The only thing Ali had going for him prior to fighting Holmes was his mystique. After the second round, that was gone and Holmes proceeded to beat Ali up for the remainder of the fight (Ali's trainer Angelo Dundee stopped the fight in between the 10th and 11th rounds) in what turned out to be a very sad night in boxing history.
Poster for the Larry Holmes Vs Mohammad Ali world heavyweight championship fligh, live beamback from Las Vegas Holms Vs Ali ticket
4th October Secret Affair, The Step     Secret Affair Advert
5th October Gregory Isaacs  
12th -    
14th October After the Fire - Rehearsals  
16th October Irom Maiden - Filming  
  Maiden are at The Rainbow filming a cover of Skyhooks "Women in Uniform"  
    Rory Gallagher Guest Pass Rory Gallagher ticket
18th October Rory Gallagher, Rage Rory Gallagher ticket
  20th October   MGM - Rehearsals  
  22nd -      
  25th October   The Jam - Rehearsals  
  28th October   Grateful Dead "film" Grateful Dead film ticket
  29th/     Saxon tour programme
30th October Saxon - Rehearsals for the 'Strong Arm of the Law' tour
  31st October   Bow Wow Wow  
      One of their backing singers was Lieutenant Lush, aka Boy George  
  6th November   Robert Palmer   Robert Palmer tour advert Robert Palmer programme
  9th November   Kool & The Gang  
  10th -      
  13th November   Yes - Rehearsals  
  14th November   After The Fire, The Fabulous Poodles, The Lasers  
            Jam ticket The Jam ticket
16th November The Jam, Department S    
20th November Charlie Daniels - Rehearsals  
21st November Charlie Daniels         Charlie Daniels pass Charlie Daniels ticket
22nd November Ultavox - Rehearsals  
23rd November 'Greek' Film  
25th -    
28th November Dire Straits - Rehearsals  
30th November A 'Rock' Contest  
2nd December Live broadcast of Tottenham Hotspurs Vs West Ham United Football match Copy of Match day programme
  This was a league Cup 5th round match.West Ham won the match 1 - 0
11th December Burning Spear Burning Spear ticket
12th December Huge Mundell  
        Echo & The Bunnymen ticket
14th December Echo & The Bunnymen,
  The Passions, The Sound
  17th /      
  18th December  


Yes ticket
The Drama Tour
        Gary Glitter poster
19th December Gary Glitter - Get in and Stage build
          Gary Glitter poster
20th December Gary Glitter, Protex, The Revillos, Paris 9

Billed as "Glitter over Christmas"


Video link to Gary Glitter concert  
This show was being filmed and The Revillos wouldn't come off, so the "management" phoned the Police with a bomb scare! the building was evacuated and Gary Glitter resumed the show once all the audience had returned!!
21st December Iron Maiden Video link to Iron Maiden performing "Killers" at this concert     Iron Maiden photo pass Iron Maiden ticket
          Dire Strraits poster Dire Straits ticket
22nd - Dire Straits Video link to Dire Straits performing "Once upon a time in the west" at this concert
24th December  
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      Copyright © Rick Burton 2011