Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978 - new photos of Belfast show

Pretty self-explanatory
johnfoyle
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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978

Postby johnfoyle » Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:51 pm

The Record Mirror review of the Belfast show in '78 was recently added to wiki -

http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/inde ... h_25,_1978


No mention , yet again, of the stage invasion & Elvis's supposed run from the stage in terror. Given that the media pack at the show were being wined & dined by Elvis's management it seems that they were asked to not include it in accounts.

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978

Postby johnfoyle » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:37 pm

That Record Mirror review was written by Tim Lott , who has gone on to many literary feats. I e-mailed his site & asked if he had any additional memories.

His response , in full


only this. that when i met elvis he was furious that i called him a genius, and was rude and unpleasant to me. Such were the times and ethos of punk.


Tim's latest column -

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... tic-voices


http://www.timlott.co.uk/

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978

Postby johnfoyle » Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:18 pm

Just when I thought I'd uncovered everything about Elvis's first show in Ireland I've happily uncovered another review. It also has a drawing by Neil McCormick , who now writes for the Daily Telegraph and has written about Elvis many times over the years.

http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/In_Dublin,_March_24,_1978
Last edited by johnfoyle on Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978

Postby johnfoyle » Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:40 am

Poking around the internet , I found another item relevant to Elvis's show at the Stella Cinema in Dublin in March '78. An account of a Boomtown Rats show in the same venue in December 1977 -

http://www.u2theearlydayz.com/boomtown-rats.html

'The Stella did not have any dressing rooms, the band had a room down the street, to change in, then walked to the Stella. - Dave Maloney

I know Dave & asked him where the 'room' was. He replied -

It was a sauna, upstairs about 3 or 4 doors down the road towards town.


Delightful!

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978

Postby johnfoyle » Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:49 am

Image

The Stella today. It's the grey building on the left - the 'Stella' lettering was removed in 2012 because bits of them were dropping off and could hurt someone. The 'sauna' that the concert performers used in the 1970s would have been upstairs from one of the shops on the right. I know a trader in the area and hope to ask him if he knows which premises was involved.

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978

Postby johnfoyle » Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:54 pm

The venue for Elvis's show in Dublin in 1978 is for sale -

http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/herit ... Rw.twitter

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978

Postby johnfoyle » Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:26 am

The Stella Cinema , Rathmines , venue for Elvis's first show in Ireland in 1978 , is re-opening. Hurrah!

http://www.independent.ie/business/iris ... 25154.html

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978

Postby johnfoyle » Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:37 am

Elvis's memories in the book of the Stella

Image

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978

Postby johnfoyle » Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:44 am

Image
My photo from December 2013. The lettering was being removed because parts of them were falling off and were a health hazard.

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978

Postby emotional_fascism076 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 2:14 pm

Great reading here and seeing the rare photos too. I'd still like to know more about that stage invasion.

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978

Postby johnfoyle » Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:38 pm

I'd still like to know more about that stage invasion.


There really isn't much more to tell than what I quoted . The actual invader , Colin Cowan of The Outcasts , sadly died in a car crash in the 1980s.

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:44 am

Image


Journalist Gavin Martin has given me permission to share this photo of a fanzine account he wrote of Elvis in Belfast in March 1978. He doesn't have the original , just this photo. I've also been in touch with the photographer and he is confident of finding his original prints or negatives. Both have offered to comment further with any extra memories. Now to try and transcribe this!

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978

Postby johnfoyle » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:05 am

The venue for Elvis's show in Dublin in March 1978 was a cinema, The Stella. At the time most venues in Dublin wouldn't book 'punk' acts. The only other concert that I've heard of being at the Stella was one by the Boomtown Rats , a few months before Elvis , and then only a hasty replacement because a venue , The Tivoli, had cancelled. That was probably the reason Elvis was booked there, even though it was clearly inadequate , shoddy electrics that nearly electrocuted the artists etc.

In 1978 the cinema was the poorly maintained version of what had been an art deco classic when it opened in 1920s.It was further diminished in the 1980s when the auditorium for the single screen was converted into two screens. I grew up near it and my brother Martin remembers it's declining days, before it closed in 2004 -

'The Stella, so many memories. All those Jean -Claude Van Damme classics, perfect to be watched as a cheap second run feature there. By then the print would be in flitters, every 20 minutes at reel change being particularly jarring. The soundtrack was atrocious of course, no way the archaic system could deal with new fangled stereo multi-tracks. Of course an hour in, no matter how strategic a point the drama was at, up went the lights and the film came to a halt for an intermission. The smoke ban was never really observed there, it would be a brave person who’d ask smokers to stop. I wonder if the carpet is still held together with chewing gum? Another memorable feature was their policy of turning off the heating at the start of the last screening. By the end of the night you’d be shivering with cold & you could see your breath.'


The great news is that it is being restored and reopened this Summer.

http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/22364

http://www.irishtimes.com/business/comm ... -1.2999971

Cinema-lovers of all ages will be happy to hear the Stella cinema in Rathmines, Dublin 6, is coming back and soon, probably this summer. The Dublin-based Press Up Entertainment Group has purchased the 94-year-old cinema and is well on the way to returning it to its former glory. The cinema will revert to its original style of one large venue distinguished by its newly-restored decorative ceiling.

The plan is to screen blockbuster films and art-house movies. The interior will be highly comfortable with bespoke furniture and stylish interiors, evoking a burlesque-luxe ambiance. Uniquely, the building will also house a cocktail bar with its own entrance.

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978

Postby johnfoyle » Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:27 am

The negatives for the photos that were with the fanzine review of the Belfast show have been found! Terence Bowman has generously sent 18 photos on to me , saying do what I like with them but please credit etc. They're up on wiki but here are a few highlights


http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/Template:1978-03-17_Belfast_photo_browser

Image

Image

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978 - new photos of Belfast show

Postby johnfoyle » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:35 am

Terence Bowman, the photographer responsible for the photos of the Belfast show has sent me this -



It was little more than a passing Facebook reference earlier this month by London-based (but Bangor reared) music journalist Gavin Martin to Elvis Costello’s St Patrick’s Day gig at the Ulster Hall in 1978, but it still stopped me in my tracks. For Gavin was asking if photographs he’d used to accompany a concert review he’d penned for his home-produced fanzine Alternative Ulster almost 40 years earlier had been supplied by... me?
Gavin and I had first become acquainted – or so we thought – back in 2011 when, cajoled by his author chum Colin Bateman, he agreed to contribute a chapter about the local music scene for my book Bangor in the Seventies. I was even able to lay my hands on a picture I’d taken of Chuck Berry at the ABC in Belfast on 3 May 1977 – Gavin had also been there with his dad that night and wanted to mention it in his text. It wasn’t until August 2013 that we shared our first face to face conversation, after Gavin hosted a special night in Bangor with Noddy Holder.

And now, in 2017, I was being confronted with an online reminder of that Elvis Costello concert back in March 1978. By way of background, I’d joined the Newcastle-based Mourne Observer weekly newspaper two years earlier, in June 1976, and like most young journalists of the time I had my own music column. Belfast was such a musical wasteland in those days that when big name artists like Demis Roussos, Roy Orbison, Ralph McTell, Kenny Rogers and indeed Elvis Costello (who had been on Top of the Pops the night before) appeared in the city, we turned up in our droves, as did the fans. I usually also took along my trusty Pentax K1000 camera (very much frowned upon by the NUJ) and on that St Patrick’s Night shot off a whole 20-exposure black and white 35mm film. Such extravagance!

It took nearly a month before just one of the pictures appeared with a brief review in the Mourne Observer, whereas Gavin, who had presumably made direct contact with me after the concert, received three different shots in the post and they all made it straight away into the hallowed pages of Alternative Ulster.

Life for me moved on apace, with a stint as senior reporter at the Mourne Observer being followed by 25 years as the same newspaper’s editor. Musical journalism, for the most part, was left in the capable hands of the next generation of enthusiast young journalists. Three social histories about Bangor and another two about the Ards prompted (and followed) my decision to step away from the paper at the end of 2010.
As for those photographs... thankfully the Mourne Observer maintains an archive of most if not all photographs taken from the 1960s onwards. And there, nestling alongside the usual array of pictures of school presentations and flower shows, was my 20-shot roll of black and white film. In fact, there were 18 pictures in all, and barely a dud among them. I particularly like the one that shows Elvis bathed in the rays of a spotlight. The knowledge that people can now see them all, for the very first time, gives me every bit as much pleasure as the concert itself did back in 1978.
Enjoy!

Terence Bowman – 13 March 2017

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978 - new photos of Belfast show

Postby sulky lad » Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:21 am

Please pass on huge thanks to Terence for these brilliant photos. The quality for then is amazing and I loved the shot with the audience all around the stage, much like some early Beatles concerts ( notably the NME Poll winners at Wembly !!) Fantastic images and interesting precursors to Chalkie's El Mocambo shots !

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978 - new photos of Belfast show

Postby Ulster Boy » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:27 pm

Amazing to see these. I was at this gig, 16 years old and venturing into Belfast city centre was quite the adventure in those days. Very few bands had visited Belfast in the early and mid 70s due to the troubles, and then suddenly a spurt from about 76 onward - Dr Feelgood, Eddie and the hot rods, The Clash, The Ramones, Buzzcocks and so on. EC & The As visit was very much part of that. The crowds were very mixed - all the NME reading kids like me mixed in with the aging hippies and rockers with beards. But they all went to all the gigs. The venue - the Ulster Hall - was and still is the perfect rock venue, standing on the floor and seats up in a balcony. I'd forgotten that they used to also sell the seats behind the stage, basically choir stalls when the hall was used for orchestral concerts. Must have been a sell out that night, and the hall would have held about 1,500 plus - not bad for a relatively new artist with a then barely six month long career.

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978 - new photos of Belfast show

Postby johnfoyle » Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:03 pm

interesting precursors to Chalkie's El Mocambo shots !


Yes, I was also reminded of Chalkie's photos from that month , March 1978 , which makes sense since they were taken only ten days apart. Elvis had a routine and he was sticking to it.

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978 - new photos of Belfast show

Postby verbal gymnastics » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:42 pm

My thanks go to not only Terence, but the Mourne Observer too.
international laughing stock...

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978 - new photos of Belfast show

Postby johnfoyle » Wed May 10, 2017 10:25 am

The venue for Elvis's show in Dublin '78 , The Stella Cinema, is undergoing it's promised renovation. It looks like it's original frontage from the 1920s is being restored , removing the look that would have been there in 1978.

Image

Image

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978 - new photos of Belfast show

Postby johnfoyle » Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:52 am

http://www.thejournal.ie/stella-cinema- ... 017/?amp=1

'Revamped Stella Cinema could be open by the end of July'

Image

When Elvis played here in 1978 the venue had a single screen so the photo above , much as it predates then , is something like what the view from the stage was like.

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Re: Memories and images of Elvis in Ireland, March 1978 - new photos of Belfast show

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:15 pm

http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/Mourne_Observer,_April_15,_1978

Another review of the Belfast show has popped up. This is the newspaper that the photos found last March were taken for.


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