It may have hosted its final concert in 1985 and been demolished a few years later, but the Glasgow Apollo has left many musicians who played there with indelible memories.

Sometimes, as is the case with Roddy Frame, who found fame at a young age with his band Aztec Camera, the musicians actually attended gigs at the Renfield Street venue, which opened fifty years ago in September 1973.

Back in 2006 Frame nominated Joy Division's show at the Apollo on October 5, 1979, as his 'gig of a lifetime'.

The Herald: Joy Division in concert in Rotterdam in January 1980 - Bernard Sumner (left) and Ian CurtisJoy Division in concert in Rotterdam in January 1980 - Bernard Sumner (left) and Ian Curtis (Image: Rob Verhorst/Redferns)

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, he recalled: "What I loved about the gig on this bleak, windswept Glasgow night... well, the stage set-up was very simple: a blue wash over the stage and a white light on Ian Curtis, while the other two stood at the back looking at the floor. That was great for us. We loved that. Towards the end, they did Transmission, and a couple more beams of white light came on and they stepped forward and did backing vocals. It was so simple. There wasn't an ounce of spare in it".

Rod Stewart was familiar with the Apollo, having played concerts there both as a solo artist and with his band, The Faces. "I had some magical times there. Great concerts, amazing crowds. I think one of the band once fell into that orchestra pit. It was huge, wasn't it?"

Fish, formerly the lead singer with the neo-progressive rock band Marillion and now a solo artist, has said: "I thought the Apollo was just great - it was glamorously decadent ... It was such a famous place. The atmosphere was soaked up in the carpets along with a few other things".

Francis Rossi, of Status Quo, said: "For us, the Apollo was the gig in Britain ... I remember that Quo used to have to be sneaked out of the place, lying down in the backs of police cars. There'd be decoy cars going off in one direction and us going off in another. Great days".

Rock of ages: the Glasgow Apollo was opened fifty years ago

One of the most popular US rock bands who played the Apollo in the mid-Seventies was Lynyrd Skynyrd. Their final show there was in February 1977. That October, singer Ronnie Van Zant was one of six people who were killed when the band's chartered Convair 240 airplane crashed into woods five miles outside of Gillsburg, Mississippi.

"We love the Apollo", Van Zant said once. "We think it's one of the best theatres that we play over here. It's one of the best places I've ever played, period.

"We were told when we first came over here [in November 1974] that Glasgow could be rowdy and kinda mean sometimes but we found it quite like being at home".

The Herald: Members of Lynyrd Skynyrd (L-R Leon Wilkeson, Billy Powell, Gary Rossington, Ronnie Van Zant and Allen Collins) photographed in October, 1976Members of Lynyrd Skynyrd (L-R Leon Wilkeson, Billy Powell, Gary Rossington, Ronnie Van Zant and Allen Collins) photographed in October, 1976 (Image: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty)

Nils Lofgren, who today plays with both Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young, said: "It's an interesting crowd at the Apollo. It reminds me of the American crowds, who are a little more excitable and enthusiastic, and that has always made Glasgow a nice place to play for me".

Paul Stanley of the US group Kiss has his own memories of the Apollo. Interviewed by the Daily Record earlier this year, he said: "The stage seemed to be up at the balcony level and I remember trying to make sure I didn't fall off the stage with my heels.

The Herald: Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Paul Stanley of Kiss performing at the Download festival in June 2015Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Paul Stanley of Kiss performing at the Download festival in June 2015 (Image: Katja Ogrin/PA Wire)

"It was an amazing experience to feel that close to our audience who were incredible. I'm not going to take anything away from arenas or stadiums but there's something about theatres, especially the Apollo".

Gary Numan played the Apollo for the first time in September 1979.

"It was really the first proper concert I did", he told the Sunday Post in 2020.

The Herald: Gary NumanGary Numan (Image: Ian West/PA Wire) "I remember people in the street chasing after the bus when we arrived. It felt weird. I was really nervous. It was a massive building with a ridiculously high stage that would kill you if you fell off it.

!I remember the ear-splitting noise as I walked on, and I just tried to take it all in. The balcony moved so much, it was like it was on hydraulics. And the people at the front couldn't see because the stage was so high, so they ran up the back".

Leo Sayer was a regular visitor to the Apollo between 1973 and 1984. Speaking to the Daily Record in 2020, he spoke of his first concert there, in 1973, when he supported Roxy Music and appeared as a mime character, Pierrot.

The Herald: Leo SayerLeo Sayer (Image: PR)

"It was an incredible tour. I was appearing as the Pierrot. I remember the silence that greeted me when I walked out like that. There was a collective intake of breath.

"Then everybody went mad. I didn't speak in those days. I performed one song after another and mimed and the reaction was amazing".

The Apollo, he added, was a magical place. "I remember one year a bunch of girls all stood on each other's shoulders, creating a human ladder and got on the stage which must have been 30-ft tall. I thought the least I could do was let them sing with me".

Those crazy nights at the Glasgow Apollo

Nile Rodgers, of Chic, has never forgotten his band's first show outside America at the Apollo in 1979.

"We didn't know what to expect and didn't realise everything was so political, but a bunch of really tough guys were in the front row with rocks to throw at us because of what we represented", he told the Sunday Mail in 2010.

"We were like, 'Guys, it's just music, what are we talking about?' They wound up loving us and became our road crew. They came down to Brighton with us.

"It was amazing and we wound up making friends with them that night. It was so organic and so real, as it was based on respect".