It may have been one of the most iconic and best-loved rock venues ever to operate in Glasgow. But while Green’s Playhouse on Renfield Street once hosted such stellar names as David Bowie, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd, it struck fear into one musician who performed there – Roger Daltrey, lead singer of The Who.

The legendary rockers played the storied venue several times. Speaking exclusively to The Herald ahead of a solo show in Glasgow on July 6, Daltrey recalled his first disconcerting brush with the place while touring with the band’s rock opera, Tommy.

“The audience was jammed and there was a very high balcony,” he said. “They were jumping up and down when we were doing Summertime Blues and my God, it looked like the thing was going to collapse. It was bowing in the middle. We were standing there on stage thinking: ‘Oh shit’. So yeah, good memories of Glasgow.”

The boisterous crowd wasn’t the only memorable aspect of the gig either. “The carpet, I’ll never forget it,” Daltrey said. “The cruddiest carpet you’ve ever seen and all across it was written: ‘If it’s good it’s Greens’.”


Roger Daltrey, front man with The Who, performing in New York in 2016

Along with its Corinthian columns, the legend-bearing floor covering was actually one of the famous venue’s most striking features and was the slogan of the Green family, who commissioned and built the Playhouse. It opened in 1927 as a cinema and ballroom and only began hosting concerts in the 1960s.

A second chapter in the venue’s history opened in 1973 when it was re-branded as the Glasgow Apollo, with Johnny Cash being the first to play there. Between then and 1985, when a concert by The Style Council brought the curtain down, it became ever more famous for its atmosphere. As a result, many performances were filmed and many more turned into live albums by bands such as Status Quo, AC/DC, King Crimson, Rush and Roxy Music. In early 1981, it even hosted The Who.