Get with the programme

When I first started going to gigs as a teenager in the early ’80s I always felt obliged to buy a concert programme just as I did when I went to a football match. I never really made the connection that I was supporting the artist. For me it was more about having a keepsake, something I could hold on to for years to come as a reminder that “I was there”. Either that or it was something else to stick on my bedroom wall! The novelty soon wore off though as I got older and gigs started becoming more of a night ‘on the lash’. A ticket stub is far easier to keep safe in your back pocket than a programme when you’re down in the mosh pit or staggering for a cab home after drinking the venue dry of Red Stripe lager!

I only bought a handful of concert programmes and these were all at my first few shows at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall but I’m glad that I kept them. Just a glance at a cover is enough to trigger a memory from my formative years as a gig-goer. And if that doesn’t work there is usually a cutting from the local newspaper carefully stapled into the back of the programme, alongside my ticket stub, to remind me of the night (yes I was a little bit anal at that age!)

Iron Maiden World Piece Tour 1983
My second ever gig – Iron Maiden at Nottingham;s Royal Centre 10th May 1983
Iron Maiden ticket stub, 10th May 1983
Support band Grand Prix's flexi disc which was given out with the programme
Free ‘flexi disc’ given away with the programme (Grand Prix were the support band)
Nottingham Evening Post write-up and my ticket stub
Rainbow’s ‘Bent Out of Shape’ tour programme
Gig ticket – Rainbow 12th September 1983
Evening post review and my ticket stub. Ritchie Blackmore was in a foul mood that night!
My second Saxon gig at the Concert Hall (they were the first band I ever saw live – see link)
Back cover of the Saxon programme – 9th February 1984
Saxon ticket stub – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall – 9th Feb 1984

Dio – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall – 20th September 1984
Nottingham Evening post write up – Dio 1984
Dio’s stage set just as I remember it from Row B, September 1984
Whitesnake and their innuendos! ‘Slide it in’ tour programme 1984
Local paper’s write up of their show at the Royal Centre, Nottingham on 4th April 1984
Whitesnake – ticket stub – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall – 4th April 1984
Iron Maiden’s tour programme for the World Slavery Tour 1984/85. Pretty sure this is the last programme I bought…
Ticket stub for my second Maiden gig at the Concert Hall, 29th September 1984
Nottingham Evening Post’s review of the Iron Maiden show – September 1984
My first experience of Motorhead live, 25th October 1984. Started in row F, ended up in Row A at Lemmy;s insistence. “Fuck the bouncers, fuck security – get down here!” he demanded.
He even gave us a swig of his vodka!
I’d stopped collecting programmes by now but kept the Nottingham Evening’s Post’s review
Another legend plays Nottingham’s Concert Hall – Ozzy Osbourne on his ‘Ultimate Sin’ tour – 27th February 1986. This time he bothered to show up (see my blog post on his 1988 Rock City gig). No programme and no idea what happened to my ticket for this one but I was there
Hard to imagine but these bad boys Motley Crue actually played Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall on 12th Feb 1986 – drummer Tommy Lee doing his solo in a cage high above the stage!
I was there and I do have a ticket stub somewhere… in the attic!

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