These images from the Chronicle archive were captured mainly at Newcastle City Hall, with a few from the Mayfair Ballroom.
They were taken in the s and 80s. The likes of Gracie Fields, Paul Robeson and Maurice Chevalier appeared there long before the pop and rock acts arrived on the scene.
The concerts continue to this day. Run by the Mecca organisation, the resident band, Jimmy Bence and his orchestra, was on hand for formal dance nights. The hall could accommodate 1, people — and there was a stage on one of the long sides of the dance floor.
But it was perhaps as a superb, and today much-missed rock venue that the Mayfair is best remembered. The last band to play the venue, on May 11, were Reef — before on August 21, 5, rockers flocked to the emotional final night.
When Led Zeppelin rocked Alabama: '70s concerts revisited
By David Morton. Video Loading Video Unavailable. Click to play Tap to play. The video will start in 8 Cancel Play now. Get the biggest daily stories by email Subscribe See our privacy notice More newsletters. Rip Van Winkle became so popular that major touring acts were constantly dropping into their gigs and vying for backstage entry, everyone wanted to be a Van Winkle. Some even tried to cash in on the name, Van Halen, Van Morrison and Van Zant are some examples and some such as Anvil attempted to even emulate the bands later misfortunes.
The movie Spinal Tap is said to be based loosely on Rip Van Winkle and in later years Steel Panther has tried to capture the essence of the band.
70s bands: 10 obscure but brilliant bands who should have been huge | Louder
RVW as they become known to their legions of fans, were the first band to use a chainsaw on stage unfortunately this resulted in the loss of several limbs , which was later copied by hundreds of bands. In the mids a series of scandals which involved accusations from certain glamour bands of groupie stealing and a large embezzlement case surrounding their then manager who shall remain nameless. RVW were forced to disband and emigrated to Australia, where they all lived playing in various acts, under cover, around the country.