Going to The Academy soon? Something you should see
I had the privilege of attending three shows at The Academy over the past month (I say privilege because deadly bouncers, nice bar staff and great crowds always make it a pleasure to visit) and that always leads to one thing for Tickets There – wistful smoke breaks that generally devolve into drunken lectures as the night lingers on. Why? Well it’s all technically because of a garage across the street… yup.
Across from the Academy is the large beige façade of Arnotts car park. A looming, dull wall with a rectangle cut out on the ground level. Not noticeable, not notable and not something younger generations of gig goers would bother passing much heed of. But for those born after the 80’s (I’m not referring to myself there I’m afraid) or to those not from Dublin, there’s something a little more special about that car park than you might realize. Before Arnotts moved in, that garage used to be the Adelphi Cinema, the original iconic live music venue in Dublin.
Now I’m not going to head into some rant about the amazing acts that played there, the travesty that it was pulled down and so on; I’ll leave that to The Guardian. But many, many influential artists played very high profile shows at the height of their careers in the Adelphi. Johnny Cash, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones are just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to this famous car park. The Beatles played their only show ever in The Republic at the Adelphi. Bob Dylan brought his infamous 1966 world tour to the theatre. It was the portal for the introduction of live rock ‘n’ roll to strict, Christian Ireland.
Fortunately, for those of you who wouldn’t be arsed paying money to see it as a museum (because really, staring at an empty stage is fun and all), the outside of the building is still very recognizable when compared to its 1960’s self (pretty decent of Arnotts to keep it recognizable in fairness). So if you’re at the Academy, pop out and have a look. It’s not important, it’s not very relevant any more really – but it’s kind of cool. Standing outside a purpose built live venue, you can see the roots of live pop/rock music in Dublin and see how far things have come… well, The Academy is nothing like a car park, but you get the picture. For those of you that didn’t I’ve included some.
The Adelphi (1939 – 1995)
Notable Shows at The Adelphi Theatre
NOV 7th 1963 – The Beatles (All manner of destruction and chaos followed the Beatles when they arrived on Abbey St. to play their one and only show on Republic soil. Cars were overturned and set alight, arrests were made, chaos reigned supreme! – and I thought this was a harmless Catholic country. That’s the Devil’s music for you. Wouldn’t catch Beatles’ fans carrying on like that these days. Check out the video below of the Beatles in Ireland for their only ever Republic show.).
JAN 7th 1965 – The Rolling Stones (2 Shows)
SEP 3rd 1965 – The Rolling Stones (2 Shows – The Stone’s last performances in Ireland before their 1982 headline slot at SLANE. The shows were featured in Charlie Is My Darling, a film focused on the Stones second two day tour of Ireland in 1965).
MAY 5th 1966 – Bob Dylan (Bootlegs can be obtained. Apparently the crowd became rowdy during the electric part of the set – however it’s been noted that recordings that ‘prove’ this actually came from Dylan’s show in Belfast the following night.)
May 17th 1966 – Johnny Cash
May 2nd 1967 – The Beach Boys (2 Shows – The Beach Boys first show at the Dublin Adelphi was a disaster, Carl Wilson was still half way across the Atlantic.So there was only 25% of The Beach Boys for their first performance in the Ireland. This was only made worse when Bruce Johnston attempted to fill out their programme by attempting to sing ‘God Only Knows’, ( Carl Wilson’s song ) and didn’t know the words .. ! The evening performance was slightly better. Carl Wilson had been rushed through Irish customs, got to the Adelphi, picked up a guitar and shot onto the stage for half of their performance. Now they were something more like 50% of The Beach Boys … ! – READ SOURCE HERE)
May 28th 1969 – Fleetwood Mac
Other artists who played the Adelphi over the years include Igor Stravinsky, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Cilla Black, Marlene Dietrich, Louis Armstrong, Diana Ross, Helen Shapiro, Roy Orbison, Ella Fitzgerald, Cliff Richard, Dusty Springfield, The Dubliners, Tom Jones, The Ronettes and more.