Rock legend Rick Wakeman was at the Gliderdrome, in Boston, on Thursday, filming a documentary for the BBC, describing it as ‘one of the great rock and roll venues’.
The keyboardist, who played for the Strawbs and Yes in the 60s and 70s was using the venue for a programme on the history of the tour bus.
He told The Standard: “It was one of the great rock and roll venues, everybody loved playing there and it hasn’t really changed.
He said: “Back in the 60’s vans and tour busses were the lifeblood of every man on the road. In those days there were vans everywhere with bands travelling all over. The history of the different kinds of buses and how it worked was a huge part of the rock and roll history.”
Rick, who has a 1984 Dodge Ram bus, said his producer had wanted to go to a venue which was as little unchanged as possible from its heyday.
“He said ‘we’ve come across one called Boston Gliderdrome, do you know it?’ I think my face must have lit up. ‘Know it?’ I said, ‘I love the place’,” said Rick.
Rick performed at the Glider four times with his bands in the 70s and spoke highly of the venue.
“It holds so many memories for so many bands and served the whole of this area - there was nothing else like it.”
The venue will be used as background for some of the voiceovers and narration segments of the documentary – Rick said it was the only venue the tour would be visiting.
“For various reasons, it had to be here, because it was so iconic - it was really iconic this place. I have never met one band or anybody else who came here but didn’t love the place.”
His memories of playing in Boston included meeting a popular former conductor Stan Griggs.
He also remembered climbing into Boston United’s York Street stadium to play football before or after gigs.
Battling traffic issues by stopping off at set pubs along the way to the town was another memory.
He said that while here he remembered visiting Eagles Fish and Chip shop.
He said the atmosphere during the venue’s heyday was unbeatable and attributed it to a standing audience which lifted bands to ‘another level’.
“I can always remember everybody being more vocal and they came to have a really good time than probably anywhere else in the country,” said Rick.
“We’d never known quite what that was down to but every band I spoke to had a great reception every time that was really good.”
He said: “I can honestly say I got lifted to another level because the audience was that great.”
“It’s iconic and I would like to think people will still come here in 50 years’ time.”
He said during that period of time, more and more concerts were seated, but the Glider was one of the few which was standing.
“It certainly made a difference,” he said, likening it to a Premiership football match.
“When you get supporters from a Premiership side, who are all used to sitting down and they go somewhere where they have to stand up, there’s something about people standing up at a game and pushing forward - it’s a whole different atmosphere.”
Wakeman has previously covered the venue in a BBC Inside Out programme and told The Standard he would like to perform at the Glider again one day.