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The Hammersmith Odeon, also known as the Hammersmith Apollo, has a long history and has been known by several different names since it opened in 1932 as the Gaumont Palace.Over the years, in addition to serving as a cinema, it has played host to many musical legends and is still in use as such today, under its current name, the “Eventim Apollo.” The Apollo is a grade II listed building in the Art Deco style and is located .in Hammersmith, West London.

The venue has taken several of its names from its various owners and sponsors over the years including;¬†Labatt’s Apollo following a sponsorship deal with the USA based Labatt Brewing Company (1993 or 1994) as well as the Carling Apollo after Carling brewery struck a deal with the owners and more recently the HMV Apollo.

Hammersmith Odeon, Hammersmith Apollo

Hammersmith Odeon, Hammersmith Apollo, Host To Many Musical Legends.

It was the venue when Buddy Holly played 2 concerts on 25 March 1958 which were to be his last appearances in the UK – Holly died in a plane crash On February 3, 1959, along with fellow musicians Ritchie Valens, and “The Big Bopper” J. P. Richardson. Holly’s death inspired the iconic “American Pie” by Don Mclean who made an appearance at the Hammersmith Appollo on 27th June 2000 at which he, of course, performed his masterpiece, American Pie.

More recently, just before the covid pandemic took hold and made live music in venues such as this almost impossible, the Apollo hosted a tribute concert to the mightly Ginger Baker, legendary drummer with Cream, Blind Faith and Ginger Baker’s AirForce with performances by Eric clapton, Steve Winwood, Ginger’s son Kofi and many other notable performers. This concert took place on 17th Feb 2020.

In addition to its rich heritage as a venue the building is famous for its 1932 Compton pipe organ which was fully restored in 2007 and is still in working order.

Compton Pipe Organ Hammersmith Apollo By Jazzboy - Photo taken by Jazzboy, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The Compton Pipe Organ at the Hammersmith Apollo – photo by Jazzboy.

Other notable bands to have appeared at the Apollo include Queen, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Thin Lizzy (much of their “Live & Dangerous” album was recorded there), – see the venue website, for a full historical list of gigs.