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Agora Ballroom


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The Agora was an interesting little music venue located in the Windsor Plaza shopping center back in the late 70s/early 80s. It just felt very strange going to a retail strip center for a concert. The layout and seating was unconventional, too.

That said, one of my most favorite concert experiences took place there in 1980. We saw Emmylou Harris and her Hot Band when she was at the early peak of her popularity. She always had exceptional musicians in her band and this was at the time when her voice could melt you down with it's purity. It was a beautiful evening.

Please share your favorite Agora moment.

Edited by glzuma
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Not my ticket, sadly, just a photo I stumbled across while trying to confirm the year of the show.

And yeah, I'm still pissed about it - I was (and still am) a huge fan, and have never again had the chance to see Iggy live since then. He just turned 65 last week, and I'm determined to catch him while we're both still ambulatory.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I thought it was the best concert venue ever in Houston. Two long bars on each side, a dance/standing room area in front and a raised area behind with tables. Saw the Ramones, Go Go's, Iggy, Sir Douglas Quintet, Joe King Carrasco, 999, Judys, Talking Heads, B-52's, Romantics,Steve Forbert, Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Rockpile, and a bunch of others. Loved it and was sorry to see it go.

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  • 10 months later...

I'm glad to hear that people still remember the Agora Ballroom, as my Dad (Jack Klein), who passed away on March 10, 2013, was co-owner of the Agora and it's predessesor (The Palace). Bands that played there included The Police, Talking Heads, B-52s, Go-Gos, Iggy Pop, The Ramones, Judys, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, AC/DC, REO Speedwagon, Stevie Ray-Vaughn, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Todd Rundgren, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Herbie Hancock, Spyro-Gyra, Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Joe Cocker, and Harry Chapin.

 

Boy, the stories I could tell...

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  • 2 years later...
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  • 3 years later...
On 3/13/2013 at 2:14 PM, jklein1 said:

I'm glad to hear that people still remember the Agora Ballroom, as my Dad (Jack Klein), who passed away on March 10, 2013, was co-owner of the Agora and it's predessesor (The Palace). Bands that played there included The Police, Talking Heads, B-52s, Go-Gos, Iggy Pop, The Ramones, Judys, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, AC/DC, REO Speedwagon, Stevie Ray-Vaughn, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Todd Rundgren, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Herbie Hancock, Spyro-Gyra, Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Joe Cocker, and Harry Chapin.

 

Boy, the stories I could tell...

Also Polyrock, The Fabulous Poodles, Jerry Jeff Walker, Psychedelic Furs, John Cale and Black Flag played at The Palace/ Faces/ Agora Ballroom.

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  • 2 years later...

I and a bandmate of mine (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) worked security at The Agora Ballroom for The Ramones show in 1980(?), opened by Legionnaire's Disease...

The main thing I can tell you about Legionnare's was that their lead singer was dressed only in silver duct tape over raggedy-assed and ill-fit silver spandex pants, and spit into the open mouths of fans at stage front. Gross, but 'punk', I suppose...

Backstage with The Ramones, Joey looked like he was about to keel over dead at any second. The funny-weirdest part was when their manager(?) appeared with a stack of ziploc bags containing their 'stage clothes'. So the guys all stripped down to their tighty-whities (literally), taking off their holey-kneed blue jeans and removing from each bag an identical pair of ripped-kneed blue jeans that they donned for the show. Weirdest shit I ever saw in 10 years of torture, er, my musical career.

Still not sure it wasn't an elaborate prank on myself and my friend, two former Texas high school football safeties who got the job based solely on physique, not our willingness to do violence.

As to the gig, The Ramones played at a break-neck pace, punctuated only by Marky's barked, "One, two, three, four!" between each number (Zippy showed up to Gabbba-Hey). I lost count at 33 "1-2-3-4"s in an hour-and-a-half set...

The delirious mob (a.k.a, 'ticket holders') jumped up and down on the 5-foot tall tables in the club and wrecked the vast majority of them. The ensuing bleeding and various lacerations in the facial area were considered de rigueur at a punk show and roundly ignored.

That show -- and Judas Priest at The Sam Houston Coliseum (in downtown Houston) in support of their "British Steel" album -- were the greatest live music shows I ever saw, for raw emotion and spiritual animalism; they were Herbertian Fremen orgies.

I tell ya, music these days is the basest refuse compared to the greats I saw...

Edited by theoneandonlyzooid
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...and The Cars at the Coliseum's collocated Music Hall to support their eponymous debut album, produced by the underappreciated Roy Thomas Baker (who also did Queen's "A Night at the Opera", amongst others)... The Cars were mesmerizing in the cozy confines of The Music Hall. Not so much a couple years later at the cold and distant Summit. Benjamin Orr was a god on vocals and bass.

Edited by theoneandonlyzooid
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11 hours ago, theoneandonlyzooid said:

...other great shows at the Agora others have not mentioned: Pat Benatar and Texas-boy Eric Johnson (strictly instrumental when I saw him, wearing a high school marching band jacket)...

he still wears something similar to a marching band jacket.

I don't remember what it was between Faces and City Streets, I helped build the sound system and lighting for whatever it was then. I had just come off a 3 month run from Colorado through Floriduh, so I stopped by there one day in '88. Turns out my old Cardi's stage crew was the stage crew here, too. I watched Iggy Pop do sound check...

Club Xcess... a quick google search got that, and the date, Oct 11, 1988.

 

... and rehearse a new song. I went out back and hung out with the band guys and their opening act for a few minutes before heading home for the first time in 3 months.

The opening act was Jane's Addiction.

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On 1/13/2022 at 12:24 AM, theoneandonlyzooid said:

I and a bandmate of mine (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) worked security at The Agora Ballroom for The Ramones show in 1980(?), opened by Legionnaire's Disease...

The main thing I can tell you about Legionnare's was that their lead singer was dressed only in silver duct tape over raggedy-assed and ill-fit silver spandex pants, and spit into the open mouths of fans at stage front. Gross, but 'punk', I suppose...

The inimitable Jerry Duncan, aka Jerry Anomie. He just passed away within the past couple of years.

Legionaires Disease was the first Houston punk band, and has been said to be the first Texas punk band as well.  

 

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I use to go to the Palace during the late '70's until they closed in the early '80's, saw many of the punk, new wave ska bands of the time. I used to have all the ticket stubs but sold some of them on eBay and lost a bunch too.

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Agora!!!!!!!!! I do believe that is where i saw Frankie Goes To Hollywood back in the day...i was too young but got in anyway thanks to a music store connection (and ps...the music store owner was horrified when she heard the 12 inch single of RELAX! i ordered from her and was even more horrified that she had secured me a way into the venue haha!)

and i DID see Pat Benatar and believe it was here as well...and funny story, about 9 years ago i discovered someone for a modeling agency i was shooting lots of models for and he became one of my best friends...and lo and behold about 5 years ago he marries Pat Benatar's daughter!!! I even got to go to the wedding and it was amazing! Pat is just the best it turns out :) 

 

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Edited by gene
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