TRAFFORD'S old school rockers are being urged to get-in-touch with any tales or memorabilia they have about a venue where Led Zeppelin and Ziggy Stardust once performed.

Author Bill Mather is currently researching the history of Stretford's 3,000-capacity Hardrock' concert theatre.

Sadly the venue - that's not to be mistaken with the mainstream Hard Rock Café global brand - was prominent for only a fleeting moment, opening in 1972 and closing in 1975.

But the list of artists who played at the site, now occupied by B&Q on Greatstone Road, represents a Who's Who' of the time.

Bill told SUM: "I am researching a book about the Hardrock and would be interested to talk to people who may have attended any of the concerts at the venue.

"I'm particularly keen to hear from anyone who has old ticket stubs, concert programmes, posters, photographs, or any interesting stories about any nights or incidents that happened there.

"David Bowie played four times at the venue in 1972, twice in September and twice in December. Led Zeppelin also performed back to back nights there in December 1972."

The venue also housed The Village Discotheque. A special tower, that's still there today, used to be neon lit to let people know whether it was a concert or disco night.

One of the original DJs at The Village was former Piccadilly and Radio 1 presenter Andy Peebles, now at Smooth FM.

While it's believed The Hardrock played a key part in the music education of one of Manchester's greatest bands - The Smiths. Morrisey, who would have been a teenager at the time, lived round the corner on Kings Road.

The last band to perform at The Hardrock was Tangerine Dream on October 19, 1975. The venue closed its doors for good a month later, on November 8, 1975.

Bill says one factor for the Hardrocks' demise may have been that it had begun to get a reputation as a violent place.

He explained: "Gangs of youths who couldn't get inside would hang around outside and this often led to lads from different areas fighting each other.

"There was also two deaths: in one incident a girl died after choking on her chewing gum and I understand somebody was murdered nearby."

Other famous artists who performed at The Hardrock include: Elton John; Paul McCartney and Wings; Chuck Berry; Genesis; Black Sabbath; Fleetwood Mac; Status Quo; Bob Marley & The Wailers; Rod Stewart; Deep Purple; James Brown; Lou Reed; Al Green; Ike and Tina Turner; Free; Slade; The Sweet; Gary Glitter; Suzi Quatro; Fats Domino; and Roxy Music.

Do you have any memories of the Hardrock? Post your comments below or email Bill at