Callum Ross recalls an iconic
One particularly outstanding event,
sporting event I remember
and you’ve got to remember
that back in the late ‘80s
satellite television wasn’t
anything like as common as it is now.
One particular event I remember most clearly
was showing at 3 ‘o clock in the morning
live from America, the fight between
Frank Bruno and Mike Tyson
and a promoter asked
if he might hire the hall to do just this,
he would bring in
all the technical gear and so forth.
We had to get a bar extension,
so an extra licence so we could
open the bars at one o clock in the morning
for the 3 o clock start.
The concert hall sold out completely,
we then had to open the Ashcroft theatre
to show it as well.
It was a bitterly cold night, a bitterly cold night
but everybody came in
one o clock in the morning and of course
they started enjoying the liquor
and so the audience was getting louder
and louder and more and more lively
and when I checked on one or two people
sitting in seats nobody was sitting
in the place where they’d got a ticket,
they were all the wrong seats
and there was no way
we could sort everybody out.
Some were sitting on the stairs
but we had to move them for safety reasons
but everybody was basically absolutely fine.
But about ten minutes before the fight
was due to take place
an enormous pink blob
almost like a blancmange mix
started appearing at the very top
of the screen and started trickling down
across the screen, down the screen
completely obliterating the picture.
Now these people to the best of my belief
had spent twenty pounds each on a ticket,
they were feeling rather lively
having enjoyed a few drinks
and I thought 'what are we going to do
if they can’t see the fight?'
Thankfully one of the promoter’s technicians
had the wit to realise that the satellite dish
on the roof which they had erected
especially for the occasion
was filling up with snow,
it was so cold outside
that it had begun snowing
and thankfully they got rid of the snow
as quickly as they could
and the picture came back again.
Now you’ve got to remember that
unlike say a football ground
or a rugby ground or any sort of arena
ith an open top,
Fairfield is a very, very sensitive Concert Hall,
very sensitive acoustically.
And when everybody started cheering,
particularly when Tyson,
I mean Bruno I beg your pardon
went back at Tyson in that first round,
I can never remember a louder sound
in that concert hall.
One could barely hear oneself think
because of course the sound could
only go round and round,
it had nowhere to escape
and when you’ve got 1500 people
cheering their heads off at the screen
it is really quite truly
a mind blowing experience.
Sadly Frank Bruno was defeated
in the fourth round, I believe it was the fourth,
Tyson won, and Tyson had the grace
afterwards to say that Bruno really hurt him.