18 December 1968
During The Alchemical Wedding of 18 December 1968, John Lennon and Yoko Ono climbed into a large white bag and writhed around, the excitement causing Texan Elizabeth Marsh to take off her clothes. When stewards tried to cover her, more members of the audience began to strip in sympathy.
Testing the acoustics of the Hall
A new survey was commissioned and the Acoustical Investigation Research Organisation was appointed. They carried out various recordings and tests over many months and this information on echoes and reverberations was analysed by the Building Research Station at Garston. The suggested solution was a complete new ceiling, but as this was impracticable and too expensive, acoustic saucers provided a workable alternative. The 135 fibreglass rigid mouldings in the shape of inverted domes filled with glass fibre wool were suspended from 360 points, over an area of 10,000 square feet. The cost of 8,000 pounds was shared by the Arts Council and the BBC.
The Pop Proms
June - July 1969
The Pop Proms of June and July 1969 ran for 9 concerts and featured many of the big names of the day including Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac and The Who with comperes including John Peel.
27 November 1969
Miss World was held at the Hall from 1969 to 1988, the 1970 contest being disrupted by feminist protestors throwing flour bombs. Previously, from 1951, it had been held at the Lyceum Ballroom. On 27 November 1969 there were 50 delegates, Miss Eva Rueber-Staier from Austria was crowned the winner by Omar Sharif.
One of the principal dressing rooms in the 1970's.
First tennis event at the Hall
Rothmans International Tennis Tournament in March 1970 was the first tennis event at the Hall, and featured leading players of the day such as Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall, Roger Taylor and Fred Stolle. Tennis continues to be played in December each year with the Masters Tennis tournaments.
Centenary of the Opening of the Hall
29 March 1971
H M The Queen unveiling a plaque to commemorate the centenary of the opening of the Hall on 29 March 1971. The following concert contained 'Jubilate', a piece composed by Prince Albert.
19 October 1971
A programme for Muhammad Ali, who boxed eight exhibition rounds on 19 October 1971. On 29 May 1979 in 'Farewell to London, the Magic of Ali' he made his final appearance at the Hall.
The Radio City Rockettes
The Radio City Rockettes from Manhattan with their eye-high leg kicks performing in perfect unison with chorus line precision, a spectacle which they include at the end of every performance.
John Curry's 'A Symphony on Ice'
John Curry's 'A Symphony on Ice' was the first time the arena had been frozen over. At the end of the run the ice was chopped up, put into skips and dumped in the Thames.
Phil Collins 'No Jacket Required'
The Phil Collins 'No Jacket Required' tour had 6 performances at the Hall and was filmed for a show entitled Album Flash.
5 November 1985
Fashion Aid, on 5 November 1985, featured a host of well known celebrities such as Bob Geldof, Jerry Hall, Grace Jones, Tina Turner, Paula Yates, Freddie Mercury and Annie Lennox, together with all the top designers of the day including Calvin Klein, Katharine Hamnett, Jasper Conran, Jean Muir, Giorgio Armani, Betty Jackson, Bruce Oldfield, Zandra Rhodes and Yves Saint Laurent, to raise money for famine in Africa. Freddie Mercury rounded off the evening by eating the bridal bouquet.
12 January 1987
Eric Clapton pictured here on 12 January 1987, the start of a long regular series of annual concerts. He first appeared at the Hall on 7 December 1964 with the Yardbirds in one of the early pop concerts Top Beat, and continues to return and sell out the venue, recently passing his 150th appearance.
Perspex World Squash Championships
The ICI 'Perspex World Squash Championships' were held over 7 days in October 1987, in a Perspex court. It is the only time squash has been played here.
24 April 1988
Shirley Bassey appeared many times at the Hall during the 70's, 80's and early 90's, photographed here on 24 April 1988. She sang Happy Birthday for the Duke of Edinburgh's 80th birthday concert in 2001 and in the BBC's 'Children In Need Rocks the Albert Hall' on 12 November 2009.
The Ultimate Event
Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Liza Minnelli, three of the greatest icons of American popular music, appeared together in April 1989 in a show dubbed 'The Ultimate Event'. Sammy Davis was suffering from cancer and was not able to dance. He died the following May.
The NatWest Basketball Trophy Final
4 December 1989
The Hall has played host to a large variety of sporting events. Here, on 4 December 1989, in 'The NatWest Basketball Trophy Final', The Kingston Kings played The Manchester Giants. The first basketball took place here in March 1945.
Queen's Christmas speech
19 December 1989
On 19 December 1989 Her Majesty The Queen read part of her Christmas speech from a podium on the stage at the Hall, recorded during a 'Joy To The World' Christmas concert. This meant that, for the first time, an audience heard the speech prior to its international airing.
7 & 8 March 1990
Ella Fitzgerald with the Count Basie Orchestra. She first came to the Hall on 22 February 1955 with Oscar Peterson.
For the first time in 1500 years, an official Sumo tournament was held outside Japan. The most expensive seats around the dohyo (wrestling ring) were cushions on the floor.