Larry Norman at the Tent Hall Glasgow

 images.jpegLarry Norman the famous American rock singer died last week. He was in many people's eyes the father of Christian rock music. He was for me the first real Christian artist who sounded authentic. He had an immense influence on all kinds of people from Dylan to the Pixies. Read his bio its quite extensive. He once said of his music;

"I wanted to push aside the traditional gospel quartet music, break down the church doors and let the hippies and the prostitutes and other unwashed rabble into the sanctuary...I wanted to talk about feeding the poor, going into the world....[I felt that] most of the modern music was anemic and needed a transfusion."

I actually heard him play at the famous Tent Hall in Glasgow way back in 1972. He caused a great stir when he came out to play. The Tent Hall was a massive place, it must have held at least 1500 people and the place was packed. There was a huge walk about pulpit at the front a bit like an opera box. Sitting on the pulpit was the usual lectern. Larry appeared with his long straight blond hair carrying a guitar wearing jeans. He removed the Bible from the lectern, then climbed up on it and sat on it with his legs dangling over the side like a pulpit fall. He sat there all evening and played his gig. He was the talk of the town. It was one thing to remove the Bible from its hallowed spot, it was a complete blasphemy to place your bum on the spot where the Holy Bible had been resting.Watch Larry on Video

Posted By: italker   On: 25 Aug 2012   At: 9:34pm

Sorry Ruth I wasn’t a Tent Hall person I just attended occasionally in the mid sixties for events like Larry Norman. Hope you are able to find some connections


Posted By: Ruth Hoyles nee Graham   On: 25 Aug 2012   At: 9:04pm

To anyone who might remember me from my tid Somerville was ime at the Tent Hall from 1945 to 1953.

I was in regular attendance in those and was in fact in the junior choir   David

Somerville was our choir master.  I should love to hear from anyone who knew me in those days.     


God bless/        Ruth Hoyles


Posted By: italker   On: 19 Mar 2012   At: 10:54pm

Hello Alastair,

Thanks for commenting on this old post. When you mentioned John Moore it brought back memories. I’m surprised if he is still alive. I take it he was the man who wrote the chorus’Burdens are lifted at Calvary

’ I met him while a teenager at a Christian holiday camp at Capenry Hall .


The Tent Hall was a busy place full of Christian young people on a Saturday night in the 60s . I think people from all across the Christian community in Glasgow would attend. I remember hearing the famous Gladys Ayleward speak at the Tent Hall.


In answer to your question I’m sure there must be quite a few people still in ministry. check out the work we do in Bo’ness at


Posted By: Alastair Bain   On: 19 Mar 2012   At: 3:52pm

Interested to come across this while checking out where my old friend John Moore is in Canada. I am a Baptist Minister in West Australia, brought up in the Dawson Mission, Falkirk, then the Tent Hall from 1967 when my father Alex S Bain was Superintendent (to 1975?)

Always grateful for my Mission Hall roots and still miss the fervour of those days. Don’t recall hearing about Larry causing an upset but if he did, my Dad would have been involved but I think he would be remembered as a gracious forgiving man. At least he agreed to sponsor the event. Interesting. I was also president of CU at Jordanhill ‘67-69 before coming to Australia. Anybody else from then still going strong in ministry? Would love to hear.


Posted By: italker   On: 27 Jun 2011   At: 12:00pm

Strange this should turn up on italker this week. I was at the Solas Festival on Saturday and someone mentioned this incident. Strange isn’t it the things that people remember. For some this act in itself was one of blasphemy.  It was also pretty dangerous, he could have done himself an injury. As you said he apologised. I’m sure he must have known it wasn’t the right thing to do.


Posted By: Alister Blyth   On: 25 Jun 2011   At: 10:45pm

I saw Larry Norman perform in the City Halls in Glasgow in 1975. I was impressed that he took the trouble to apologise for what happened at the Tent Hall some years before. I felt his apology was sincere and the ticking off he got had obviously troubled him. I for one couldn’t see what all the fuss was about but I felt Larry’s apology showed a gracious character. From what I remember about what he said he needed to go on the lectern so his guitar would be close enough to the microphone pick-up. The layout of the pulpit was not conducive to acoustic performances.


Posted By: italker   On: 4 Jan 2010   At: 1:14pm

Hi Robert

Thanks for you contribution to this post. I suppose we never really know what is going on in the heads of all of us who perform from time to time. I just remember thinking that he had a good vibe. Looking back I’m sure there were attitudes that I had then that I’d be a bit ashamed of today. Did we meet in those distant days? Did you ever arrange a gig for the Living Stones?


Posted By: Robert S.   On: 4 Jan 2010   At: 12:34pm

Should add also that I don’t want to critcize Larry Norman just for the sake of it, but so much of the material praising him came originally from Larry himself.

Neither do I want to automatically take the negative side on him, but he’s a very nebulous character to get to the truth about.

His recordings probably did influence people,( I myself was into the emerging Christian contemporary music at the time and organised many concerts in Glasgow ), but to what extent is debatable.


Posted By: Robert S.   On: 4 Jan 2010   At: 10:30am

I was at that concert in the tent hall as well.

Although I was only 20 myself then, I thought he really knew what he was doing and wanted to cause mischief.

Reading about him in Wikipedia last night the most common word used to describe Larry was “delussional”.  This was from members of his former band “People”, also Randy Stonehill didn’t have much time for him either.

Looking back on it, maybe the guy was a bit sick in the head, but nobody wanted to say the king had no clothes on.

Apparantly theres a documentary about him called “Fallen Angel”.

There’s a bit in the NT which says “test everything”, and perhaps we were too willing to cast a blind eye on some of the things Larry claimed.


Posted By: italker   On: 25 Jun 2009   At: 12:25pm

Great to hear from you Arthur. those were interesting days.


Posted By: Arthur Hembling   On: 24 Jun 2009   At: 11:22pm

Hi Albert

i was the person responsible for the tour - i just found your site as i have been requested by someone writing Larry’s story to recall the Scottish visit - your Tent hall story sticks in my mind vividly - yes it was world war 3 behind the scenes as what Larry had done in the pulpit was sacrilege - we survived and the tour which went onto Edinburgh, Falkirk and Bathgate was a huge success

Arthur (Falkirk)


Posted By: Gordon M   On: 20 Jun 2009   At: 12:23am

I remember my father (whoknew many of the people who ran the Tent Hall) going on about this and asking me if I knew anything about this American hippy who had just done all this.


Posted By: NigelB   On: 16 Jun 2009   At: 4:50pm

I recall Parchment were sharing the bill. They were delayed in reaching Glasgow. The place was MOBBED. And, yes, I also recall the episode with the lecturn. I think he was ticked-off about it backstage!


Posted By: Jim S   On: 6 Mar 2008   At: 8:39am

Remember that night well, Albert. Came across one of his albums last week on one of these American web-sites - great to hear his songs again. He certainly was the Bob Dylan of Gospel Music, certainly the most respected and most outrageous Gospel musician at the time.  Cheers.

Leave a reply