The Rio Grande

The Rio Grande - or just 'The Rio' - was the venue for the best rock night of the 1970's.

It was a part of the Yew Tree pub, in Yardley. But now both the Rio and the Yew Tree have gone. And where they were, a naff supermarket now stands.

If you went to 'The Rio' all those years ago, feel free to comment here:-

"Hey I remember the Rio! The Rio Grande. The best Friday night out ever!! Lots of birds and lots of beer. (And lots of blokes if you were a bird!) A really good time. That was the time and place to be a teenager. Even if Tony Craig (DJ) did spill his beer on the records from time to time and play too much Van Halen….
Anyone remember the HUGGGGEEEEEE snowball fight one Xmas eve? And didn't the DJ on Sunday nearly gas the place once with his new fangled dry ice machine? And didn't it used to finish sometimes with Parisian Walkways by Gary Moore and lots of people dancing drunkenly to it? Oh if only we could go back and do it all just once more….

"Hey davey posted jan 22nd 2007, you remember the rio grande friday nights at yardley. You mentioned Tony Craig spilling beer on his records often during his gig. I was one who spilled my pint all over his deck one Friday just before he started his gig (I was actually shoved by a drunken bint behind me) that's my story anyway. that was the first time I met Tony properly and I thought he was going to flatten me, thank god he'd seen what happened. All his decks went belly up and the evening was cancelled. However the crowd had a whipround to get some cash to help Tony sort out his equipment, They collected over £40.00 which was a lot then. It turned out when he tried out his gear the next morning it worked fine, just needed drying out!!!!! So he thanked me for getting a nice bonus for the night. We were good friends and beer buddies for the next 15 or so years, anymore rio grande memories or old punters from Friday nights 1977 to 1981 get in touch……!"

The Rio

If I remember rightly, the Rio was open 2 nights a week, also on Sunday night?

It would hold about 300 guys & you would have to leave ya leather in the cloakroom before you got in. When Paranoid was being played, everyone would be up, facing the DJ, head bangin', in lines, what a tops night & it was always rammed with folk.

My dad (who had nowt to do with rock or the Rio) used to tell me of what would happen on the number 11 bus.

He's local was the Fox Hollies but would have to catch the No 11 through to Bromford & after the Rio was finished, quite a few guys would catch the bus home, however, they would pull up 'all' the seats (as they were quite inebriated lol) & pile em on the driver's lap…….but they would always leave my dad & the seat he was sitting on as he would always catch the same bus at the same time every week, it was almost like the guys from the Rio had adopted me dad & left him alone & never gave him any bother lol & no one got hurt or anything was vandalised as the seats could easily be removed.

Back to the Rio, wish I could turn the clocks back as that place was a top night for rock & I got so drunk 1 night that I fell asleep in front of the speaker lol, miss those days.

Tony (not the DJ lol)

They used to play out with an old Music hall Numbers in the hope we would all drift off . One such Classic was the Lullaby of Broadway ,, It was a good friend of mine Stewart Doherty who i recall was first to get up and dance to it.. The ploy to move everyone on was foiled ,

I recall too the 'Pernod Night’ A promotion do from someone obviously not informed as what the Rio was like .. Every on had a free Per-Nod , as the DJ pronounced it ,, The crowd were perplexed .. it didn’t really mix too well with Breaker.

Does Any on Remember the Couple who always stood in the corner , they were so Goth before the Goths even arrived , the girl , Wendy i think used to dance so amazingly the guys were captivated , she explained to me one night , she didn’t do it too often as the other women there would get very bitchy towards her !!

The issue with trouble on the buses , caused some problems for the Rio, a lot of the offenders were arrested , all carrying Sabbath Rock Membership Cards all with 'cut-offs' and most being thirteen and fourteen year olds !!

Great times , I recall the beer going down the decks and Amplifier throwing a seven , we all ended up in Solihull at a posh night clod with a revolving dance floor

They really didn’t know what to make of us there , Martin Sus.. 1977 to 1979

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