Revolver was an unlikely show in one big respect. It was made by ATV. The Midlands' ITV franchise holder had never really committed to pop and rock in the way that Granada or the London stations had.
Mickie Most had been one of the more harsh / honest judges on ATV's mid-
ATV's director of production Francis Essex was determined to get a pop show on the
air claiming he had wanted "a new sound, new artists and a new style of presentation,
to do for modern music what shows like Six-
His choice of host for the show was also an eyebrow-
A ratty looking ballroom was recreated at the ATV studios in Birmingham, complete with revolving stage, hence the show's name.
Two sixty minute pilot shows were intended to be recorded at ATV's Birmingham studios
on 19th and 26th February 1978, but it appears only one was recorded, on March 19th.
Talking to The Stage Francis Essex claimed "All our pilots are made with the full
intention of transmitting them... We already have the intention of going ahead, otherwise
we wouldn't be making this investment." Two session recorded between 2.45 -
Radio Luxembourg's Rob Jones had as applied for the job of resident DJ on the show,
but in the end the job went to legendary club DJ and co-
As a result of their appearance on the first show unknowns The Autographs sign with Mickie Most, who had also recently lost his other token punk outfit, The Vibrators from his RAK label to CBS.
The show would also feature Les Ross, who would run the hot dog stall and give his opinion on how things were going, sometime contradicting Cook. Producer Most had to put a security guard by Ross’ hot dog / hamburger stall just before the show just in case all the food disappeared. About a hundred hot dogs and a hundred hamburgers are prepared just ahead of the show, but the producers quickly learned that they would need to keep some back for the actual recording of the show.
When the show's series debuted it was given a day-
Each week the bands would play live to an audience of about a hundred people, and
in a nod to New Faces a new, un-
Recognising the importance of its audience in an interview with The Stage Most said "There will be two elements in the programme, the acts and the audience. Each is as important as the other. The audience will be an integral part of the show. It will be carefully selected and disciplined. Perhaps I can compare it with the last night of the Proms or the Kop."
Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley later recalled that Peter Cook had distributed pornographic magazines to the front row of the audience to in an attempt to put the bands off by holding them up.
In August Mickie Most told the Daily Mirror that he had only intended to work on one series of the show, but “if they want any help on a new series I’ll give it, in a small way”.
For the 26th August show Public Image Ltd were due to appear, but somehow ended up in Camber Sands, Sussex instead of Birmingham where the show was being recorded, some two hundred and fifty miles away.
The show's roster of acts looked remarkably like the first series of So It Goes from 1976 with an unlikely mix of relatively straight, traditional rock with a few newer, punk acts thrown in.
It seemed to be the producer's idea not to take it to a second series, leaving ATV with the task of moving the show on without him. It was also unlikely that Cook would want to do a second run, so it was brought to a halt.
Despite the show's origins at an ITV channel which had little interest in pop culture Revolver was one of the brighter ideas that pop television ever had, but ATV wouldn't go near pop, or punk, ever again.
Clips of the show were repeated by VH-