When The Who Came To Town
Following on from yesterday's story about The Who performing at The Fillmore, Naked Eye reader Neil Rogers sent me this article about the band's appearance at The Cellar in Arlington Heights the day before those SF shows on June 15 1967. Many thanks Neil.
"They were really loud," Sampson says. “It was ‘bang, crash, bang, crash.’ It was a bit of smasheroo-type thing. I don’t know how much musical value one got out of that, but it became one heck of an act. That’s what they were famous for.”
Read the whole article here.
There Once Was A Note...
Back in 2000 Pete Townshend performed at Porchester Hall in London in front of the VH1 'Storytellers' cameras. The show was recorded on March 23, a month after the Sadler's Wells 'Lifehouse' concerts, and it really was a cool show. I found this video compilation on youtube of the diaries that Pete made in the run up to the ' Lifehouse' shows, which is fascinating if you haven't seen it. It brought back some good memories of how exciting those times were.
For the Storytellers show Pete used the same band. The performance for that also delved into the 'Lifehouse' project - including this great version of 'Pure and Easy'.
...reaches the Sheffield Motorpoint Arena tonight... so now for the Sheffield link to the bit above. .Of course 'Lifehouse' turned into 'Who's Next', the band's non-concept album based on a concept, to paraphrase Pete and on July 3 1971 the band were performing at the City Hall in Sheffield. On the drive from the city the next day the iconic 'Who's Next' album cover was shot by Ethan Russell. The shot was considered to be in better taste than the original idea which Pete described to ZigZag as "the most revolting pornographic cover you've ever seen."
This information is brought to you by 'Tenuous Links Inc'.
One of my photos from the o2 on Saturday is on the Grammy website.
The West Coast gets to witness The Who
On June 16 and 17 1967 The Who performed at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. These were the debut shows for the band on the US West Coast and immediately preceded their unforgettable performance at the Monterey Pop Festival.
The Fillmore shows were an eye opener for the band as promoter Bill Graham expected two one hour shows comprising different material. With some impromptu rehearsal time the band pulled it off which led to a very successful West Coast debut.
The quality of the PA system also left a lasting impression on the band. Pete Townshend later recalled "That's the best gig we've ever played. The PA system is fantastic. The whole place is very well built for sound and acoustics. It's a rock groups paradise".
Although the promotional material (left) stated support by the Loading Zone the band were actually supported by the Carlos Santana Blues Band.
On June 18 The Who flew from SF to Monterey to appear on the final day of the First Monterey International Pop Festival. The footage is well known these days and their performance has gone down as legendary but the local papers were a little more critical in their reviews of the time. The Monterey Peninsula Herald stated that their act "...seemed more theatrics that intense musical involvement." and the San Francisco Chronicle finished their review "Their decadent destructive, cynical ending is really Roman circus spectacle and has nothing to do with music. In fact, it's really anti-music and disgraceful." I wonder if those critics are still around 46 years on?
Two years later, on June 17 - 19 The Who were back in San Francisco at The Fillmore once again (this time the new premises known as the Fillmore West) as part of their 'Tommy' tour.
I've been looking back through some VHS tapes recently and found a BBC report on The Who Convention in 1995. It brought a smile to my face and so I've edited it down (and saved the embarrassment of some friends!) to the piece below. I've included an interview with Keith's family and also one with the Who Mastermind winner, the lovely Harry Clarke, just for his wonderful ending statement which made even the cynical, sarcastic interviewer crease up with laughter! Great memories finished off with a little glimpse of Roger, John, Zak, Simon et al performing 5.15.
Mojo review the o2
Mojo Online has a review of Saturday's o2 show.
A look back at last night
A few images from last night's show. I didn't know that I was shooting the show until yesterday afternoon, which came as a bit of a relief as I wouldn't have got to see the show at all otherwise - Thanks to Robert Rosenberg for arranging that. I also have some shots on wireimage and I think thewho.com are posting some.
To the show itself. It's difficult to judge a show from the photo pit, it's a very different perspective to watching and listening to a show, it mainly revolves around light rather than music. Having a camera pressed to your face means you miss a lot that goes on on the periphery of the lens, you don't always get the 'big' picture whilst concentrating on getting the 'little' picture. I really didn't know what to expect - I'd read the reviews, which were great and concur with them on the whole. It is a great spectacle and the band play brilliantly and breathe a new life into the piece.
I have to admit missing Zak though. Scott's drumming is sharp and accurate but to me it did lack Zak's strength and that would be my only criticism really. That doesn't take away though from the overall performance. Roger was in great voice, no faltering at all during 'Quadrophenia' or the 'More' section, which added in 'You Better You Bet' instead of 'Behind Blue Eyes' and Pete (and not forgetting Simon's) guitar work was fantastic. Pete seemed to be enjoying being on stage with Roger and when he took centre stage, during 'The Rock' in particular, it was mesmerising.
The 'Quadrophenia' section seemed to just quickly rush away. I spoke to some people afterwards who weren't completely au fait with the album and they said the visuals really worked with it and made the music make sense. To me, the visuals are secondary (apart from a photographic point of view) and it's the music that counts. And the music is still relevant, still fresh and still exciting. When it get's to the 'More' section it's almost a come down as you know the end is nigh! The band give it their all and glibly describe the second part as 'singalongaWho'. The crowd of course oblige. I do have to mention the crowd here as I thought they were great and the band fed off it, with Pete in particular, having some banter about West London vs East London (it's South East London actually...very proud of my roots...) and about playing in the small Indigo venue next door, which he labelled the Lumbago.
And the 'More' section does indeed signal the end, the band shoot through it in what seems like ten minutes but is obviously much more. Time flies when you're having fun. The final song 'Tea and Theatre' shows a togetherness not evident on the shows of the 60s, 70s and 80s, even beyond that but it's clear these two like being on stage together. There's been debates about whether this is a good closing song, or whether something like 'Blue, Red and Grey' would work better. Before last night's show I would have fallen into the latter category but last night changed my mind. It was perfect.
I see a lot of bands while I'm working and if I look at The Who's contemporaries who are still on the road, The Stone's, McCartney, I can say hand on heart that The Who don't go through the motions. They may go through the emotions but they certainly put their heart and soul into their stage craft. I wouldn't say that about the other bands. The Who are still the personification of Rock 'n' Roll!
o2 Arena June 15
These are the Mods
I was looking through some old VHS tapes and found this clip from a BBC show called 'Panorama' which looked at the Mods and Rockers and thought it would be apt to post it today as The Who get ready to unleash 'Quadrophenia' on the capital. It's very old school BBC but quite entertaining and this part just looks at the Mod element (who cares about the Rockers...).
If you're going to either of the London shows this weekend enjoy! Please send any reviews to
Pete and Iain Banks
There's a small article on the Express website about Pete dedicating 'Behind Blue Eyes' to Iain Banks at the band's recent Glasgow concert.
I'm The Face
In the sleeve notes to 'Quadrophenia' Pete Townshend dedicates the album to the band's Mod following at various venues around London. One of the places mentioned is Forest Hill, less than 10 miles from the o2 venue, where the band play tomorrow. The venue in Forest Hill the band played was the Glenlyn Ballroom, the local South East London Mod venue. Its stage saw all of the great sixties bands, including the Stones, perform on it and The Who played there almost 30 times between 1963 and 1966. The band did in fact play there on June 15 1964 and so the opening night on the o2 gigs will take place exactly 49 years to the day after the band were performing to those very kids that 'Quadrophenia' is dedicated to.
Wouldn't it be nice to think that some of those original Mods will make the short trip along the South Circular Road to the o2 tomorrow?
A couple of weeks after that gig at the Glenlyn The Who had changed their name to The High Numbers and released their debut single 'I'm The Face / Zoot Suit' on July 3rd. Here is 'I'm The Face', dedicated to those Forest Hill Mods of almost half a century ago.
The Who feature on the BBC website today talking about 'Quadrophenia'
The critics rave...
...over the current Who tour of Quadrophenia. Five star reviews are being bandied around by the broadsheets for last night's Glasgow show.
The Guardian says 'Quadrophenia finally gets the live production it deserves'
The Independent says 'Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend can still command Quadrophenia's magic'
The Scotsman says 'this was so much more than a nostalgic eulogy to the olden days'
Naked Eye reader Kenny Anderson says ""Matt, they were in blistering form last night and with a typically raucous Glasgow crowd including one guy running the length of the stage pursued by a roadie during a particularly poignant moment in Bellboy. Pete waxing on about the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond, endorsing Scottish Independence to a mixed reaction and as The Guardian alludes dedicating Behind Blue Eyes to Iain Banks."
The 'Quadrophenia' roadshow next pulls into London, with two shows at the cavernous o2 Arena on Saturday and Sunday.
June 13 in Who history is a a busy one, and one which I covered in more detail last year but it's always nice to post some stunning artwork which coincides with something the band did on a specific day and the poster below was produced for a show at the 'Magic Circus' at the Hollywood Palladium. This was the inaugral show at the venue and The Who's performance was watched by contemporaries such as Janis Joplin, David Crosby, Peter Tork and Mama Cass Elliot.
The Who are NME cover stars
The Who are the cover stars of this weeks NME. The magazine also features a big article on the band. Asked about the band's future Roger replies "I don't think you should ever say, 'This is the last time'. Music isn't like that. You'll be sitting there not wishing to get onto a stage again for maybe two, three, four, five months, or maybe a year, then suddenly you'll wake up and feel like you've got to do it again. It's in the blood and I never say never."
The Belfast Telegraph has photos and a review from last night's show online here. Will post reviews as and when they come in. Next show tomorrow in Glasgow.
Anyone fancy a really, really nice guitar?
If so, and you have bottomless pockets, then you might be interested in the guitar that's for sale on Denny Laines website. It's 'the' 1959 Gretsch Duojet Model 6128 played by Pete on the 1973 'Quadrophenia' tour. Really serious bidders only and if you're interested and want more info check out Denny's website.
Mick Kenny AKA Mik TheWho has sent me a great, personal review of the band's opener in Dublin on Saturday. Many thanks Mick.
"The Who kicked off their Summer Tour 2013 with a spectacular production of Quadrophenia followed by a blistering set of Who classics from the post Mod albums Tommy, Who’s Next & Who Are You.The Who Family Gathering in Dublin ensured a full house across the generations with a whole new generation of Mods tapping into the live experience of The Who all dressed up in their finest threads.
The glorious summer sunshine beaming down on Dublin all weekend also added colour and fun as we all converged on Dublin’s Docklands to celebrate living legends Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend and to pay homage to heroes gone to the great beyond Keith Moon and John Entwistle.
Vintage Trouble played a scorcher opening up the live action on stage with their blend of rock n soul music which has been gathering fans and rave reviews from the first leg of The Who’s American Tour in late 2012 early 2013. Front man Ty Taylor sprinted up the aisles of the vast O2 venue whipping the arriving audience into a sing a long party vibe. Acknowledging their appreciation of The Who’s support and playing a high energy set it created the perfect atmosphere for the main event.
The Who have always used the support slot on their tours over the years to open the door for us to an amazing variety of bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, James Gang, Alex Harvey Band, AC/DC, Kilburn & The High Roads, Q Tips, The Stranglers, The Clash, Little Feat, Counting Crows and many many more over the years..." Read More.
Madison Square Garden 1974
On June 10 1974 The Who took a break from filming 'Tommy' to play the first of four consecutive shows at Madison Square Garden in New York. The band had missed the city on its 'Quadrophenia' tour the previous year and this was in fact the first show they had played in the city for almost three years, which was a very long time for them to be away from one of their favourite places. The four shows sold out after just one radio spot on March 31, with all 80,000 plus tickets selling within fifteen hours. There was even talk of three more dates being added.
There were some lovely press ads (such as left, which I will try to rescan later - was in too much of a hurry this morning) to accompany the shows, which also celebrated the band's first decade.,
The band will be performing 'Quadrophenia' again tonight in Belfast (I did get my dates wrong yesterday, apologies for that and thanks to everyone who didn't point it out).
'The Who were as admirably tortured as ever...'
The Telegraph has reviewed last night's show in Dublin, giving it four out of five stars.
"The Who delved into standards Pinball Wizard, Baba O' Riley and Won't Get Fooled Again, each primal and epic yet illuminated with a bittersweet sensibility rare in arena rockers of any epoch."
You can read the review here.
Dublin set list
It looks like the set list for last night's opening show was the one the band finished on in the States. The whole of 'Quadrophenia' was played with the 'More' section comprising of:
Who Are You
Behind Blue Eyes
Won't Get Fooled Again
Tea and Theatre
Lot's of videos up on youtube from last night including this one of 'Bell Boy' posted by 'jd2009ie'.
The band move on to Belfast tomorrow in Northern Ireland, a province they appreared in on June 9 1967 when they played at the Golden Slipper Ballroom in Magilligan, Londonderry.
Tonight's the night
'PenguinsRising', the band Zak Starkey plays in, are performing a show in London on Tuesday June 11. The gig is at The Macbeth in Hoxton and is free to enter.
'Live At Leeds' tops live album list
The Independent newspaper has listed 15 'must have' live albums and top of the list is, of course, The Who's 1970 release 'Live At Leeds'. You can see the full list on the Independent's website.
New interview with Pete Townshend
There's another new interview with Pete talking about the Stratford production of 'Tommy'. This time it's with the 'Globe and Mail' and you can read it on their website.
The Who on Quadrophenia on the BBC
To celebrate the opening night of The Who's 'Quadrophenia and More' European shows the BBC have a programme on their World News channel about the tour. It focusses on the interview with Pete and Roger that the BBC carried out at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in Los Angeles when the tour was announced. I did ask the BBC whether it is the same footage used on the BBC News programmes at the time and it is but they've said there's a lot more of - coupled with some live footage. It's being shown on the BBC World Service tomorrow and Sunday (check schedule) and on the News Channel the following week (Sat 15 00.30 / 15.30 and Sun 16 10.30 / 20.30)
Back in the early 70s...
...on June 7 The Who were quite busy.
In 1970 they opened their summer US tour of the States with two shows at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. I wrote about this last year so rather than regurgitate that you can check it out here.
The following year the band were in Olympic Studios recording and mixing some tracks which included 'Getting In Tune', 'When I Was A Boy' and...'Naked Eye'! Naked Eye was developed from a jam the band played at the end of shows in the previous couple of years. It's familiar to most of us, particularly from Woodstock and Leeds but this is one of my favourite versions and it's also apt as it was recorded almost forty four years ago to the day on June 8 1969. This comes from the early (7pm) show at the Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis whilst the band were on their first US 'Tommy' tour.
Just checked the Dublin o2 website and it looks like there are still a few tickets available for tomorrow night's opening show of the 'Quadrophenia and More' tour. If you fancy it then go buy them here.Roger at Pacific Amphitheatre
According to Pollstar tickets for Roger's solo show at the Pacific Amphitheatre on August 10, as part of the OC Fair, will go on sale tomorrow, June 8. Proceeds from the show will go to Teen Cancer America. It is now listed on the OC Fair website, with a link to tickets.
New interview with Pete
There's a short interview with Pete on the Irish website entertainment.ie on the eve of their 'Quadrophenia and More' tour which kicks off in Dublin on Saturday.
Roger to play Pacific Amphitheatre?
There is a rumour that Roger may be performing a show at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa on August 10 as a replacement for Manzarek / Krieger show that was scheduled there. No absolute confirmation on this yet but will chase it to see if I can find any more info?
The OC Register reports:
In light of Ray Manzarek's passing last month, a different act has been needed to fill in for the Aug. 10 performance that the Doors' keyboardist and guitarist Robby Krieger had planned for Pacific Amphitheatre.
Now that replacement has been named, and it's another legend: Roger Daltrey.
The 69-year-old powerhouse, who played Anaheim in January as part of the Who's ongoing Quadrophenia revival, should hopefully be in solid vocal shape, as his Costa Mesa appearance comes a month after his jaunt with Pete Townshend ends with a sold-out show at London's Wembley Arena.
Of course, the last time Daltrey came to Southern California as a solo act, he was tackling another rock opera, Tommy, in its entirety at every stop. That isn't likely to be the case at Pacific -- the gig certainly isn't billed that way -- but if he picks up where he left off before this latest Who outing, it seems logical that some of that classic material would be included in his set.
FM 96 post interview with Pete Townshend
Radio station FM 96 has posted a new interview (audio) with Pete talking about the Stratford production of 'Tommy'. You can hear it on their website.
As most of June will be taken up (no doubt) with 'Quadrophenia' I thought it'd be nice to have a look at one of Pete Townshend's other projects which saw the light of day in June 1989. 'The Iron Man' was Pete's musical version of Ted Hughes's novel of the same name (the novel was released in the US as 'The Iron Giant' to avoid any legal wranglings with Marvel Comics). The album included an appearance by The Who performing the track 'Fire' which had previously been recorded by Track Records stablemates 'The Crazy World of Arthur Brown'. Other musicians on the album included John Lee Hooker, Nina Simone, Billy Nicholls and Simon Townshend.
Two singles were released from the album 'A Friend Is A Friend' (see promo below) and 'I Won't Run Anymore', as well as 'Fire' which was released as a promo in the States.
Pete turned the musical into a theatre production at the Young Vic, where he had workshopped 'Lifehouse' in 1971. The production was directed by David Thacker and opened with a gala performance in aid of 'Radio Lollipop' on November 27 1993 (previews began on November 18). A few months earlier 'Tommy' had been debuted on Broadway to unanimous praise but the British press didn't take fully to the 'Iron Man' show. The Independent in particular was particularly vicious in it's review. I went to the first night (and a couple of shows afterwards) and thought the reviews unwarranted. The show was aimed at children mainly and carried a great environmental theme which seemed to have been missed by the reviewers. As a result the show only enjoyed a limited run when it really did deserve more. It did, however, lead Warners into producing the 1999 movie 'The Iron Giant' on which Pete received an Executive Producer credit.
'Who I Am' released in paperback
Pete Townshend's memoir 'Who I Am' is released in paperback this week. It's available for pre order now on Amazon and other bookstores. I had a little bit of input in this version as well as I suggested some photos for the front cover and I'm pleased to say they went with one of those. I've still been left out of the index though!!!
Get Your Love
On June 2 and 3 1975 Roger Daltrey went into Shepperton Studios to record a promotional film for his second solo album 'Ride A Rock Horse'. The film included performances of the tracks 'Get Your Love' (the first single from the album, which was released a couple of days earlier), 'Near To Surrender', 'Walking The Dog' (the second single released on August 1), 'Oceans Away', 'Milk Train', 'Heart's Right' and 'Proud'. In some other countries, including the US, 'Get Your Love' was called 'Come And Get Your Love'.
The album depicted Roger, Centaur like, half man and half horse and the album was released in the UK on July 4 where it reached No 14 in the charts (July 26 in the US, charting at 28).
Here's 'Get Your Love' from those sessions thirty eight years ago.