On this day back in 1964 The High Numbers played their first (documented) gig at the Railway Hotel in Wealdstone.
Co-promoted by Richard Barnes the gig was the first of many at the venue and it was where, within a couple of weeks, Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp first saw the band perform.
Kit and Chris were so taken by what they saw that they filmed a 40 minute film of the band at the venue on 11 August 1964. Footage from this has been shown in various Who documentaries and the performance has appeared on various bootlegs over the years. The band played a regular Tuesday night residency at the club for 5 months before moving on to a new residency at The Marquee in London. During one of the gigs at the Railway Pete broke the neck of one of his guitars, liked the reaction it got from the crowd and promptly smashed another. Word soon spread and the crowds got bigger and the publicity got better. Keith Moon, never one to be left out, joined in the mayhem and the band were well and truly on the road to stardom...and increasing debt!
Can You See The Real Me
If you missed the documentary in the UK you can watch it now on BBC IPlayer here
Whether by happy coincidence or design, tonight's broadcast of the 'Can You See The Real Me' documentary
is being shown on the anniversary of The Who (although not billed as The Who at the time) getting back together for a live performance. In 1996 The Who took to the stage at Hyde Park to perform Quadrophenia in its entirety for the first time in aid of the Prince's Trust Charity, under the banner of 'Masters of Music'. The band were part of an impressive line up of acts, which included Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Alanis Morisette and Jools Holland, who also took over compere duty to introduce the Quadrophenia segment. The performance itself was billed as 'The Live Premiere of Quadrophenia featuring Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Pete Townshend and an all star cast'. The all star cast included Phil Daniels reprising his role as 'Jimmy' from the movie, Trevor McDonald, Stephen Fry, Adrian Edmonson and Gary Glitter (who managed to damage Roger's eye with a mic stand at the rehearsals the day before the show). The three band members were augmented by Simon Townshend, Zak Starkey, Rabbit, John Karin, Jody Linscott, Geoff Whitehorn and Dave Gilmour on guitar (together with a full compliment of backing singers and brass section).
Despite some cold and windy weather conditions the show was a huge success, played out in front of an enormous crowd and led to six sell out shows the following month at New York's Madison Square Garden. By October 1996 The Who juggernaut was back on the road, although the band were being affectionately referred to as TED (Townshend, Entwistle, Daltrey) since at no time was the W word uttered. The band toured the show in the US and UK between October and December 1996 and reconvened the following April for a tour that saw them play in Europe and again the US, this time reverting to their more familiar moniker of The Who. The rest is history and we await to see whether Quadrophenia will once again become a live spectacle for The Who.
One of the more bizarre events in Who history also happened around this period in 1967. On June 28 Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were being tried in West Sussex on drug offences. That evening The Who, minus John Entwitle who was on honeymoon, went into the studio to record cover versions of 'The Last Time' and 'Under My Thumb' to support the two members of the Stones. The single was recorded and released in 24 hours and on the 30th June the band issued a statement supporting Jagger and Richards saying that they would continue to release covers of their compositions until they were alble to record themselves once again. In the end Jagger and Richards received bail and we never got to hear any further Stones covers from The Who.
Can You See The Real Me?
The Quadrophenia documentary 'Can You See The Real Me' makes its debut on British TV tomorrow evening. It will be 16 years to the day since The Who first performed Quadrophenia in its entirity in front of an enormous crowd in London's Hyde Park. To celebrate and to anticipate the documentary here's 'The Real Me' from that gig.
The Quiet One
As today marks the 10th Anniversary of John's death I thought I'd finish the video tributes with 'The Quiet One' from Rockpalast on March 28 1981. The most obvious song to use would have been '5.15' I guess because of the bass solo, particularly from the RAH show but I think this song sums John up better.
I also found this photo that John signed to me after the 1995 convention where he played with Roger, Simon and Zak (amongst others). It means a lot to me.
Just a heads up to say that I'll be holding an Ebay Charity Auction very soon in aid of Diabetes UK. Pete and Roger have very kindly donated items for this; Roger a signed microphone from his UK Tommy Tour and Pete has signed three photographs I took of him in Japan 2004. 100% of the proceeds will be going to Diabetes UK. I'll pass on the full details and a link to the ebay auction as soon as it's ready to go. Please pass it on...
Tributes to John from Pete and Roger
have just been posted on thewho.com (dated June 23)
'I Believe in Everything'
Today's John Entwistle video is set to the wonderful 'I Believe in Everything', again taken from 'Smash Your Head Against The Wall'
What Kind Of People Are They?
Carrying on with the video tributes to John Entwistle, here's one to the song 'What Kind Of People Are They?' from his solo album 'Smash Your Head Against The Wall'.'
A busy day in Who history. In 1965: the band played at the legendary Ricky-Tick Club in Windsor In 1966: The Who appeared at the College of Further Education in Chichester In 1967:
Keith and Kim Moon appeared on live TV singing back up vocals on The Beatles 'All You Need Is Love' global satellite broadcast In 1970: the band were in the States performing at the Music Hall in Cincinnati In 1971: The Who released 'Won't Get Fooled Again' in the UK on Track Records where it reached No 9 in the charts. It was released the following month in the States on Decca, peaking at No 15. In 1972: the band recorded the promotional video for 'Join Together' (see June 16 entry) In 2000: the band were in the States once again performing at the World Theatre in Chicago. In 2006: The Who performed at the Wireless Festival in Leeds and the following year they were relaxing after their triumphant set at Glastonbury the night before.
Quadrophenia documentary in the press
A few of the sunday newspapers in the UK today have picked out the 'Can You See The Real Me' documentary, which is being shown on BBC 4 at 9pm this Friday, as one to watch this week. Here's the review from the Sunday Times.
A sad week as Wednesday the 27th will mark the 10th anniversary of the passing of John Entwistle. If you have seen the piece on the 'Access All Areas' section of the site (here) you'll have read my memories of the days leading up to John's passing. Over the next few days I thought I'd post some fan tributes to John that have been posted on youtube over the years, starting with The Ox.
Roger talks about Tommy and Quadrophenia
The second part of Roger's interview backstage at Padova in Italy where he talks to TVN about Tommy and Quadrophenia
and the move into cinema with some good footage from the Padova gig.
Pete discusses Monterey
Someone kindly uploaded to youtube this short piece of rare footage of Pete being interviewed about The Who's legendary performance at the Monterey Pop Festival (see June 18 entry)taken from an Australian pop show called GTK (Get To Know) - thanks to Andy Neill for his antipodean expertise on that one!
I was looking through Anyway Anyhow Anywhere today and came across this letter, that always brings a smile to my face and was surprised to see that it referred to an event that happened this day in 1963! The Detours were paid £15 to appear at a wedding reception party and, judging by the letter sent to the promoter Bob Druce the following month, the band performed in more than one way!
Other news on this day in Who history include another eventful plane journey in 1970 which resulted in the FBI detaining Pete Townshend for questioning over a comment made on the filight into Atlanta, Georgia. In 1968 the band made a trip to the Greyhound Derby in London to watch 'Yellow Printer' and 'Camera Flash', the greyhounds immortalised in 'Dogs', run.
'There was nothing in my life bigger than beer...'
Can You See The Real Me....updated
As reported last month the new Quadrophenia documentary will be shown on BBC television next week and in theatres in the US for one night only on July 24.
Fathom Events, who are putting on the theatre shows have put out a laughable press release with quite a few inaccuracies. It really isn't that hard to make a better effort at these things. Anyway, here it is, spot the mistakes:
"The documentary The Who: Quadrophenia: Can You See the Real Me?, the story of the classic album, will be shown in theaters for one night only on July 24.
The Fathom Entertainment presentation takes fans on a riveting ride back to the 1970s when The Who’s creative musical genius was taking the world music stage by storm. Packed with never-before-seen stories, including the well-known onstage collapse of Keith Moon during the tour’s first show, the evening will also feature additional performances of songs from Quadrophenia including chart topper, Love Reign O’er Me. In a four-and-a-half star (out of five) review, Rolling Stone’s David Fricke said: “Quadrophenia, released in 1973, was a superior tale with more-taut songwriting; it was grounded in [Pete] Townshend's memories of growing up angry, anguished and mod in the early Sixties, and produced with the panoramic tension of Who’s Next.”
Additionally, fans who attend the in-theater event may order the Quadrophenia: Director’s Cut box set with a free t-shirt at a special price of $99.98 for a limited time. The box features four CDs including two discs of original Pete Townshend demos, 5.1 audio DVD, a hardback book, 7” replica and much more.
“Bringing the story behind The Who’s larger-than-life album Quadrophenia to theater screens is an incredible way to share it with the band’s legion of fans, as well as a whole new generation,” said Shelly Maxwell, executive vice president of NCM Fathom Events."
There's also a short video for the showing, which, for some unfathomable reason, includes footage of the Isle of Wight which is NOT in the documentary thankfully. The documentary does have some great footage, inc clips from the master copy of 5.15 from Top of the Pops and some unseen footage from Belle Vue, Manchester which would have served the purpose better.
Uxbridge Blues and Folk Festival
The Who played a 30 minute afternoon set at this early festival on this day in 1965. The festival was held close to their home base stronghold in west London.
As you can see from the poster the festival featured a strong line-up of acts and by all accounts The Who performed to more than 4000 punters. Here's a photo from the show that I hadn't seen before (copyright Keith Davis).
I'm A Boy
The following year the band were in the studio working on 'I'm A Boy'. Here's a clip of them a couple of years later as 'Les Who' on the French TV programme 'Surprise Partie' performing the track. The show was pre-taped on November 27 but broadcast in France on New Years Eve 1968.
The Who Vs Jimi Hendrix
One of the greatest festival line-ups ever appeared on this day in 1967 at Monterey in California. The final day of the three day Monterey International Pop Festival took place at the local county fairgrounds. The day boasted an impressive line-up of acts including The Who, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Buffalo Springfield, Ravi Shankar, The Grateful Dead and Big Brother and the Holding Company.
Arguements raged backstage about who was going on first out of The Who and Hendrix, both knowing that first impressions count and both wanting to show off their destructive stage act first. The matter was solved with a toss of a coin, which Pete Townshend won.
The Who was introduced by Eric Burdon of The Animals with the words '...this is a group that will destroy you completely in more ways than one...'.
The band proceeded to to do just that with a six song, 30 minute set that comprised of;
Pictures of Lily
A Quick One
My Generation (See June 13 entry below for video).
My Generation heralded the full oeuvre of destruction, complete with smoke bombs. Earlier Hendrix had told Pete Townshend 'If I'm gonna follow you, I'm gonna pull out all the stops' and there's no denying he did just that by setting his guitar alight!
A couple of days later, on the flight back home from the festival, Pete popped an STP pill given to him by the infamous Owsley Stanley and suffered such a bad trip that it changed his attitude towards drugs.
The festival was captured on camera by D.A. Pennebaker (who was originally onboard to shoot the band's 'Amazing Journey' doc) and released as the brilliant film 'Monterey Pop'. I'd also recommend the book 'Monterey Pop' by Joel Selvin, which has some fantastic Jim Marshall photos in it.Hard to believe it all happened 45 years ago!
Roger hosts charity fishing day
A charity fishing day to raise money for
The Children's Trust was held at Roger's Lakedown trout fishery reports the Sussex Express. The event raised £6,500 for the worthy cause and included a microphone signed by Roger as an auction prize.
In other news, well news according to the Daily Mail, Pete Townshend once tried to secure the services of the Stone Roses drummer Alan 'Reni' Wren after seeing the band at their first gig in 1985...
The Who return to Leeds University
Six years ago today the band
returned triumphantly to the scene of the 'Live at Leeds' album, recorded some 36 years earlier, to start their 2006 world tour. Here's how the BBC Newsnight reported on the return.
Join Together with the band...
Back on June 16 1972 The Who released
'Join Together' in the UK. The single reached No 9 and was subsequently released in the States on July 8, reaching No 17. Nine days after the record was released in the UK the band went into the London Weekend TV Studios at Wembley to record the following promo film for the single.
A Whole Scene Going
Continuing the historical look back on 'this day in Who history' we go back to June 15 1966
when the band appeared on the end of series edition of the BBC's youth programme 'A Whole Scene Going'. The band had appeared on the first edition of the show 6 months earlier (video of which, showing Pete's interview and the band's performance, is widely available) and this time they mimed to a pre recorded version of 'Disguises' for the live broadcast. The back cover of Naked Eye 5, which was published in May 1997 (shown below) shows a photo of the band outside BBC TV centre on that day, with Pete sporting a dashing false moustache and John with 'Gladys' the tuba.
A few other highlights from the 60s and 70s on this date:
1964 The band were playing a gig about half a mile from my home at the Glenlyn Ballroom in Forest Hill, London
1965 they performed at The Town Hall in High Wycombe
they were playing 'The Celler' in Alrington Heights, Illinois
1968 and only just five minutes away from where I was living at the time, they played at the London College of Printing at the Elephant and Castle in London
1970 saw the band back in the States performing at the Community Theatre in Berkeley, California.
Four guitars in one night...
Back in 1974 The Who
were finsihing off their four night stand at Madison Square Garden. To finish in style (or in frustration) Pete Townshend decided to smash not one, not two but three guitars and then let Keith Moon, who must have felt a little left out, smash a fourth!
This day in Who history...
...is quite a special one. In 1967 the band flew into Detroit to start their first American tour. Having previously only played stateside in New York, The Who embarked on a short stint that would begin at The Fifth Dimension Club, in Ann Arbour, Michigan and would take in two shows at the Fillmore in San Francisco and, four days later, would culminate with the legendary performance at the Monterey International Pop Festival. Here's My Generation from that show:
Two years later the band had established themselves as a 'sell out' act and were regularly touring the States and on June 13 1969 they were performing at the Magic Circus at the Hollywood Palladium.
The following year, with 'Tommy' establishing them as 'the' act to see live
the band were on their seventh tour of the States and on June 13 1970 they appeared at the Convention Hall in San Diego.
The Who at Christie's.
I went along to the rock and pop memorabilia exhibition at Christie's today, where there were 24 lots relating to The Who on sale. I also realised it was 6 years to the day since I'd left Eelpie! Highlights of the auction included Pete's Schecter going for £18,000 and a couple of John's basses realising £8,000 and £11,000. The green uniform (below) that Pete wore in the Tommy film fetched a staggering £9,500. The biggest surprise to me was that Keith Moon's premier drum kit, which was signed twice by him, only sold for £3,800. If only I had the money. For those interested in such things I've attached a pdf of all the lots and their selling price here.
Quadrophenia at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Just got back from the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London's Southbank where the 'London on Film' event culminated with the premiere of two of Rachel Fuller's orchestrations from Quadrophenia. After an evening of music taken from various films set in the capital, the host Mark Kermode introduced the Quadrophenia section and with it Pete Townshend and Jeff Beck. After a short interview with Pete both the guitarists sat down, front of stage whilst the BBC Concert Orchestra played the first song of the duo, 'Quadrophenia'. It was quite lovely. As the piano intro to the next song, 'Love Reign O'er', started both Pete and Jeff switched on and played some exquisite guitar. As the song finished the crowd took to their feet with a standing ovation. The whole concert was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and I'm sure that you'll be able to listen to it again on iPlayer (or something) if you missed it. Took a sneaky photo from my seat....
Pete at the Southbank tonight.
A reminder that Pete will be performing a number with Jeff Beck tonight at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Unable to get a photopass but will try and dig some shots up somewhere.
On this day in Who history John Enwistle's Rigor Mortis band recorded a couple of tracks for the BBC 'Old Grey Wistle Test' in 1973. They played 'Peg Leg Peggy' and this version of 'My Wife'. The show was broadcast the following night.
The following year The Who were into the second date of a difficult four night stint at New York's Madison Square Garden.
The Who at Christies.
Popped over to Christies at South Kensington today to view The Who items that are going up for auction on Tuesday. I was surprised to see my poster in the window display alongside Pete's Schetcher, Keith's kit and a couple of John's basses! Very pleased to see that. There are some lovely pieces of memorabilia in auction and not just relating to The Who. Some great rock and roll memories there and I think I spent about £150,000 in my head! If you get a chance pop in and have a look.
The Who to play the Olympic Games.
The secret is out. The Who will be playing at the
closing ceremony of the Olympic Games on August 12. The event, which will take place at the Olympic Stadium will also include Take That and George Michael and, although not listed yet, Paul McCartney said last week that he was topping the bill. No details about tickets but no doubt it will be as convoluted to get them as it is for the Olympics itself. More details when I get them.
Something different for the weekend.
Whilst looking through Youtube I came across this little gem. It's a mash up of The Who's version of 'Anytime You Want Me' with another of my favourite bands Editors and their song
'Push Your Head Towards The Air'.
The Who in Stevenage
A new exhibition celebrating the musical past of Stevenage
is to be installed at the Bowes Lyon Centre in the town reports the Herts24 website.
Tommy at The Met
At the moment there is not much new news around (I have heard some rumours but it's not the right time to post them now, I will as soon as I'm allowed though!) and so another look back through the archive. Today is a special one, it's the day The Who performed Tommy at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York in 1970. This show was the first date on the band's summer tour of the States and the first one on which they were to see some real money coming in. It was a tour to change the band's fortune, literally. The two shows at the venue (2.30 and 8.00 pm) were announced as the final performances of Tommy and the band made history as being the only group to play at the venue. Below is the poster for the show and an early sketch of the Tommy figure by David Byrd (You can read David's recollections of the artwork on his website here).
The show is available on bootleg CD
and you can find the tracks on youtube. Here's 'We're Not Gonna Take It'.
Put The Money Down
Recorded this day in 1972, a great track!
After a couple of days away trying (unsuccessfully) to escape the Jubille madness sweeping the UK I'm back. Back in June 1966 The Who were in Sweden and on June 3rd they recorded six songs for 'Popside'. The show was broadcast 46 years today.
You can watch the entire 20 minute performance here.
Also on this day in 1969 the band returned to NYC to perform, due to demand, a further two shows on their Tommy tour. Two years later the band were in the studio at Olympic recording further takes of 'Bargain' and the following year they were back in the same studio to record 'Long Live Rock'. In 1976 they played the second date on their 'Who Put The Boot In' tour (see May 31) at Celtic Park in Glasgow and once again there are some great memories of that show here.
The Who branch out.
...in 1965 Les Who played their first show outside of the UK at Le Club au Golf Drouot in Paris.
Whilst the following year would see them enter into Scandanavian territories with a show on this day in Stockholm.
A big thank you for all your support of this site. Readership levels are rising monthly and last month saw an incredible 189% increase. Thanks for all the kind emails too.
It's a quiet day for news today so thought I'd post this clip of David Bowie performing 'I Can't Explain' at the Marquee as part of the outtakes to his '1980 Floor Show ' (first few seconds are silent but stick in there...).
On the subject of Bowie, but completely non Who related, there's a new exhibition opening in London this month of posters and memorabilia to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his Ziggy creation. Also posters from related artists such as Iggy and Lou Reed. The exhibition runs from June 28 to July 26 and is at Bamalama Posters, 55 Leather Lane, London EC1n 7TJ. Pop in if you get a chance.