October 24, 2020

2004-04-30 – Lancaster Eagle Gazette

2004 04 30 Lancaster_Eagle_Gazette_Sat__Apr_30__2005_

A woman walks through the “Tommy” exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. The Rock Hall is
showing an exhibit called “TOMMY: The Amazing Journey.”The exhibit runs through March 2006. (AP photo)

Who’s on exhibit

Rock Hall honors ‘Tommy’

By M.R. KROPKO
Associated Press Writer

LEVELAND — The Rock

and Roll Hall of Fame chose

The Who’s rock opera “Tbm-
my” for its first exhibit dedicated
to one rock classic partly because
of its reach as an album, a film
and a Broadway musical.

“The Who are one of the great
bands in rock and roll history, and
’Ibmmy is one of their greatest
wor ,” said J im Henke, the Rock
Hall’s chief curator. “We have
worked closely with Pete 'Ibwn-
shend, who created ‘Tbmmy,’ and
the result is a comprehensive
look at the first rock opera.”

The title character is a boy who
can’t hear, talk or see after wit-
nessing his father’s murder but
manages to become a pinball wiz-
ar .

The exhibit has instruments
used by The Who, an outfit worn
byrlead singer Roger Daltrey in a
“Tommy” performance, pinball
machines and the modest focal
point, handwritten notes wan-
shend provided showing his cre-
ation of “'Ibmmy” lyrics.

Henke said the concept for a
“'Ibmmy” exhibit began at an in-
house brainstorming session
about three years ago. The Rock
Hall, which opened in 1995, had
focused its exhibits on the ca-
reers of performers or the histo-
ry of musical styles, so to focus
on one work in “TOMMY: The
Amazing Journey” was seen as a
big change.

“I guess what made ‘Tommy’
interesting for us was that there
was The Who’s album, the movie
and a Broadway version, ballet
companies did versions of it and
so did the London Symphony,”
Henke said.

The record in 1969 helped The
Who become world famous, and
“'Ibmmy” quickly U.S. soared to
near the top of US. album charts.
The Who’s subsequent tour in-

ltems in the
’Tommy' exhibit
The Associated Press

CLEVELAND — A sampling of
items in the Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame’s exhibit about the rock opera
‘Tommy" created by The Who: .

I Handwritten notes revealing Pe-
te Townshend’s evolving ‘Tommy’
concept.

I ”Tommy Can You Hear Me/Go
To the Mirror’ handwritten lyrics.

I Roger Daltreys suit from playing
the title character in the “Tommy" film.

I Some stage instruments, guitars
and drums from The Who.

I Program from Theatre de
Champs Elysses, a European opera
house, where The Who performed
‘Tommyf’

I A typed letter about “TommY’
from Pete Townshend to fan club.

I Letter from Pete Townshend to
director Ken Russell with detailed
casting proposals for the “Tommy’
movie.

I Poster for The Who, James
Gang and James Taylor performance
at Public Hall, Cleveland, 1970.

cluded a full performance of
“Tonuny.” Ultimately, it was per-
formed at several major opera
houses.

The stage musical opened on
Broadway in 1993, running 928
performances through 1995 and
winning five 'Ibny Awards. In
1996, the production has an 11-
month run in London. It still lives
on in community and high school
theaters, Henke said.

In 1975, director Ken Russell’s
film version opened, starring The
Who, Ann Margaret, Oliver Reed
and Jack Nicholson. A video of
the film plays at the exhibit,
which will be open until March
2006.

John Entwistle’s electric bass guitar (1974) and Roger Daltry’s
T-shtrt hang at the “Tommy” display at the Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. (AP photo)