October 28, 2021

Today in Whostory: 10/12/2020

1963 – The Detours play the Oldfield Hotel in Greenford

1965 – The Who go into IBC Studios to record their first LP. The afternoon session sees “A Legal Matter” and “The Ox” recorded for certain and probably also “The Good’s Gone”, “La La La Lies”, “Much Too Much” and “It’s Not True.” Roger says the Who played a show that evening although there is no record of a show then. There is however a sheet that lists a belated 21st birthday party for John on this date that may be what took up The Who’s evening.

1966 – The Who play Club 192 in Scheveningen, Holland

1966 – During the afternoon The Who are recorded miming “I’m A Boy” for broadcast on the television show Waauw which is broadcast that night on Nederland 2.

1967 – “Tattoo” is recorded at De Lane Lea Studios, London.

1967 – The Who are at De Lane Lea studios, London for more recording of “Top Gear” material, today “Tattoo” is recorded.

1968 – The Who play the University of Sheffield in Sheffield, Yorkshire. The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown open.

1968 – The Who appear on NDR-TV’s Beat Club miming to “Magic Bus” recorded earlier in the week

1968 – Decca releases the LP Magic Bus – The Who on Tour. A collection of Who A-sides, album tracks and leftovers, the album gets bad marks in the Underground press for its title that could mislead buyers into thinking it was a live album. Unaware of the album prior to its release, Pete is furious with Decca. Despite, or perhaps because of the confusion, the album reaches #39 on the Billboard charts making it The Who’s first Top Forty album in the U.S. The LP also features a new stereo mix of “Magic Bus”
The same day, Billboard magazine carries a short review of the album

1968 – Record Mirror carries a review of Magic Bus, predicting it to be a “Massive Seller”. Also featured is an interview with John titled “Triumphant Return For The Who…Operatics in View”

1969 – The Who perform another show at The Grande Riviera in Detroit, Michigan with support by All The Lonely People and The Amboy Dukes. Dukes’ guitarist Ted Nugent later says Keith makes fun of him backstage for his refusal to take drugs.
You can hear them perform Fortune Teller on YouTube here

1974 – Odds and Sods is released in the U.S. Jim Miller in Rolling Stone calls it flawed but interesting. Ed Ward in Creem uses the tracks to state his preference for the pre-Tommy Who while E. Ira Childs in Crawdaddy calls it a “refreshing interlude” between the larger Who projects and, in particular, praises “Pure And Easy.” The reviewer in Records and Recordings says that only The Beatles could put out as good an album of outtakes and Steve Simels in Stereo Review says he prefers Odds and Sods to Quadrophenia. The album reaches #15 in the U.S. Billboard charts.
The same day, Billboard magazine features a full page ad for the album.

1982 – The Who play Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York.
The New York Post reports “Riot At Who Concert” and says 100 people are hurt and 13 are arrested at this show. The opening acts are David Johansen and The Clash.

1982 – Pete is interviewed by the BBC while riding through New York. Pete expresses his disdain for playing Shea. “I don’t like the look of it. I’ll be glad to say goodbye to it. I’m saying bye-bye to it now. ‘Bye-bye Shea Stadium, I’ll never f***ing see you again.’ Who needs it? I never wanted to be a baseball player.”

1982 – Pete and John attend a Who Concert Party at the Parker Meridian Hotel in New York along with John’s girlfriend Maxene

1985 – Roger’s solo album Under A Raging Moon enters the U.S. charts where it peaks at #42. It is Roger’s last solo album to date to enter the U.S. charts.

1985 – The Who Collection, hits the charts in Britain. The double LP and CD set is digitally remastered and is marketed on television. It peaks at #44.

1996 – The Who rehearse at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Oregon. You can watch a bit of news coverage from the rehearsal on YouTube here

1999 – Little Demon with the Vatican Grave Robbers release their CD Sacred Monster featuring a cover of “Squeeze Box”You can listen to it on YouTube here

2002 – Pete writes a long diary entry on the future of The Who: “What is The Who? It is a brand name, and two old guys called Roger and Pete. I think I’m going to stick with the two old guys and let the brand name look after itself.”,
“Ah Ha! You thought I was sulking
I think today is probably as good a day as any to come to this place and speak to everyone who is interested about what might happen next to Roger Daltrey and myself.
Roger has borne the entire weight of press work in support of the various recent releases around The Who – The Ultimate Collection and the remastered My Generation album, and of course the DVD for the Royal Albert Hall show for The Teenage Cancer charity. You may have read what he has to say, I’m afraid I have not: I’ve neither read interviews nor show reviews. But I have of course spoken to the man himself. He is upbeat and energetic about the future, but as ever – worried that he may be unable for various reasons to sing my songs for very much longer.
As I expected when I decided to go on with the tour after John’s death, most of the shows were powerful and emotionally charged. I will probably not attend John’s memorial service next week, not because I feel detached or wish to distance myself from fans or family, but because for me the entire tour did turn out to be a kind of memorial. It was not what I expected, but that is how it felt. John was always in my mind on stage. It is over and done now. Throughout the tour I have been reading John Keegan’s two books about the last two major World Wars, carrying with me the sense that, as a historian, what he writes stands as a memorial for all those nameless men of all nationalities who died; a better memorial really than fields of poppies, or at least as poetic and eloquent. I played with the Who for John. That is what I do best that always improved his life and now honours his memory.
Because of the power of the shows, and their financial success in a slightly depressed marketplace, there are those who conclude that I will naturally continue to perform with Roger under The Who banner. There are those, who perhaps think they know me better (as a grouch, a spoiler, a self-obsessed creative, an insecure and pretentious self-styled artist etc), who conclude that now it is all over.
The truth is rather less sparked with drama. I stopped performing with the Who on a regular basis towards the end of 1982 for two reasons. Firstly, I had experienced advancing hearing damage, which I wished to arrest. (I think I did so to a great extent. I was told I would be deaf by the time I was 40, and that did not happen). Secondly, I could not write any songs that compared with my best work for The Who during the years 1964 to 1976.
Many people think of me as a rock performer first and foremost. A guitar smasher. An arm swinger. An innovator of very loud chord work. But primarily, after art school, I turned my attention entirely to writing rock songs for The Who. Without that creative work I would not have stayed in the band. There have been times I’ve hated it. When I began to find that song-writing work impossible to do well, I felt there was no point in carrying on with all the other stuff that related to my rock ‘image’; it was all real, but very heavy to carry.
On the first issue, the recent return to touring, and to me playing electric guitar – albeit more quietly than I used to in the ’70s – has lead to further deterioration of my hearing. My right ear, which encounters both my own edgy guitar, and the machine gun strokes of the drums, has suffered badly. Luckily for me, I still have my left ear, which seems to be less fucked up. When I’ve worked solo in the past five years I’ve not used drums. This has meant I could play more quietly I think. With The Who, there is of course no way to play the old songs without drums. I have no idea what I can do about this. I am unable to perform with in-ear monitors – in fact they increase the often unbearable tinnitus I suffer after shows.
On the second issue I have reached a conclusion of sorts. It is that I still don’t think I can write new songs for this thing we all call The Who. The Who is a brand name, and two old guys called Roger and Pete. I think I’m going to stick with the two old guys and let the brand name look after itself, it’s done pretty well without my help – and despite a huge amount of my active interference – for the twenty years since 1982 when I did my last studio session with the band.
Good news? Roger and I met under Bill Curbishley’s watchful eye in Boston for a short meeting before we all came home to catch up on our domestic lives. Bill said that The Who are attracting audiences in the U.S. out of all proportion with our visible and measurable status in the record and entertainment industry; if we tour once a year for another four or five years we will make money and make a lot of people very happy. I suggested Roger and I meet as often as possible when we get home, and attempt to write some music together.
I do not want to write with Roger so we can pass ourselves off as a ‘new’ Who. I want to see whether we can write together, and if he and I have anything we can say together, that we could not say separately. I am not shying away from the usual division of labour – Roger is more of a singer than a writer, and I am claiming to be a more of a writer than a performe. What I am shying away from is trying to pick up The Who recording legacy where it was dropped in 1976.
Whether we call an album a Who album is not the point. We can call it what we like. It is how we approach it that matters.
My old friend Tom Wright, who some fans will know as the guy who left his collection of great R&B; recordings for me to plunder when he went back to the U.S. in 1963, feels Roger and I need to make a ‘last’ album. One that is real, passionate, earthy, and innovative – but also accessible. Tom is still an incredible musicologist and analyst.
Anyway, Roger and I haven’t managed a meeting yet. But we will do something I’m sure.
That’s pretty much where things stand. The Who did well this summer. The money thing just happens around us. It is not what drives us. Not really. Astonishing to think that three years ago Roger and I toured to keep shopaholic John out of debtor’s prison.
Outside The Who I am working on a number of projects, which may or may not come to fruition. They all require money of course, so I am glad I earned some this summer. I have a music publishing company, a recording studio, a sail-boat, a domestic life. I also run a really good charity which usually keeps a low profile, but does a lot of valuable work with addicts, alcoholics and both the victims and ‘recovering’ perpetrators of sexual abuse. But I myself am always a Grade One addict-accident waiting to reoccur. Certainly what I do on stage always surprises me. It doesn’t feel like me sometimes. I have to measure my lust for life very, very carefully and I take impartial advice wherever I can on how to live a relatively normal life (I have a counsellor rather than a therapist today). Like most people in the entertainment industry I’m a nut.
I’m a nut. But please trust me. I’m going to attempt to get out of my own way, and stay out of my own way. That will be hard for me. It’s not exactly a spiritual discipline, but for someone like me who has no regular confining daily schedule of work and responsibility outside the time I spend with my young son, it’s hard to remain focussed on remaining unfocussed. A nice blur. That is what I should be content to see. A gentle mist is what I should be happy to breathe.
On the stage, old friends often shout ‘Get on with it!’ just to see me react. But today, I feel I should not try to ‘get on with it’; I should try to let happen whatever happens.”

2012 – Pete is interviewed at the Berklee College of Music Bookstore in Boston by professor Ken Zambello

2016 – The Who play the Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City, Mexico. Simon Townshend performs as the opening band.