March 7, 2021

Today in Whostory: 10/18/2020

1964 – The High Numbers play the Trade Union Hall in Watford

1966 – The Who record their first and only television special at Wembley Studios for Associated Rediffusion TV’s Ready Steady GO! as half the show (about 16 minutes) is turned over to the foursome.

Only memories and photographs remain of this show which involved The Who clowning around on set between numbers, performing “Batman” while wearing capes and smashing their instruments at the end. It was this final act which deeply upset British viewers on the show’s airing on the 21st.

Ready Steady GO! fans write in to Melody Maker to blast the show: “More a disaster than a happening.” “I have rarely seen a group perform so much concentrated rubbish in such a short time.” “It produced in me a feeling of complete nausea.” “It took me years to save for my guitar, and seeing The Who holding theirs by the neck and smashing them on the floor and pushing them through amplifiers made me sick.”

1966 – The Who appear on Seize Millions De Jeunes on French TV. Footage is shown of them in a car and in concert filmed in September in Felixstowe (09/09). The episode is entitled “Made in England” You can watch it here

1968 – With no new album or live album ready, Track Records makes The Who’s fourth LP a compilation. Direct Hits is released in Britain. Mostly a collection of Who A and B sides previously released in Britain, it does not include the first three singles produced by Shel Talmy. The album fails to reach the album charts. On the same day, The Who repeat their ride through London on a green double-decker bus.

1968 – The Who play at the Lyceum in London

1968 – The Who again board the 100-year old bus for another promotional drive around London. Afterwards, Pete is reported to say “I’ve had enough of this — circus.” Keith adds, “I bet the record doesn’t even make the charts after this.”

1969 – The Who play State University of New York at Stony Brook in Stoney Brook, New York with The Flock supporting.

1969 – Cash Box magazine features a photo of The Who receiving the Edison Award

1969 – New Musical Express carries an article titled “Who will perform ‘Tommy’ at the London Coliseum

1970 – The Who play the Odeon Cinema in Lewisham, London

1971 – The Who play the Guildhall in Southampton, Hampshire

1972 – Melody Maker reports that John, who has recently returned from the U.S. to promote his forthcoming solo album Whistle Rymes, has formed a new solo band called Ro Ro and is playing unannounced university dates in the U.K. before going into the studio to record his third solo album. With John on bass, the group consists of Alan Ross (guitar), Grahame Deakin (drums), Andy Sneddon (bass?!) and Michael Ship (keyboards).

1975 – The Who play in Leicester at Granby Halls.

1975 – New Musical Express features Keith on the cover with the title “The Saving Of The Who”

1975 – Billboard Magazine carries a review of The Who By Numbers as well as a full page ad for Lisztomania

1975 – Cash Box magazine carries a article on The Who’s upcoming tour

1975 – Sounds magazine features The Who on the cover

1976 – The Who play the Winnipeg Arena in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

1977 – The Who begin recording “Love Is Coming Down” at Ramport Studios.

1982 – The New York magazine has a long article by Pete Hamill, The Who’s Washington, D.C. press conference, an interview with Pete and a history of The Who.

1985 – John is featured on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”

1986 – John performs with headliner Chuck Berry and Dave Edmonds at the Felt Forum in Madison Square Garden

1986 – Billboard magazine carries a story titled “Marketing Gives Townshend A Hit”

1989 – Pete appears on ZDF television promoting Iron Man performing “I Won’t Run Anymore”

1990 – Pete performs part of his musical The Iron Man on German TV.

1999 – Roger tells Reuters that The Who are presently working on their first studio album since It’s Hard. He says Pete is writing some tracks while he is working with Gerald McMahon of his solo album Rocks In The Head.

2005 – Pete performs at Rachel Fullers show at The Bedford in London

2007 – The Deansmen release their CD The Deansmen: A Century Half Full featuring an a cappella cover of “Pinball Wizard”. You can listen to it on YouTube here