October 28, 2021

Today in Whostory: 11/16/2020

1965 – The Who play the Winter Gardens in Malvern

1965 – Glyn Johns is at Decca Studios in West Hapstead preparing mono mixes of “Out In The Street” and “The Kids Are Alright”

1968 – New Musical Express carries the article “Pete Townshend keeps The Who live.“ The interview with Pete centers on the “Deaf Dumb and Blind Boy “ rock opera. Another article entitled “Who, Brown, Cocker Give All”, reviewing their recent show at the Walthamstow Granada

1968 – The Who play the second of two night at The Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, London

1968 – Keith is interviewed in Record Mirror. He discusses jazz (“poppycock and balderdash”) and pop, orchestrations (boring) and the new “progressive” rock (too specialized).


Keith Moon: “Pop Has Now Turned a Full Circle” by Ian Middleton

One day recently, Keith Moon of the Who and myself met for an interview. Both of us were feeling bad. Me because I had the mystical bug which is floating around and Keith because he had not had any sleep. “Can’t we put it off ’till tomorrow?” pleaded Keith.

I had to agree with him. But after a couple of “straighteners” he decided he might be able to go ahead with the planned objective.

“We were in the States and Canada touring from coast to coast for eight weeks,” Keith mentioned. “We used to go to Hawaii for weekends,” he quipped.

We talked about pop music today — in particular, progressive pop. “First of all,” Keith said, “if anyone could explain the word ‘underground’ to me and what it means I would be obliged”

As we settled down to a “taste”(?) Keith expounded on pop music. “Pop has now turned full circle. At one time it got very complicated but it’s getting back to the basics — yer actual meat and potatoes — as opposed to the great orchestrations. Pop is young, but it isn’t immature.”

At this point I said I was feeling faint. “For God’s sake don’t blame me if you faint,” said Keith in mock terror. “I might have two policemen dragging me out accusing me of attacking you!” After being revived with the right medicine we continue. “Blues and pop are getting simpler,” Keith stated. “I can’t speak for jazz otherwise I’d get terrible letters printed about me in the music papers. I don’t know though, perhaps I will. I think jazz is a lead of poppycock and balderdash, so there!”

“Pop I think is a lot broader than jazz,” continues Keith. “The pop medium is the largest form of communication with the public today. It is the embryo of all the present themes presented in a very listenable manner. Today’s pop really started with groups like the Shadows and Crew Kats. There type of backing resulted in a ___-up which has not been basically altered. But today everyone is together much more. Groups still basically use drums, lead, rhythm and bass guitar, although here and there you find embellishments.”

Did Keith feel that pop had improved over recent years because of outside influences? “You might have a group using all the influences, Indian, etc and they embrace a larger field and have more people to communicate to. But I think all the best arrangements are still basic. The orchestra is a thing of the past and so are those huge complicated arrangements. It takes about five minutes to build up an orchestra — first of all the violins and them bringing everything else in. In “Hey Jude” the orchestra is introduced at the end, so as you are getting bored you take the record off.”

What did he think of the progressive groups? “I haven’t heard many. There are a few things I like such as some of the tracks on the Incredible String Band albums. But it depends on what you mean by ‘progressive'” It was at this stage that Keith began to interview me, so I had to give me my meaning of progressive pop. Basically it is pop music which is more creative and gets away from stylized (?) sounds — pop which has ___ the best of all that has gone before, i.e. classical, jazz, Indian, Spanish, etc, etc. Fairly satisfied with the interpretation, Keith allowed me to interview him.

Keith continued: “Say you have four pop musicians who all have an interest in Indian music. You know sitar and tabla…doing ___ ____ etc (here Keith did his sound effects of Indian music). They get as much as possible out of it as it is their hit. They are specializing in one field on the whole. But the thing is if you specialize in one for of music you must run out of ideas some time.”

I mentioned jazz and pop were to a certain extent beginning to merge. “Pop and jazz is rather similar to a son leaving his family. He is grateful for his upbringing but does not go back to being like his parents. He just goes and says ‘thank you’. The jazz world has finally realized that what they gave birth to has turned out to have a musical validity. They are not looking down on pop musicians as much. What is happening in pop is now in a position to show jazz musicians a few things. And the ____ say ‘yeah’ and pick it up”

Did Keith go along with the critics who said “The Magic Bus” was just like a Rolling Stones’ number? “No”, Keith said emphatically. Then when pressed further, remarked: “It all goes back the Bo Diddley bit. You can’t attribute it to any one person. Like for instance you can’t attribute the waltz to one person in particular.”

“People do not listen to the beat as much as they used to — they now listen to the lyrics more. At one time the beat was the big thing but people are getting away from that . If you go to a ballroom these days the audience usually comes to listen rather than dance. If they dance it means you are not coming across. Instead of screaming at everything that is played the fans scream inside instead of outside. This is because pop is more together, in step and that the words have meaning”

It is good to have the Who back from the States playing music that everyone can appreciate and sing along with. As Keith says “America made us play much more together.” Now there should not be anyone saying….”Who”

1969 – The Who play the Onondaga County War Memorial in Syracuse, New York

1979 – The Who play New Bingley Hall in Stafford, Staffordshire

1988 –
MCA holds Who Club nights in Dallas, St. Louis, Atlanta and Waikiki with giveaways of The Who’s CD catalog

1996 – John holds a signing of his art work at a gallery in Boston

2000 – The Who play Wembley Arena in Wembley, London

2000 –
Rolling Stone declares “My Generation” the 33rd best pop song of all time.

2000 – Keith Moon’s former “handler,” Dougal Butler, tries to sell off tons of Moon memorabilia at the Fleetwood-Owen website. Very little of it matches his minimum bids.

2002 –
Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam talks to the Baltimore Sun about The Who continuing after John Entwistle’s death. “I understand the people who criticize them for going on. But ultimately it’s their choice, and the fact that they went out and used the music to process it with the fans, I thought it was a courageous option.”

2005 –
Roger returns to his performances at A Night at the Proms as it moves to moves to Ahoy in Rotterdam

2005 – Pete attends the induction of The Who into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame. Ray Davies handles the intro. Pete provides the induction intro for Pink Floyd.

2008 – The Who play the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan

2012 – The Who play the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts