December 7, 2021

Today in Whostory: 12/09/2019

1964 – The Who play The Florida Rooms in Brighton

1965 – The Who play the Guildhall in Plymouth, Devonshire

1966 – The Who play the Assembly Rooms in Dumfries, Dumfriesshire, Scotland

1966 – The single “Happy Jack” backed with “I’ve Been Away” is released in the U.K. For promotional ads, The Who hire illustrator Ralph Steadman who draws The Who as intertwined snakes. In Disc & Music Echo, Penny Valentine says “Happy Jack” proves Pete is “definitely one of Britain’s finest writers, with so much charm in his work he’s a sort of modern day Hans Christian Andersen.”

1966 – The Who’s second album A Quick One has its British release. Chris Welch reviews it for Melody Maker and declares that, although he found the first album a “disappointment,” the second disc “captures The Who’s essence, humour, cynicism, nervous drive, violence and delicacy.” Most reviews comment on the novelty of the multi-song mini-opera. “It’s all very well bandying about words like freak-out and psychedelic, but when it comes to actually doing something different – well!” says Music Maker magazine. The album ultimately peaks at #4.

1968 – The Who report for the cast rehearsal of the television special The Rolling Stones’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus at the Londonderry House Hotel in London.

1968 – The Who play The Pavilion in Bath, Somerset

1971 – The Who play The Forum in Inglewood, California

1972 – Tommy is presented with the London Symphony Orchestra in two live performances at the Rainbow Theatre in London. The production was originally planned for the LSO’s regular venue at the Royal Albert Hall, but the Hall’s management refuse because rock stars would be involved and because they consider Tommy to be “unsavory.” Roger performs the title role, John is Cousin Kevin, Keith is Uncle Ernie and Pete sings the narrator. Rod Stewart, Peter Sellers, Stevie Winwood, Richie Havens, Sandy Denny and Merry Clayton round out the cast.
The theater stage is designed to resemble a giant pinball machine. Keith has a great time playing Uncle Ernie but Pete gets drunk on brandy, misses cues, insults the audience and, at the end, pretends to wipe his bottom with the libretto before walking offstage. Tickets for the show are the highest in British theatrical history at that time, ¬£200 each, but both shows sell out and raise ¬£10,000 for the Stars Organization For Spastics. Both Rolling Stone and Melody Maker pan the show, decrying the “showbiz quality” of the event.

1975 – The Who play at the Richfield Coliseum in Cleveland. The show is videotaped and, like the Pontiac show, is widely bootlegged, if in incomplete form. A legitimate release of “Dreaming From The Waist” from Cleveland appears on the 30 Years Of Maximum R&B video.

1978 – Roger is interviewed in the New Musical Express. He mentions Kenny Jones as The Who’s new drummer.

1983 – Pete attends the ARMS benefit at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York

1985 – Roger Daltrey continues his solo tour at Madison Square Garden

1998 – Roger Daltrey appears on CBS This Morning in New York City. Afterwards he and Audra McDonald light the 1998 Broadway Christmas Tree.

2012 – The Who play the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut

2012 – Pete Townshend has a new diary entry called “The Clown Who Plays Ukulele”. Having told a story by teen cancer patient Sarah Sterner about a ukulele playing clown touring a pediatric cancer ward, Pete feels guilty about seeming to make fun of someone giving up their time to entertain the sick.

The Clown who plays Ukelele.

It occurs to me that Roger’s first TCA ‘ambassador’ Sarah Sterner, who tells a funny story about being entertained by a clown playing ukelele when she was recovering from cancer treatment, might not be so funny for the clown in question. She did not sneer at this clown. She used him as an example to make a distinction between what little kids enjoy in hospital, and what teenagers prefer.

I have repeated the story a few times, playing it for laughs. Then I suddenly remembered that once or twice in my life I have portrayed myself as that very clown, pounding stages.

The volunteer, dressing up and going to paediatric wards to entertain children, does so out of love and duty, and I must be careful to make very sure here that I do not sneer at what this clown, who volunteers to entertain and nurture young people in hospital, is doing. It is a high calling.

Roger’s pitch is that Sarah says she needed something different, more grown up, more TEENAGED. Sarah agrees, so we must accept their mission.

A young woman recovering from cancer might prefer the clown to go in without the costume, dressed in his street clothes, with a guitar rather than a ukelele, reveal himself as a bit of handsome dude, gaze in her eyes, and sing her some of his coolest love songs……..Sarah is certainly beautiful enough to merit the music.

You know what I mean. But if you’re a little kid, a clown with uke is very cool. If you’re a teenager God only knows what you’ll think is cool.

– Pete Townshend. December 9th, 2012

2014 – The Who play the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear