Today in Whostory: 2/13/2020

1959 – Mose Allison records his version of Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Eyesight To The Blind.” Pete will later hear this version of the song at the Sunnyside Road flat and it will inspire him to include it in Tommy. You can listen to it on youtube here:

1964 – The Detours play the Oldfield Hotel in Greenford

1965 – The Who make their U.S. record debut with the release of “I Can’t Explain” backed with “Bald Headed Woman.” It is ignored throughout most of the U.S. except in Detroit, Michigan where it becomes a big regional hit. This is enough to propel the single onto the Billboard charts where it reaches #93. Cash Box, obviously more in tune to Detroit, has the single rising all the way to #57. Detroit becomes the home of The Who’s first fan base in the U.S. and a frequent stopping place for the band in years to come.

Billboard magazine carries an ad for the new single.

1965 – The Who play the Waterfront Club at the Cliff Hotel in Southampton

1966 – The Who play the Community Centre in Southall

1967 – The first half of an interview with Pete in International Times is published. The second half is published on the 27th. In it he discusses the art of auto-destruction and his ability to make social comments through pop songs.

1971 – The seventh “The Pete Townshend Page” called “Change – by taking people up” is published in Melody Maker. In it he discusses the purpose and plot of the Lifehouse film: “The Young Vic becomes the ‘Life House’, the Who become musicians and the audience become part of a fantasy. We have invented the fantasy in our minds, the ideal, and now we want to make it happen for real. We want to hear the music we have dreamed about, see the harmony we have experienced temporarily in Rock, become permanent, and feel the things we are doing CHANGE the face of Rock and then maybe even people.”

1971 – Pete and John are interviewed by Keith Altham in Record Mirror. Pete says he is currently working on personal material “that the Who just don’t like” and speaks out against drug use. John says he is shortly releasing a solo LP called “What Are We Doing Here?” that will include a cover of Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl.”

1998 – John has a reception at the Walnut Street Gallery in Denver where his drawings and paintings are on display.

You can still order John’s Art Prints from this gallery online here:

1998 – The Christian rock group ApologetiX releases their CD Jesus Christ Morningstar featuring “Temple Physician”, a re-write of “Pinball Wizard”. You can listen to it on youtube here:

2002 – Pete answers questions from fans in The Independent. He says “I don’t want to go into the studio with The Who. Roger does.”. You can read it here:

2016 – The Who play The SSE Arena, Wembley in Wembley, London