October 25, 2020

Today in Whostory: 8/17/2020

1963 – The Detours play the Oldfield Hotel in Greenford

1967 – The Who play Memorial Auditorium in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Also on the bill is Neil Diamond

1967 – Who manager Kit Lambert is that day at Columbia Recording Studio in Hollywood, California mixing the mono masters for “Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand” (U.S. single version), “Summertime Blues,” “Someone’s Coming” and “Relax.”

1968 – The Who play the Phoenix Municipal Stadium (locally known as “Giant Stadium”) in Phoenix, Arizona (Listed as Diablo Stadium in Tempe, Arizona in AAA)

1969 – The Who play the Woodstock Music & Art Fair in Bethel, New York.

They take the stage at 4AM. Pete lets out some of his fury by kicking Michael Wadleigh, on stage filming the acts as part of his documentary Woodstock. The Who then run quickly through “Heaven and Hell” and “I Can’t Explain” before launching into Tommy. All the fury and tension come out through their instruments as The Who blaze through the rock opera in a spectacular performance captured by Wadleigh’s cameras.

At the conclusion of “Pinball Wizard”, radical firebrand Abbie Hoffman runs out and grabs Pete’s microphone to announce, “I think this is all a pile of shit while John Sinclair rots in prison!”, referring to the manager of the Detroit rock band MC5 who got ten years in prison for possession of two marijuana joints. The Who are friends with the MC5 but Pete is in no mood for interruptions. “Fuck off my fucking stage!”, he yells, and pokes Hoffman in the back of the head with his guitar neck causing Hoffman to retire from the microphone. Pete in 1970: “Quite honestly, I mean knock for knock, everything Abbie Hoffman said was very fair. Because I did hit him, he must have felt it for a couple of months after.” Audio exists of the incident but, for some unknown reason, it is either not filmed or the film has been lost. A search of the outtakes in 1976 by Jeff Stein and Woodstock editor Thelma Schoonmaker found no trace of it.

The sun comes up just as The Who reach “See Me Feel Me” and it is the first time the members of the band see the size of the crowd, a half million people stretching off to the horizon. Finally realizing the importance of the event, The Who put their all into the finale. After they play the new long version of “My Generation”, Pete tosses his guitar into the crowd as the band walks off. The Who’s roadies run out into the audience and quickly retrieve the guitar. Footage of The Who’s performance at Woodstock is included in the movies Woodstock and The Kids Are Alright.

1971 – The Who play the first of three nights at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago, Illinois

1972 – The Who play the Oude RAI in Amsterdam

1978 – Who Are You is released in Britain. Charles Shaar Murray in New Musical Express praises the band for recognizing their age and not trying to latch onto the punk rock sound. Chris Welch in Melody Maker says the record has few of the fireworks of previous Who records. Who Are You peaks at #6 on the U.K. charts

1978 – Pete is interviewed on Capital Radio’s Your Mother Wouldn’t Like It. In the U.S.DIR Broadcasting airs “An Evening With Peter Townshend”

1978 – The Acton Gazette contains nearly a full page out Pete’s brothers, Simon and Paul. Simon’s article is titled “Who’s who in the family” while Paul’s is titled “Heroes say hello”

1999 – The John Entwistle Band play The Black Cat in Washington, D.C

2000 – The Who play the San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, California

2000 – In an interview with the website Wall Of Sound, John says the new Who album will be recorded at his home studio. Pete meanwhile says Roger is planning to record it at his home studio

2002 – The comic strip “Grand Avenue” features a reference to The Who

2006 – The Who’s new EP “Wire and Glass” hits #39 in New Zealand.

2007 – Pete and his girlfriend, musician Rachel Fuller, walk on stage at the end of a packed concert by Martha Wainwright at the Shepherds Bush Empire to the surprise of the audience. Pete and Rachel sit in with Wainwright’s band for four songs

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