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December 2012 (5 years ago)

New music releases: "When I Was Your Man" - Bruno Mars; "This Is How We Roll" - Florida-Georgia Line; Unorthodox Jukebox - Bruno Mars; "Treasure" - Bruno Mars
The Who Nashville 2012 The Who Nashville 2012

The Quadrophenia 2012 multi-media presentation proceeds through North America landing at Bridgestone Arena, Nashville (2nd), Madison Square Garden (5th), Prudential Center, Newark (6th), Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia (8th), and ending at Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut (9th).

The Who The Studio Albums The Who The Studio Albums

On the 4th, the boxset The Who Studio Albums with all of The Who's studio albums in 180gm vinyl and reproductions of the original sleeves and insertions, is released for the holidays.

On the 7th, The Invisible Swordsmen release their album Born Too Late with a song on it called "Keith Moon"

On the 9th, 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.

Roger Daltrey 12-12-12 benefit Roger Daltrey 12-12-12 benefit
Photo: Dave Allocca

On the 12th, The Who perform a half-hour set at Madison Square Garden as part of an all-star event called "12-12-12 The Concert for Sandy Relief". The performance is show live on television and the next day the Internet comments extensively on Roger Daltrey's 68-year old bared chest.

12-12-12 The Concert for Sandy Relief CD 12-12-12 The Concert for Sandy Relief CD

On the 18th, the album 12-12-12 The Concert for Sandy Relief is released. Three songs from The Who's set are included.

December 2007 (10 years ago)

New music releases: Music To Watch Girls By - Various Artists; Growing Pains - Mary J. Blige; American Man: Greatest Hits Volume II - Trace Adkins; "I'm Me" - Lil Wayne

On the 3rd, Wild Billy Childish & The Musicians Of The British Empire release their album Christmas 1979 featuring a cover of "A Quick One While He's Away" re-written with Christmas lyrics as "A Quick One (Pete Townsend's Christmas)".

Roger Daltrey Trans-Siberian Orchestra 2007 Roger Daltrey Trans-Siberian Orchestra 2007

On the 15th, Roger performs at the end of two sets by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island. He comes on stage to perform "Behind Blue Eyes", "Pinball Wizard" and "See Me Feel Me".

On the 31st, Ringo Starr holds a non-alcoholic-beverage party and charity gig in Surrey to bring in the new year. Fellow musicians and teetotalers Eric Clapton and Pete join him on stage under the band name Totally Abandoned for a loose rendition of classic tunes. Those in the know get in for a £50 donation.

December 2002 (15 years ago)

New music releases: "Sound of the Underground" - Girls Aloud; I Care 4 U - Aaliyah; Pandemonium! - B2K; Charmbracelet - Mariah Carey

On the 10th, Cheltenham and district coroner Lester Maddrell concludes the official British inquest into John Entwistle's death: "He died from the effects of a single moderate usage of cocaine superimposed upon ischaemic heart disease caused by naturally-occurring coronary atherosclerosis." The verdict confirms the findings of the U.S. coroner from July.

On the 13th, at the First Surround Sound Music Awards, the Music From Lifehouse DVD wins Best Standard Resolution title and Live At Royal Albert Hall: The Who And Special Guests wins Best Concert Video.

According to Pino Palladino’s website, sometime this month he performs with Rachel Fuller along with Pete, Simon Townshend, Marc Brzezicky, and Josh Phillips.

On the 20th, Billboard magazine reports that The Who were the 13th top grossing act in the U.S. in 2002 making $28.6 million.

On the 27th, Acme Rock Group releases their CD Star featuring a cover of "Odorono".

December 1997 (20 years ago)

New music releases: "Together Again" - Janet Jackson; "Too Much" - The Spice Girls; "Angels" - Robbie Williams; "Teletubbies Say 'Eh-oh'!" - Teletubbies
The John Entwistle Band Dec 1997 The John Entwistle Band Dec 1997

Early in the month, The John Entwistle Band shoots three videos and does a photo shoot for their only studio album, Music From Vanpires. The videos have not surfaced to date.

On the 12th, Sheryl Crow sings "Squeeze Box" on TFI Friday on Britain's Channel 4.

Syndicated cartoon "Warped" in newspapers on the 21st.

Warped Cartoon 12-21-97

December 1992 (25 years ago)

New music releases: It's Your Call - Reba; ...If I Ever Fall in Love - Shai; Incesticide - Nirvana; Fixed - Nine Inch Nails
Ecomundo 92 ad Ecomundo 92 ad

On the 4th, Roger Daltrey performs in Cali, Colombia as part of Festival Ecomundo '92: A World Meeting of Ecology and Culture. The poorly planned event is supposed to feature celebrities, films, and conferences all on the subject of saving the environment. The only thing that actually occurs is the planned concert with Roger, David Gilmour, Phil Manzanera, and Kool and the Gang all brought over by musician Chucho Merchan. They don't get paid, perform under threats from the Colombian drug cartels and have to use a terrible local sound system. Less than 3,000 attend in a football stadium designed to hold 40,000, so few that for years this concert is written off as a myth until video surfaces. This is the first time anyone from The Who performs in South America. It will be twenty-five years before any of them return.

December 1987 (30 years ago)

New album releases: The Michael Jackson Mix - Michael Jackson; "Wishing Well" - Terence Trent D'Arby; Sinitta! - Sinatta; Come Into My Life - Joyce Sims
John Entwistle ticket 12-02-87 John Entwistle ticket 12-02-87

On the 2nd, John and Rat Race Choir have a one-off show at The Ritz in New York.

Whos and Twos Missing CDs Whos and Twos Missing CDs

Who's Missing and Two's Missing are released on CD. Despite having poorer sound quality than the LP, the latter CD will become a sought-after disc for its content within a few years.

Pete Townshend Neil Kinnock Dec 1987 Pete Townshend Neil Kinnock Dec 1987

The Save The Children fund sends out a Christmas card designed by Pete. Pete also attends a fund-raising charity ball for the Anti-Drug Campaign.

December 1982 (35 years ago)

New records: The Distance - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band; Trans - Neil Young; Beatitude - Rik Ocasek; Live Evil - Black Sabbath

The final month of The Who's 1982 concert tour begins on the 1st at the Biloxi Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi. "Love Ain't For Keeping" is added to the set list for the first time since 1971.

The Who ticket 12-03-82 The Who ticket 12-03-82

Following that is the Houston Astrodome on the 3rd and the Dallas Cotton Bowl on the 4th. Billy Squier and Steel Breeze are the opening acts for these shows. Pete smashes his guitar for the only time on this tour at the Dallas show. Afterwards, he returns to his hotel room and records the demo "Holly Like Ivy" on his TEAC Portastudio. It will later appear on Another Scoop. John goes to a local bar and jams with a group onstage.

The St. Louis Checkerdome is the next arena to be visited by the Who on the 6th. "Cry If You Want" is dropped for this night and replaced with "Dr. Jimmy."

The Who Syracuse 1982 backstage pass The Who Syracuse 1982 backstage pass

On the 7th, they are at the Milwaukee Arena, a show brought about by a local DJ who spent over fourteen days on a tenth floor window ledge until The Who agree to appear. On the 8th, The Who fly on to The Horizon outside Chicago where Pete adds a rockabilly ending to "Long Live Rock." Following that, The Who preceed to the Carrier Dome in Syracuse (10th) followed by the Worcester (Massachusettes) Centrum (11th).

WMMR Richfield The Who badge 1982 WMMR Richfield The Who badge 1982

The next two shows at Richfield Coliseum near Cleveland, Ohio on the 13th and 14th are professionally recorded and, with the exception of "Substitute", "Magic Bus" and "Summertime Blues", are used to assemble the later LP Who's Last. Future The Sopranos star Little Steven and his band The Disciples Of Soul are the opening act. Before leaving for Toronto, Roger and Kenney visit sick children at the Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland.

Finally, The Who reach what was then believed to be the end of the line; their last two concerts of the tour at the Maple Leaf Garden in Toronto. The Who hold a press conference on the afternoon of the 16th before the first concert.

The Who Toronto 12-17-82 The Who Toronto 12-17-82
Photo: Philip Kamin

he show on the 17th is shown live in theaters around the world and pay-per-view on cable television. Professionally recorded and videotaped, the concert, missing three songs, is later released on home video as Who Rocks America and on CD and DVD in 2006 as Live From Toronto.

On the 18th, Variety reports that a Cincinnati judge has ruled that punitive damages could not be awarded to the plaintiffs in the 1979 Riverfront Stadium tragedy. On the 18th, Variety also reports that a court decision has cleared the city of Cincinnati of all responsibility in the eleven deaths at the concert.

Eminence Front sheetmusic Eminence Front sheetmusic

On Christmas Day, "Eminence Front" backed with "One At A Time" hits the U.S. charts. The single peaks at #68 in Billboard and #77 in Cash Box. A planned release in ine U.K. is cancelled. It is the last Who single to appear on Billboard's Hot One Hundred Singles chart.

December 1977 (40 years ago)

New records: Running On Empty - Jackson Browne; Draw The Line - Aerosmith; Eddie Money - Eddie Money; "Stayin' Alive" - The Bee Gees
Keith Moon as jester Keith Moon as jester
Photo: Gavin Kent

On the 1st, Keith is photographed as a court jester in full makeup.

On the 12th, Keith drags Pete to his new hangout, the punk-rock club The Vortex to see Wayne County and the Electric Chairs, Backlash and the Skunks. Pete is particularly impressed with the latter band and signs them to his Eel Pie record label.

On the 13th, Pete is interviewed by Dave Schulps of Trouser Press. He says he won't be touring with The Who in the foreseeable future but does not mention the reason, his concern that Keith is not in fit shape to tour. The interview appears in the April and May 1978 issues. On the same day, Roger overdubs his vocal on "Who Are You."

The Who Kilburn portrait 1977 The Who Kilburn portrait 1977

On the 14th, The Who rehearse for the next day's concert. On the 15th, The Who perform a set at the 2000-seat Gaumont State Theatre in the London suburb of Kilburn. The audience is made up of those lucky enough to have heard an announcement that morning on Capitol Radio. Jeff Stein, director of The Who documentary The Kids Are Alright, set up the show because he had found no good footage of The Who performing their hits "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again." The show turns into a full-length concert with the only live complete performance of "Who Are You" with Keith on drums.

Although Pete and the rest of the band find their performance adequate, Stein realizes he has not yet gotten a Who performance exciting enough for the end of his film. All he will use in the finished movie is an angry Who attacking the camera as they go offstage to their dressing rooms and Pete inciting the audience to come up and try to take his guitar off him. The footage will rest in the Who film vaults until it is released on DVD as The Who at Kilburn 1977 in 2008.

Roger has to go under the knife as nodules are found on his vocal chords, delaying further work on the Who Are You album until March. Meanwhile work continues on recording and mixing the orchestral parts added to "Had Enough" and "Love Is Coming Down".

The Village Voice places Pete and Ronnie Lane's album Rough Mix at #13 in their year-end Pazz & Jop critic's poll.

December 1972 (45 years ago)

New records: Made In Japan - Deep Purple; "Love Train" - The O'Jays; "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love" - The Spinners; "Dueling Banjos" - Eric Weissberg & Steve Mandell

On the 1st, Pete is a guest on BBC Radio 1's Roundtable. The next day he is on Scene and Heard discussing the orchestral version of Tommy.

The 5th marks the beginning of three days of rehearsal for the upcoming live performance of the orchestral Tommy. During a break, Pete tells Roy Carr of New Musical Express that he is working on a new rock opera he calls "Jimmy."

Roger Daltrey Rainbow 09-12-72 Roger Daltrey Rainbow 09-12-72

On the 9th, 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 refuses 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.

Pete Townshend Rainbow 09-12-72 Pete Townshend Rainbow 09-12-72
Photo: Colin Davey

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.

The Who The Relay German picture sleeve The Who The Relay German picture sleeve
German picture sleeve

On the 23rd, The Who's newest single, "Relay" backed with "Waspman," is released in Britain. It is The Who's last stand-alone single not pulled from an album. Tony Stewart reviews "Relay" for New Musical Express: "Why don't this band ever fail? Simply because they're the guv'nors in rock 'n roll. And this composition by Pete Townshend must be their best single to date. It's a calculated time-structure piece and not an all-out rocker, thus giving Big John and Keith room to prove their feel and expertise, as well as allowing Roger to use the full force and range of his voice. There's an unforgettable chorus line, and some neat guitar lines hitting out. I do believe they've done it again." What they've done peaks at #21 in the U.K. charts.

Also on the 23rd Chris Charlesworth interviews John in New Musical Express. John discusses his new solo band and gives Chris a tour of his mansion in Gloucestershire.

Supposedly during this month, Kit Lambert comes in to begin recording The Who's new album that will eventually be called Quadorphenia. His production is quickly judged substandard and the session is abandoned. It will be the last time The Who's manager and producer works with the band.

December 1967 (50 years ago)

New records: John Wesley Harding - Bob Dylan; Axis: Bold As Love - The Jimi Hendrix Experience; "I Wish It Would Rain" - The Temptations; "Bend Me, Shape Me" - The American Breed
The Who Commack Dec. 1967 The Who Commack Dec. 1967

On the 1st, The Who end their first headlining tour of the U.S. playing the Long Island Arena in Commack, New York. Vanilla Fudge is the supporting act. On the 3rd, The Who fly back to London.

On the 2nd, Melody Maker rates the "Magnificent seven: songwriters." Pete is included with an emphasis on his mini-opera "A Quick One While He's Away."

Keith and Kim Moon Apple Store opening Keith and Kim Moon Apple Store opening

On the 5th, Keith and his wife Kim attend the opening of The Beatles' clothing store The Apple Shop in London.

The Who were to have resumed touring Britain on the 6th at the Sky Line Ballroom in Hull but the date is canceled. The excuse given is that The Who have to return to America for a performance on The Ed Sullivan Show although this never happens.

Hit Parader Feb. 1968 Hit Parader Feb. 1968

This month's Hit Parader magazine carries an interview with Pete. He says that most live bands don't give audiences their money's worth and he wants The Who to change that.

"I Can See For Miles" peaks at &$35;19 in The Netherlands' Muzik Express magazine chart.

The Who Sell Out front The Who Sell Out front

On the 15th, The Who Sell Out LP is released in Britain. Billboard magazine lists the album as a new U.S. release in their issue of the 30th. Pete's tinkering because of his dissatisfaction with some of the album's songs followed by the need to get permission from all the companies mentioned in the commercials is responsible for the delayed release. While getting the rights for the commercials, someone forgets to secure the rights for the Radio London jingles and a lawsuit erupts. Those who rush out to buy the first copies of the album in the U.K. find a psychedelic poster designed by Adrian George inside. Good condition original posters are now one of the most sought-after Who artifacts.

The Who Sell Out back The Who Sell Out back

Melody Maker declares: "The Who drop out of everything that is supposedly fashionable and therefore valid in 1967's flowery year...On the whole, this album easily surpasses anything The Who have done before." Unfortunately, the British public disagrees. The album peaks at #13 in the U.K. charts, failing to make the top ten as their two previous albums had done. In the U.S. it does a bit better, topping out at #48, nearly 20 numbers higher than Happy Jack. It will be another decade or more before this seeming pop throwaway is re-evaluated as one of 1967's greatest triumphs.

Monterey Eric Burdon single Monterey Eric Burdon single

On the 16th, Eric Burdon & The Animals' song "Monterey" hits the U.S. charts. The Who are mentioned in the lyrics. On the same day, The Who are miming to "I Can See For Miles" for the pre-recorded Christmas edition of Top Of The Pops. The following day they mime to "Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hands" on the last episode of Twice A Fortnight.

Disc magazine 16-12-67 Disc magazine 16-12-67

Also on the 16th, Disc magazine has an interview with Who managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp where they discuss a planned Who film, a "black comedy," to be released the next year. There are also plans for a monthly Who comic book with The Who vs. their managers, "Mr. Sourpuss and Mr. Killjoy." Neither of these blue-sky ideas come to anything.

Christmas on Earth 1967 ad Christmas on Earth 1967 ad

On the 18th, The Who perform at The Pavillion in Bath. Other dates are canceled, including an appearance on the 22nd at the Olympia in London as part of the "Christmas On Earth Continued" festival. The reason given in The Who Fan Club Newsletter is that Pete "cracked one of his fingers that week and couldn't play."

A couple of articles appear in and around the 30th. Pete discusses The Who Sell Out, BBC Radio One and hippies in Melody Maker and Jann Wenner provides a history of The Who in Rolling Stone.

On the 30th, The Who make one more concert stop at the Pier Pavillion in Hastings. That same day their October 15th performance of "I Can See For Miles" on Twice a Fortnight is aired in the U.S. on American Bandstand.

December 1962 (55 years ago)

New records: "He's So Fine" - The Chiffons; "Hey Paula" - Paul & Paula; "Wild Weekend" - The Rebels; "Walk Right In" - The Rooftop Singers
Gustav Metzger early 1960s Gustav Metzger early 1960s

At Ealing Art College, Pete attends a lecture by the Austrian artist Gustav Metzger. The title of the lecture is "Auto-Destructive Art, Auto-Creative Art: The Struggle For The Machine Arts Of The Future." Metzger argues that the act of destroying a machine can be a valid artistic statement. He illustrates by smashing a bass violin.

December 1957 (60 years ago)

New records: "Catch a Falling Star"/"Magic Moments" - Perry Como; "Sail Along Silvery Moon" - Billy Vaughn and His Orchestra; "Stood Up" - Ricky Nelson
Paul Townshend 1970 Paul Townshend 1970

Pete's youngest brother Paul is born.

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The Who Maximum As and Bs

The Who Maximum A's and B's
All The Singles! (at last!) in one beautiful boxset.

The Who Isle of Wight 2004 DVD

The Who Live at the Isle of Wight 2004
Blu-Ray/2-CD set on sale December 2.

The Who On The Who book

The Who On The Who edited by Sean Egan. A large collection of uncut interviews with The Who.

The Who In The City book

The Who In The City by Ian Snowball. In depth look at The Who's history and locations within the City of London.

Keith Moon graphic novel

Who Are You? The Life & Death of Keith Moon by Jim McCarthy and Marc Olivent. The life of Keith in graphic novel form.

Keith Moon No Substitute book

There Is No Substitute: A Tribute To Keith Moon by Ian Snowball. The art and style of The Who's irreplacable drummer.
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