February 2010 (5 years ago)
New album releases: Soldier of Love - Sade; Rebirth - Lil Wayne; Haywire - Josh Turner; American VI: Ain't No Grave - Johnny Cash
On the 2nd, Greatest Hits & More is released. Unlinke the previous year's release, this is a 2-CD set with the second disc comprised of live tracks. It peaks on the U.K. charts at #20.
On the 4th, SiriusXM satellite radio revives The Who Channel for five days in honor of The Who's coming performance at The Super Bowl. On the same day Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey perform an acoustic set before hosting a press conference in Miami. Pete again responds to protestors against his presence due to his 2003 placement on Britain's Sex Offender's Registar. "I kind of feel like we're on the same side." Another interview conducted by Dave Marsh, is held on SiriusXM the following day.
On the 6th, Pete and Roger perform an acoustic set at a private party for CBS executives in Miami.
On the 7th, The Who perform a twelve-minute set during the half-time show at The Super Bowl. Roger later complains of lights that blinded him throughout the performance while Pete's underwhelmed response is "We had as much fun as we could have." The press grouses about The Who's age and complains about the lack of younger acts during the yearly sports extravaganza. Nevertheless, the next day's ratings show the Super Bowl had its biggest ever television audience with 106.5 million people watching the game and The Who.
A week after the Super Bowl, Billboard reports that The Who's Greatest Hits release on Geffen has reached its chart peak at #82. The 2-CD version hits its peak a week later, also at #82.
On the 17th, Roger is back in London, introducing a revived Depeche Mode at the Royal Albert Hall Teenage Cancer Trust concert.
Pete throws doubt on The Who's future in the latest issue of Rolling Stone claiming his tinnitus has returned and "if my hearing is going to be a problem, we're not delaying shows. We're finished." One note of hope is an in-ear monitor recommended by an audiologist that Pete will try out at a 30 March charity show.
On the 25th, Roger is back in the U.S. and back on the road, opening for Eric Clapton at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. The tour continues on to Sommet Center in Nashville (27th) and the BJCC Arena in Birmingham (28th).
February 2005 (10 years ago)
New album releases: O - Omarion; Some Cities - Doves; Seventeen Days - 3 Doors Down; G4 - G4
On the 9th, Roger Daltrey receives a "Commander of the British Empire" award from Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace for his charity work with the Teenage Cancer Trust. His wife Heather, his sister Jill and his grand-daughter Lily attend. Says Roger about the Queen, "I don't think she's a rock 'n' roll fan. She'd probably fall off her podium if she heard The Who's songs."
On the 10th, The Sun reports that John Entwistle's home Quarwood was bought by the Dutch tycoon Piet Pulford.
On the 15th, Dreadnaught releases their double live CD Live At Mojo featuring a cover of John's "I've Been Away."
On the 17th, Roger participates in the Rock n' Roll Fantasy Camp in Los Angeles through the 21st. In addition to performing with the attendees at the House of Blues, Roger also agrees to help attendee and Who fan Kamesh Nagarajan propose to his girlfriend on stage.
On the 22nd, Petra Haden's a cappella recording Petra Haden Sings The Who Sell Out is released by Bar/None records.
February 2000 (15 years ago)
New album releases: Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants - Oasis; BTNHResurrection - Bone Thugs-N-Harmony; Machine/The Machines of God - The Smashing Pumpkins; The Truth - Beanie Sigel
On the 2nd, Pete Townshend's commercial site www.eelpie.com comes on line shipping out orders for the boxsets Avatar and Lifehouse Chronicles.
On the 14th, Pete begins daily "cyberdiaries" featuring short talks and Lifehouse practice sessions available on RealVideo.
On the 15th, BBC Sessions, the collection of live and studio Who tracks recorded for the BBC from 1965 to 1970, is released in the U.S. and Europe. European purchasers get the extra tracks "Man With Money" and the complete "Shakin' All Over/Spoonful" unavailable on the U.S. CD. However, U.S. purchasers have the option of getting a seven-track bonus disc unavailable in Europe if they buy BBC Sessions at Best Buy department stores. The CD peaks at #101 in the U.S., #24 in the U.K. and #50 in Japan. Arion Berger in Rolling Stone says it "highlights how mad, bad and dangerous the Who were in 1965." Billboard says "it's as good of an entry way as any into the Who's immense catalog." Gavin Martin in New Musical Express says "the contrasts they thrived on ensures freshness and excitement still springs with shocking directness from these recordings."
Also on the 15th, The Mighty Echoes release the CD A Cappella Doo Wop with a short vocal-only cover of "My Generation."
McFarland Press publishes John Atkins' overview of The Who's studio recording career The Who On Record, A Critical History 1963-1998.
On the 17th, Roger does a live chat on AOL to promote BBC Sessions. He says he has written "four or five songs" for the "next two Who albums" and that The Who will be touring that summer. Pete also says in his cyberdiary that he is heading over to John's house for some "final Who overdubs."
On the 20th, Roger goes down under performing with the British Rock Symphony at Melbourne Colonial Stadium in Australia. On the 23rd he performs at Perth Burswood Dome followed by the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on the 25th and the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on the 26th.
On the 22nd, The Band Of The Royal Netherlands Air Force releases a CD with a cover of the "Overture From Tommy" and "The Acid Queen."
On the 25th and 26th, Pete presents Lifehouse Live at the Sadler's Wells Theatre in London, the theatre whose management rejected a Tommy performance by The Who back in 1969. The show features John "Rabbit" Bundrick on keyboards and some other members from the 1989-era Who. Roger is not present as he is in Australia at the time but John is a member of the audience. He spends most of the show hanging out at the bar signing autographs. The Lifehouse songs are performed in the style of Pete's original demos rather than The Who's interpretations made famous on Who's Next. Pete also premieres a new song, "Can You Help The One You Really Love?" The concert is simulcast and recorded on audio and video for later release on CD, DVD and the Internet.
February 1995 (20 years ago)
New album releases: Greatest Hits - Bruce Springsteen; Good News From The Next World - Simple Minds; Pieces Of You - Jewel; The Woman In Me - Shania Twain
On the 2nd, The Who were scheduled to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame but it is postponed due to scheduling conflicts.
An updated edition of Richard Barnes' Who biography The Who: Maximum R&B is published in the U.K.
Des McAnuff, trying to get a movie version of Pete's musical The Iron Man made, meets with Warner Brothers who have agreed to put up $50 million. Their one requirement is that the title be changed to The Iron Giant to avoid copyright problems with the Marvel Comics' character.
On the 27th, Roger's character, the immortal Hugh Fitzcairn, is beheaded on the episode "Star-Crossed" of Highlander: The Series. He proves he is immortal by coming back for several more episodes over the show's run.
On the 28th, fourteen days after the 25th anniversary of the performance, an expanded CD of Live At Leeds is released. It includes the entirety of the non-Tommy part of the concert (with a few edits) plus "Amazing Journey/Sparks" from Tommy. Almost all of the "crackle" present on the original recording is removed electronically. The CD is released both in jewel-case form and as a limited-edition album sized package that includes reproductions of the Who documents that were in the original album release. The CD reaches #59 on the British charts.
February 1990 (25 years ago)
New album releases: Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em - M.C. Hammer; Shake Your Money Maker - The Black Crowes; Carved In Sand - The Mission; Manners & Physique - Adam Ant
On the 2nd, Menahem Golan's film version of the Brecht-Weill musical The Threepenny Opera, retitled Mack the Knife and featuring Roger singing the title song, is released in the U.S.
Rolling Stone magazine publishes their year-end readers' survey. The Who's 1989 tour places #2 for both Best Tour and Worst Tour, #3 for Comeback of the Year and #2 for Most Unwelcome Comeback. John is #2 for Best Bass Player.
On the 5th, the RIAA certifies The Who Live featuring Tommy video as having reached the platinum level of sales.
On the 26th, Pete publicly backs a £500,000 appeal to fund a new science, art and technology block for a girls' school.
February 1985 (30 years ago)
New album releases: Whitney Houston - Whitney Houston; Meat Is Murder - The Smiths; Songs From The Big Chair - Tears For Fears; She's The Boss - Mick Jagger
On the 1st, The Who fanzine The Relay reports that Another Scoop was compiled the previous year but Atco Records refused to release it (they would relent two years later). Also in the issue, in a continuation of an interview conducted a year before, Roger says he is going to produce and direct a movie about The Kray Twins and that he recorded an entire solo album called Pop Songs immediately prior to Parting Should Be Painless but scrapped it.
On the 11th, Pete presents Sade with the award for Album Of The Year at the British Phonographic Awards at London's Grosvenor House.
Also this month, Pete records the track "Lonely Words" with Rabbit, Clem Burke and Phil Chen. It is later released on Scoop 3.
On the 19th, Mick Jagger releases his first solo album She's The Boss featuring a performance by Pete on electric guitar ("Lonely At The Top") and acoustic guitar ("Hard Woman"). Some of the production was done at Pete's boathouse studio. The album peaks at #6 in the U.K. and #13 in the U.S.
February 1980 (35 years ago)
New album releases: Against The Wind - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band; Get Happy!! - Elvis Costello and The Attractions; Bebe le Strange - Heart; Mad Love - Linda Ronstadt
Around the 13th, Pete arrives in Los Angeles to visit director Nicholas Roeg in an effort to get him to direct a film of Lifehouse. Roeg is not at his Los Angeles residence but his then-girlfriend, actress Theresa Russell, is. Pete, Theresa and a friend end up going that night to see Pink Floyd perform The Wall live. Before or after the show Pete uses cocaine, later saying it was the first time he had used hard drugs since becoming a Meher Baba disciple. Whether it was the influence of the drugs are the beauty of his companion, Pete becomes strongly infatuated with Ms. Russell and the next day shows up at Theresa's doorstep to make a plea for her affection. She turns down the smitten Townshend. This incident and financial woes brought on by The Who's film company investment, bring the second attempt to film Lifehouse to a failed conclusion.
On the 15th, Pete assembles his demo reel of songs for the new Who album at Warner Brothers Recording Studios - Studio C in North Hollywood. It is an all-night drink-and-drug-fueled session with Pete recording the demo for "Theresa," later retitled "Athena" for The Who's It's Hard album (Pete's demo is later released on Scoop 3) and guitar and vocal overdubs for the song "What Is Love".
On the 18th, Pete is back in London to play his demo tape for the assembled Who. The probable track listing is "Theresa," "It's In You," "How Can You Do It Alone," "Daily Records," "You Better You Bet," "Dirty Water," "Don't Let Go The Coat," "Dance It Away" and "What Is Love." The band is not enthused by what they hear. After listening time is over, Pete surprises Who mixman Bob Pridden by demanding he go out and score him some cocaine.
On the 23rd, Keith Altham, The Who's press agent, defends The Who in a letter to Melody Maker. It is a reply to a letter from a fan who felt the group had lost contact with the record-buying public.
February 1975 (40 years ago)
New album releases: Physical Graffiti - Led Zeppelin; Have You Never Been Mellow - Olivia Newton-John; On The Level - Status Quo; The Best of The Stylistics - The Stylistics
On the 3rd, Ken Russell's bizarre re-imagining of the life of Franz Liszt, Lisztomania, begins a four-month shoot ending May 23. Roger, star of Russell's soon-to-be-released film, Tommy: The Movie, plays Liszt with Paul Nicholas (Cousin Kevin) as Richard Wagner, Ringo Starr as The Pope and Rick Wakeman, who is also supplying the soundtrack, as Wagner's creation Siegfried.
When he is not on set, Roger spends the early part of this month completing his second solo album, the disco-influenced Ride a Rock Horse.
On the 7th, John and his solo band Ox release a single in Europe from their forthcoming album. "Mad Dog," the album's title song, backed with "Cell Number 7," a song about The Who's 1973 Montreal arrest, fails to chart and is denounced by Colin Irwin in Melody Maker as "the bore of the week."
On the 14th, John and his band pre-tape performances of "Mad Dog" and "Cell Number 7" for later airing on BBC2's The Old Grey Whistle Test.
On the 21st, John and Ox begin a U.S. tour occasionally opening for the J. Geils Band. The tour stops at the Civic Auditorium in Sacramento (21st), the Winterland in San Francisco (22nd and 23rd), and Long Beach Arena (26th). The night of Long Beach, MCA holds a promotional party for the release of the Mad Dog album. Both Pete, in town to promote Tommy: The Movie, and Los Angeles-native Keith attend.
On the 22nd, the soundtrack to Tommy: The Movie is released for the U.S. market a month ahead of the movie. It contains five new Townshend compositions and surpasses the chart position of the original album, reaching #2 despite widespread negative reviews in the rock press.
On the 26th, Variety reports on marketing test runs conducted by Columbia Pictures looking for ways to promote Tommy: The Movie to non-rock audiences.
On the 28th, John's fourth solo album, Mad Dog, is released. With only one or two exceptions, the album is roundly panned by the rock press and sells less than John's previous efforts. It does not chart in the U.K. and reaches only #192 in its one week on the Billboard charts.
February 1970 (45 years ago)
New album releases: Hey Jude - The Beatles; Sweet Baby James - James Taylor; Morrison Hotel - The Doors; Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
On the 10th, The Who record and mix the second song written entirely by Roger, "Here For More," at IBC Studio B in London for release as the B-side of "The Seeker."
Having given up pouring through all the concert tapes recorded during the 1969 North America tour to create a live LP, Pete has two concerts booked for The Who at the Universities of Leeds and Hull. Leeds is held first on Valentine's Day at a student refectory that seats only 2000. The entire concert is recorded although a loose cable creates a "crackling" noise. The Who are in top form, however, giving a particularly great performance. A small bit of the concert is shot on 16mm by a student. In 2007, the film is linked up with the audio and some of it is released on the Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who DVD.
The next night at Hull University features another great performance. This time there is no crackling but a quick listen to the beginning of the tape convinces Pete that the bass guitar was not recorded. The absence is later found to affect only the first four songs and the entire performance is released in 2010.
On the 20th, an inquest is held into the previous month's death of Keith Moon's chauffeur Neil Boland under the wheels of a car driven by Keith. The jury takes ten minutes to declare the death "accidental" and release Keith from culpability. The verdict pleases neither Boland's parents or the police, the latter wanting to bring charges against Keith for being drunk behind the wheel.
On the 25th, The Universal Spiritual League releases an album dedicated to Meher Baba called Happy Birthday. It is produced by Pete and features six Pete solo tracks including the demo for "The Seeker."
February 1965 (50 years ago)
New records: "Eight Days a Week" - The Beatles; "Stop! In The Name of Love" - The Supremes; "The Last Time" - The Rolling Stones; "Concrete and Clay" - Unit 4 + 2
The Who begin their month on the 2nd, Tuesday, at the Marquee Club. There are no dates listed for them until their next Tuesday at the Marquee, the 9th, where they are billed for unknown reasons as "The Who London 1965." The new, longer name remains when they play the Ealing Club in West London on Thursday, the 11th.
On the 12th, The Who head to Broadcasting House for their second audition for the BBC Radio's Light Programme at the ungodly hour for rock 'n rollers of nine in the morning. The BBC sniffily notes that two of the members are 25 minutes late for the recording. Once assembled in Studio S2 The Who perform "Baby Don't You Do It," "Louie Go Home" and "Shout and Shimmy."
On the 13th, Billboard magazine runs an ad for "I Can't Explain" backed with "Bald Headed Woman", recently released in the U.S. The single peaks at only #93 in the Billboard charts but gets all the way to #57 in Cash Box after doing very well on Detroit and Los Angeles radio stations. That night The Who perform at the Waterfront Club at the Cliff Hotel in Southampton.
On the 16th, The Who London 1965 perform at the Marquee Club where they are filmed for French television performing "Heatwave", "Tell Me More", "Shout and Shimmy" and "Smokestack Lightning". The footage is later broadcast on the ORTF TV 2 program Seize Millions De Jeunes March 18. Pete and manager Kit Lambert are both interviewed, the latter in French. Sticking to English, Pete expresses his doubts about marriage and mocks religious belief.
A snippet of footage from around this period also appears, with another band's sound, in the short Carousella, a documentary about the world of Soho's strippers.
The Who London 1965's next show is on the 18th at the Ealing Club.
On the 19th, The Who learn by letter that J.E. Grant has given them the go-ahead to appear on the BBC Light Programme after they pass their audition of the 12th with four votes out of seven. The same day is more good news as "I Can't Explain" makes its first appearance on a British chart, popping up at #45 in Record Mirror. Four days later "I Can't Explain" shows up as well on the New Musical Express charts at #28. The single has been in stores for over a month.
More dates for The Who London 1965 are St. Joseph's Hall in Wembley (21st), the Marquee Club (23rd), the Ealing Club (25th), the Lynx Youth Club in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire (26th) and the Agincourt Ballroom in Camberley, Surrey (28th).
On the 26th, New Musical Express runs a short article on The Who's name changes called "Third time lucky name." It quotes French television producer Alain de Sedouy calling them "a logical musical expression of the bewilderment and anarchy of London's teenagers."
On the 27th, The Who hold an in-store appearance at W.G. Stores, Ltd. in Shepherd's Bush. It may have been on this day that the band is filmed by Lambert and co-manager Chris Stamp miming to "I Can't Explain" at the rear of the Marquee Studio.
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As always, thanks to John Atkins, Richard Barnes, Kevin Berger, Chris Charlesworth, Alan Clayson, Tony Fletcher, Ed Hanel, Gary Herman, Joe Giorgianni, Bruce Kawakami, Matt Kent, Max Ker-Seymer, Karen Kimber, Olle Lundin, "Irish Jack" Lyons, Dave Marsh, Alan McKendree, Joe McMichael, Andrew Motion, Andy Neill, Scott Smith, Christian Suchatzki, John Swenson, George Tremlett, Richie Unterberger, Dave van Staveren, Mark Ian Wilkerson, Stephen Wolter and all the others who did the original research and provided the aid that led to this page.
A note about photographs: None of the photographs used on this site are by purchase agreement with the original photographer. I try to credit when I can discover the name of the original photographer but, in most case, sources in newspapers, old copies of Creem Magazine, and even some Who books, do not credit photographers. If you are the photographer or represent the photographer and you do not want your photograph posted, please get in touch and I will remove it immediately. This is a wholly non-profit site (if you could see my bank account, you'd know it's quite the opposite!) established to provide an historical overview of The Who.